The awards are presented annually by R&D Magazine in recognition of the year's most significant technological innovations. ORNL's total places it first among DOE laboratories and second only to General Electric.
The honors were for the following inventions:
Highly Selective, Regenerable Perchlorate Treatment System, developed by Baohua Gu, Gilbert Brown and David Cole of ORNL and Spiro Alexandratos of the University of Tennessee
The Highly Selective, Regenerable Perchlorate Treatment system uses a unique, highly specific resin to trap the perchlorate, or ClO4, destroy it, and regenerate itself so it can be reused. Perchlorate, the primary ingredient of solid rocket propellant, is increasingly being discovered in soil and water. The chemical disrupts function of the human thyroid gland, which regulates metabolism in adults and physical development in children.
The system created by ORNL uses a process known as selective ion exchange, which is the preferred treatment technology for removing contaminants such as perchlorate from water. However, the resins often absorb chemicals other than those targeted for cleanup. They also become contaminated and must be disposed of, destroyed or stored, which is costly and often impractical.
The reaction in the ORNL treatment system that destroys the perchlorate also produces a chemical that regenerates the resin, breaking the perchlorate down into harmless chloride and water. The result is an 80 percent reduction in costs over other ion exchange procedures and elimination of the problem of secondary waste.
Advanced Heating System for High-Performance Aluminum Forgings, developed by Craig Blue, Puja Kadolkar, Peter Engleman, Charles Howell, Ja
Contact: Mike Bradley
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory