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Sandia Labs News Releases

Category Archives: Energy / Environment / Water

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Preserving the past

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When archaeologist Christina Chavez surveys Sandia National Laboratories land and finds rusted tobacco tins, ceramic fragments, glass shards or rocks resting in deliberate formations, she documents and determines who at the Labs needs to know. “Archaeological resources are all around us, and even if most people don’t see them, there’s still a […]

Foreground: Two men, one passing a nickel-sized wafer. Background: A device for testing the diodes on the wafer and a computer screen showing an array of dots/diodes

Record-breaking, ultrafast devices step to protecting the grid from EMPs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Scientists from Sandia National Laboratories have announced a tiny, electronic device that can shunt excess electricity within a few billionths of a second while operating at a record-breaking 6,400 volts — a significant step towards protecting the nation’s electric grid from an electromagnetic pulse. The team published the fabrication and testing results […]

Two men, one holding a shiny battery testing case, stand beside a beach-ball-sized, thick-metal testing instrument.

Safer, more powerful batteries for electric cars, power grid

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Solid-state batteries, currently used in small electronic devices like smart watches, have the potential to be safer and more powerful than lithium-ion batteries for things such as electric cars and storing energy from solar panels for later use. However, several technical challenges remain before solid-state batteries can become widespread. A Sandia National […]

Portrait of Babu Chalamala

Sandia engineer elected fellow of two prestigious national societies

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Babu Chalamala, an engineer and manager of Sandia National Laboratories’ energy storage group, was recently elected fellow of two prestigious national societies. On Jan. 26, he became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. On Dec. 7, he became a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. According […]

Sandia Labs BEYA winners

Black engineer awards distinguish Sandia Labs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ten Sandia National Laboratories engineers received Black Engineer of the Year Awards this year, including Most Promising Scientist in Government, Research Leadership, Science Spectrum Trailblazers and Modern-Day Technology Leaders. Honorees include Sandia mechanical, electrical, civil, aerospace and aeronautical engineers who excel in their respective fields. From the abstract to the technical, each […]

Two people walking beside a fence. A cooling stack of a nuclear facility is in the background.

Improved nuclear accident code helps policymakers assess risks from small reactors

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories recently updated the Maccs code to better aid the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the global nuclear industry in assessing the consequences of nuclear accidents. The Maccs code can also evaluate the potential health and environmental risks posed by advanced nuclear reactors and small modular nuclear reactors. Small modular reactors […]

Awardee Armijo

Great Minds in STEM celebrates two Sandia engineers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories systems engineer Kenneth Armijo has been named a 2021 Most Promising Engineer Advanced Degree at the Hispanic Engineering National Achievement Awards Conference. Sandia mechanical engineer Michael Omana was named a 2021 Most Promising Scientist, Masters at the conference. Armijo, who holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering, leads molten salt, […]

Still from video from a container test

Sandia cooks material-storage containers to assess fire safety

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A team at Sandia National Laboratories has completed a series of tests on specially designed stainless-steel containers used by the Department of Energy for storage and transportation of hazardous materials. The engineers, technologists and project managers were surprised to find that the containers did not split open when heated to 2000 degrees […]

Remote high-voltage sensor unveiled at Sandia gamma ray lab

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ever since the first human placed a bare hand on an uninsulated electric line, people have refrained from personally testing energetic materials. Even meters made of metal can melt at high voltages. Now, using a crystal smaller than a dime and a laser smaller than a shoebox, a Sandia National Laboratories team […]

Two men look at blue shipping container-like shelters. One points.

Sandia-operated Arctic measurement facility moves, research to continue

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After eight great years of observations and research, a Sandia National Laboratories-operated atmospheric measurement facility moved from Oliktok Point, on the North Slope of Alaska, this summer. The mobile facility will be relocating to the southeastern United States; the exact location is still being decided. The Department of Energy Office of Science’s […]

Two people holding large hunks of pinkish salt. One is a cylinder the size of a basketball. The other is more rough, the size of a softball.

Underground tests dig into how heat affects salt-bed repository behavior

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Scientists from Sandia, Los Alamos and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories have just begun the third phase of a years-long experiment to understand how salt and very salty water behave near hot nuclear waste containers in a salt-bed repository. Salt’s unique physical properties can be used to provide safe disposal of radioactive waste, […]

‘I’m melting, melting’ — environmentally hazardous coal waste diminished by citric acid

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In one of nature’s unexpected bounties, a harmless food-grade solvent has been used to extract highly sought rare-earth metals from coal ash, reducing the amount of ash without damaging the environment and at the same time increasing an important national resource. Coal ash is the unwanted but widely present residue of coal-fired […]

Two people look at blueprints with Sandia

Sandia creates global archive of historical renewable energy documents

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories began studying the power of the sun to produce utility-scale energy in the 1960s. Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility was commissioned in 1978, spurred by the oil crisis of 1973. Many of the documents detailing the design, construction and research conducted at the world’s first multimegawatt concentrating solar […]

Two scientists look at hand-sized white membranes, water and lush trees in background.

Mimicking mother nature: New membrane to make fresh water

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories and their collaborators have developed a new membrane, whose structure was inspired by a protein from algae, for electrodialysis that could be used to provide fresh water for farming and energy production. The team shared their membrane design in a paper published recently in the scientific journal […]

High-speed alloy creation might revolutionize hydrogen’s future

LIVERMORE, Calif. — A Sandia National Laboratories team of materials scientists and computer scientists, with some international collaborators, have spent more than a year creating 12 new alloys — and modeling hundreds more — that demonstrate how machine learning can help accelerate the future of hydrogen energy by making it easier to create hydrogen infrastructure […]

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