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Sweet Smell of Success: JBEI Researchers Boost Methyl Ketone Production in E. coli

Methyl ketones were discovered more than a century ago in the aromatic evergreen rue plant. They are now used to provide scents in essential oils and flavoring in cheese, but JBEI research shows they could also serve as advanced biofuels. (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

JBEI researchers have engineered E. coli bacteria to convert glucose into significant quantities of methyl ketones, a class of chemical compounds primarily used for fragrances and flavors, but highly promising as clean, green and renewable blending agents for diesel fuel.

Two Berkeley Lab Scientists Named AAAS Fellows


Two Berkeley Lab scientists, climate scientist William Collins and chemist Heinz Frei, have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for 2014.

Berkeley Lab Report Quantifies the Financial Impacts of Customer-Sited Photovoltaics on Electric Utilities


A new report prepared by analysts from Berkeley Lab examines the potential impacts of customer-sited solar photovoltaics (PV) on electric utility profitability and rates. The report shows that these impacts can vary greatly depending upon the specific circumstances of the utility and may be reduced through a variety of regulatory and ratemaking measures.

New Studies Find Significant Declines in Price of Rooftop and Utility-Scale Solar

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The price of solar energy in the U.S. continues to fall substantially, according to the latest editions of two annual reports produced by Berkeley Lab. A third Berkeley Lab report, written in collaboration with researchers at Yale University, the University of Texas at Austin and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), shows that local permitting and other regulatory procedures can significantly impact residential photovoltaic (PV) prices.

Berkeley Lab Researchers Moonlight in “Cleanweb” Sector

The Smarter Sprinkler team at the 2014 Berkeley Cleanweb Hackathon.

By day scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are researching ways to better tackle our country’s energy and environmental challenges. By night some of them are doing, well, the exact same thing. Using the knowledge from their day jobs some enterprising researchers are harnessing the power of big data to create innovative solutions for conserving water and energy.

Taking the Temperature of Deep Geothermal Reservoirs


A lot can happen to water as it rises to the surface from deep underground. It can mix with groundwater, for example. This makes it difficult for scientists to estimate the temperature of a geothermal reservoir, which is an important step as they decide whether a site merits further exploration as a source of clean,

Manipulating and Detecting Ultrahigh Frequency Sound Waves

Gold plasmonic nanostructures shaped like Swiss-crosses can convert laser light into ultrahigh frequency (10GHz) sound waves.

Berkeley Lab researchers have demonstrated a technique for detecting and controlling ultrahigh frequency sound waves at the nanometer scale. This represents an advance towards next generation ultrasonic imaging with potentially 1,000 times higher resolution than today’s medical ultrasounds.

Berkeley Lab-led Collaboration with China Speeds Development of Green Buildings


The U.S.–China Clean Energy Research Center Building Energy Efficiency Consortium (CERC-BEE), which launched three years ago has made steady progress toward the research and development of low-energy technologies for buildings, including patent applications and new product launches this year, about 100 articles published, and five demonstration projects in China that validate, fine-tune, and showcase everything from smart windows to advanced lighting controls to microgrids.

Hybrid Vehicles More Fuel Efficient In India, China Than in U.S.

What makes cities in India and China so frustrating to drive in—heavy traffic, aggressive driving style, few freeways—makes them ideal for saving fuel with hybrid vehicles, according to new research by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In a pair of studies using real-world driving conditions, they found that hybrid cars are significantly more fuel-efficient in India and China than they are in the United States.

New Ideas Needed to Meet California’s 2050 Greenhouse Gas Targets: Berkeley Lab Study

California is on track to meet its state-mandated targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions for 2020, but it will not be able to meet its 2050 target without bold new technologies and policies. This is the conclusion of the California Greenhouse Gas Inventory Spreadsheet (GHGIS), a new model developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to look at how far existing policies and technologies can get us in emissions reductions.