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PNNL receives regional technology transfer awards

August 03, 2011 Share This!

Two regional Federal Laboratory Consortium awards given to PNNL

  • Current Controller: PNNL staff developed this low-noise current controller to deliver stable power to sensors that use quantum cascade lasers to analyze very small gas concentrations. Wavelength Electronics recently licensed the technology and plans to release its own line of products based on it.

  • Propylene Glycol: Advances in hydrogen catalysts allow industrial chemists to turn renewable glycerol (aka glycerine) into a common additive called propylene glycol.

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RICHLAND, Wash. – The Federal Laboratory Consortium - Far West Region has bestowed two awards upon Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for Outstanding Commercialization Success.  The 2011 FLC Far West Region Awards recognize the creativity and effectiveness of federal laboratories in using various mechanisms to help transfer laboratory-developed technology to market.

PNNL's 2011 award-winning technologies are:

Low Noise Quantum Cascade Laser Current Controller

The Low Noise Quantum Cascade Laser Current Controller is a laser power source when used in laser-based gas sensors enables scientists to more accurately detect smaller levels of trace gases than would otherwise be possible.  Controllers are the first step in the process used to analyze gas.  Knowing which gases exist in the atmosphere is critical to a number of fields, including climate research and pollution remediation.  Wavelength Electronics Inc., a supplier of laser system components in Bozeman, Mont., licensed the PNNL-developed controller in 2009 and a year later began selling products that incorporated PNNL's current controller technology.

Propylene Glycol from Renewable Sources

Many everyday items from food to liquid detergents and cosmetics contain the additive known as propylene glycol.  The PNNL-developed Propylene Glycol from Renewable Sources process is a commercially proven, cost-effective way to make the additive from plant byproducts rather than petroleum-based feedstocks.  Development partner Archer Daniels Midland Company licensed the catalytic process from PNNL and has recently constructed and commissioned a full-scale production facility in Decatur, Ill., for the sole purpose of bringing the PGRS process to market.

In addition to the 2011 FLC Far West Region Award, both of these technologies were recognized earlier this year as winners of national 2011 FLC Awards for Excellence in Technology Transfer.  

The regional awards will be presented during the FLC Far West/Mid-Continent Regional Meeting Aug. 29-31 in Monterey, Calif.

The FLC Far West Region is comprised of eight western states - Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The region contains more than 100 federal laboratories and facilities including the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Tags: Awards and Honors, Technology Transfer and Commercialization

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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