News Center

Geothermal Brines Could Propel California’s Green Economy

Deep beneath the surface of the Salton Sea, a shallow lake in California’s Imperial County, sits an immense reserve of critical metals that, if unlocked, could power the state’s green economy for years to come. These naturally occurring metals are dissolved in geothermal brine, a byproduct of geothermal energy production. Now the race is on to develop technology to efficiently extract one of the most valuable metals from the brine produced by the geothermal plants near the Salton Sea: lithium.

Battery Breakthrough Gives Boost to Electric Flight and Long-Range Electric Cars

Researchers at Berkeley Lab, in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, have developed a new battery material that could enable long-range electric vehicles that can drive for hundreds of miles on a single charge, and eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft.

High-Performance Windows to Benefit Low-Income California Communities

Buildings account for a whopping 40% of total U.S. energy consumption, and windows are responsible for approximately 10% of that. High thermal performance windows reduce combined heating and cooling energy consumption of typical single family homes in California by up to 50% compared to existing single-pane windows, which are still found in 6.5 million, or

New Research Evaluates How U.S. Wind Plant Performance Changes with Age

U.S. wind plants maintain 87% of peak performance after 17 years, and newer plants show almost no decline over the first 10 years, according to a recent study from Berkeley Lab. Compared to studies of how European wind fleets age, the U.S. wind fleet shows mild performance loss with age, and plants built after 2008

New Research Launched on Airborne Virus Transmission in Buildings

As society prepares to reopen indoor spaces and ease back into some sense of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic, a team of researchers at Berkeley Lab is launching a study of the risk of airborne transmission of viruses within buildings and how to mitigate those risks.

Making a Material World Better, Faster Now: Q&A With Materials Project Director Kristin Persson

Berkeley Lab’s Kristin Persson shares her thoughts on what inspired her to launch the Materials Project online database, the future of materials research and machine learning, and how she found her own way into a STEM career.

Making Biofuels Cheaper by Putting Plants to Work

One strategy to make biofuels more competitive is to make plants do some of the work themselves. Scientists can engineer plants to produce valuable chemical compounds, or bioproducts, as they grow. Then the bioproducts can be extracted from the plant and the remaining plant material can be converted into fuel. But one important part of this strategy has remained unclear — exactly how much of a particular bioproduct would plants need to make in order to make the process economically feasible?

Uncertain Climate Future Could Disrupt Energy Systems

Extreme weather events – such as severe drought, storms, and heat waves – have been forecast to become more commonplace and are already starting to occur. What has been less studied is the impact on energy systems and how communities can avoid costly disruptions, such as partial or total blackouts.

One Step Closer to a Fast-Charging Battery

Berkeley Lab researchers, working with a team at Brookhaven National Laboratory, have made a key discovery about the dynamic structural changes in a material called lithium titanate, putting scientists one step closer to achieving a fast-charging lithium battery. The scientists used both experimental and computational techniques to examine lithium titanate, or LTO, while it was

How We Choose: Applying ‘Decision Science’ to Transportation Behaviors

Can scientists understand human behavior enough to figure out what drives the choices you make? In fact, it’s called “decision science,” and it’s something that Anna Spurlock, a behavioral economist with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, specializes in.