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ORNL earns project of year award from tech transfer group

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., March 8, 2010 -- A technology that can enhance collecting of data from studying the compositions on a material surface has earned the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory the Excellence in Technology Transfer Project of the Year Award from the Southeast Region of the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer.

The regional organization is part of a nationwide network of federal laboratories. This network provides the forum to develop strategies and opportunities for linking laboratory mission technologies and expertise with the marketplace.

ORNL is one of 52 laboratories within the Southeast Region that encompasses nine states.

The ORNL-developed surface sampling probe for mass spectrometry enables researchers to obtain a more accurate analysis of the chemical components on the surface of a material. The process has benefits in the study of material and biological sciences and can be particularly useful in drug development through its ability to scrutinize biological tissue.

Gary Van Berkel and Vilmos Kertesz of ORNL's of Chemical Sciences Division developed the technology.

ORNL also earned two Excellence in Technology Transfer Awards from the organization. They were:

  • Position Sensitive Detector Electronics System and Neutron Detector Assembly.

  • Laser-induced Fluorescence Fiber-Optic Measurement of Fuel in Oil.

The position sensitive detector allows personnel at ORNL's Spallation Neutron Source to obtain a more accurate measurement of neutrons produced at the facility. Those neutrons are used to conduct neutron scattering, which is the ORNL-developed process to study the molecular structure of materials.

Richard Riedel, Ronald Cooper and Lloyd Clonts of the laboratory's neutron sciences developed the technology.

The laser-induced fluorescence fiber-optic measurement of fuel in oil can determine the amount of fuel dilution in engine oil. This condition can occur when modern engines are operated in novel combustion modes to enable increased fuel efficiency and lower emissions. The thinning oil lowers lubricating ability and leads to increases in engine wear and oil consumption, as well as potential engine failure.

The ORNL technology can more quickly detect fuel dilution than the previous standard technique used by industry. The new tool will be used by development engineers in industry to design durable engines that meet stringent fuel efficiency and emissions requirements.

This technology was developed by James Parks and William Partridge of ORNL's Energy and Transportation Science Division, along with Kent Froelund of DaVinci Emissions Services. Ltd. of San Antonio,Texas.

The ORNL technologies were recognized during the Southeast Consortium's January awards luncheon in Naples, Fla.


Contact: Fred Strohl
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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