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August 2013 story tips from Oak Ridge National Laboratory

ENERGY Green battery . . .

By substituting lignin for highly engineered, expensive graphite to make battery electrodes, researchers have developed a process that requires fewer steps and offers better performance. Renewable Electrodes from Wood Products, or ReNEW-PRO, is a low-cost lithium-ion battery anode made inexpensively from lignin, a renewable resource and byproduct of the pulp and paper industry. ReNEW-PRO was developed in collaboration with GrafTech International Holdings. The ORNL team was led by Orlando Rios of the Materials Science and Technology Division. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226;]

PROSTHETICS Better fit, function . . .

The Mobile Gait Analysis System improves prosthesis fit and performance for soldiers who have lost a leg, helping them to maintain an active physical lifestyle. The team's device allows a prosthetic limb to be properly fitted to patients by measuring and analyzing the motions and forces exerted while they walk. The portable, inexpensive system helps clinicians teach patients how to use the prosthetic limb most effectively and avoid overuse injuries or chronic problems such as arthritis. The system was developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Otto Bock Healthcare Products and the Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center. [Contact: Morgan McCorkle, (865) 574-7308;]

MATERIALS Best of both worlds . . .

With Vari-k-Graphmet, a combination of highly conductive graphite foam and ductile metal powders, Oak Ridge National Laboratory has created an entirely new family of metal matrix composites that broadens the use of graphite foam. Vari-k-Graphmet offers high-strength, low-mass titanium-graphite foam composites with thermal conductivities up to 20 times higher than pure titanium. Using this approach, scientists can marry materials with dissimilar properties for example high strength on one surface and high thermal conductivity on the other creating a product with the best qualities of each individually. These can be tailored to varied applications and can potentially be applied to electronics, automobile exhaust systems, brakes, LED lighting, refrigeration, power converters, heat sinks and heat exchangers. Vari-k-Graphmet was developed by Paul Menchofer and James Klett. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226;]


Contact: Ron Walli
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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