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Research for secure, sustainable energy

Americans consume more energy per person than any other country in the world. At PNNL, we believe there can be no energy solutions without associated environmental solutions. From grid modernization and building controls to providing scientifically-defensible solutions for legacy waste, our researchers are helping deliver secure, sustainable energy.


  • Simulations Show How Atoms Behave Inside Self-Healing Cement

    Simulations Show How Atoms Behave Inside Self-Healing Cement

    A PNNL team of computational scientists created a simulation model complex enough to represent all the salient features of PNNL's self-healing cement in both a slurry and in a cured state. This model helps explain how the self-healing cement works and shows that the cement may perform better than originally thought. This self-healing cement has the potential to save millions of dollars in repair costs at geothermal energy and oil and gas sites.

  • PNNL to Provide Capabilities, Expertise for Four LightMAT Projects

    PNNL to Provide Capabilities, Expertise for Four LightMAT Projects

    Access to the Department of Energy's national laboratory capabilities will further the development of lightweight materials technologies, constituting another step towards meeting Vehicle Technologies Office program objectives. Five American-based organizations will receive $2.25M in technical assistance from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  • Getting the Inside Out: Waste Retrieval Approach Shows Promise

    Getting the Inside Out: Waste Retrieval Approach Shows Promise

    An improved mechanical arm does a better job of vacuuming up hardened material in Hanford Site waste tanks, tests show.

  • StimuFrac™: “Green” Fracking Fluid Can Be Used Virtually Anywhere

    StimuFrac™: "Green" Fracking Fluid Can Be Used Virtually Anywhere

    A PNNL-developed "green" fracking fluid, called StimuFrac™, consistently outperforms conventional methods of hydraulic fracturing and is feasible at various locations world-wide. The safe, non-toxic fluid could allow geothermal and oil and gas developers to reduce operating costs by up to 60 percent, while achieving up to 10,000 times higher permeability rates compared to conventional fracturing methods.

  • Jud Virden

    Jud Virden "Building" Interest with Congressional Committee

    To achieve building efficiency goals, the nation must continue to close gaps in specific science and technology areas. This was a key message that Jud Virden, PNNL's Associate Laboratory Director for Energy & Environment, delivered to members of Congress on October 31 in Washington, D.C.

  • Molly Grear

    Grear named to Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy List

    PNNL Ph.D. intern Molly Grear named number 6 on Forbes Magazine's 30 Under 30 in Energy 2018.

  • Radha Motkuri

    Material Chemistry Researcher Joins Editorial Board

    Research scientist Radha Motkuri was invited to serve a three-year appointment on the editorial board of Inorganica Chimica Acta. Motkuri will help oversee manuscripts in four areas of research: metal-organic frameworks, zeolites, sorption and catalysis. He also will help maintain and improve the scientific journal's quality and standards by monitoring the editorial policy and the quality of papers published.

Core Research Areas

We are organized into core research areas that align with customers' mission needs.

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas

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