Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)


FLC Region

Security Lab



902 Battelle Blvd.
P.O. Box 999
Richland, WA 99352
United States

Laboratory Representative


Among the national laboratories, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)-operated by Battelle for more than 40 years has a rich history of matching world-leading scientific solutions to marketplace needs. As one of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) ten national laboratories, managed by DOE's Office of Science, PNNL performs interdisciplinary research for other DOE offices as well as government agencies, universities, and industry to deliver breakthrough science and technology to meet today's key national needs.

Located in Richland, Wash., the Laboratory has approximately 4,200 staff members and a business volume of nearly $900 million. The William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a DOE Office of Science national scientific user facility, is located on PNNL's Richland campus. PNNL operates a marine research facility in Sequim, Wash., and has satellite offices in Seattle and Tacoma, Wash.; Portland, Ore.; and Washington, D.C.

Battelle has operated PNNL for DOE and its predecessors since 1965. A unique feature of Battelle's contract with DOE is the private research to be conducted using government facilities.


PNNL's mission is to deliver leadership and advancements in science, energy, national security and the environment for the benefit of the U.S. Department of Energy and the nation. More specifically, the Laboratory focuses on research that:

  • Strengthens U.S. scientific foundations for innovation
  • Increases U.S. energy capacity and reduces dependence on imported oil
  • Prevents and counters terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
  • Reduces the environmental effects of human activities and creates sustainable systems.

Technology Disciplines

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Apparatus for thermal swing adsorption and thermally-enhanced pressure swing adsorption
Automated Centrifugal Chiller Diagnostician
Automated fluid analysis apparatus and techniques
Autonomous sensor fish to support advanced hydropower development
Binary Cultivation in Photobioreactors
Bonded Compliant Seal (BCS)
Compositions and methods for treating nuclear fuel
Corona method and apparatus for altering carbon containing compounds
Decision Support for Operations and Maintenance (DSOM)


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Applied Process Engineering Laboratory (APEL)
Aquatic Research Laboratory (ARL)
Aquatic Research Laboratory (ARL)
Atmospheric Measurements Laboratory (AML)
Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research (ARM)
Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory (BSEL)
Computational Science Facility (CSF)
Computational Science Facility (CSF)
Computational Science Facility (CSF)
Computational Science Facility (CSF)



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Getting a new technology business started or advancing a new product in the marketplace can be challenging. To get off the ground, you often need additional funding sources to help sustain the business until the front door opens.

PNNL's EDO can be a resource for locating funding opportunities. We can help you locate government financing resources or point you to someone who can support your search for private capital.

-Below is a link that will redirect you to available funding opportunities.

Open to current or recent graduate students at the Masters, Doctoral or Post-Doctoral level in relevant STEM fields (including those who have received the graduate degree within the past three years), the Rose Award provides for an academic year residency at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) including a three-week orientation seminar in Washington, D.C., conducted by the American Councils for International Education in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Rose Education Award commemorates the legacy of Robert Rose, founder of the U.S. Fuel Cell Council, the national trade association for fuel cell technologies in the U. S., which became the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association. Rose is well-known worldwide for his achievements in advancing hydrogen and fuel cell systems and paving the way for the U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Program over two decades ago.

Program Goals and Organizations. Established in 2018 by the American Councils for International Education in cooperation with Breakthrough Technologies Institute/Rose Institute for Strategic Energy (BTI/RISE) and Battelle Memorial Institute, Pacific Northwest Division (Battelle), operator of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the Rose Education Award was created to expand opportunities for graduate students, recent graduates, and early-career professionals from the U.S. and around the world to gain firsthand experience studying and working with leading US specialists in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies at PNNL.

Eligibility. The Rose Award will be provided annually or biannually on a competitive basis to US or international graduate students in a relevant STEM field at the M.A. and Ph.D. level and/or to recent graduates who are currently engaged in a relevant area of STEM study or research.

Initial Round of Awards: For the 2019-2020 academic year, awards will be open to qualified applicants with U.S. citizenship or permanent residency in the United States. While future awards may focus on broader clean energy topics, the first round will focus on hydrogen safety, a key enabler for the widespread deployment and successful commercial viability of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

Applications from candidates of traditionally under-represented groups in the STEM fields are particularly encouraged.

Placement. Rose Award recipients are expected to remain in residence at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington, for a period of 8/9 months following an initial three-week introductory seminar organized in cooperation with the US Department of Energy in Washington, D. C. There is currently no financial provision for the support of dependents of Rose Award recipients.

Terms of Rose Education Awards: Rose Awardees will receive a stipend of $25,000 to $35,000, for the full program, payable in monthly installments for the duration of the program, health insurance, round-trip travel from their home to Washington, D.C., and then to Richland (WA), as well as a professional development subsidy for attendance at one professional conferences. Additionally, American Councils program staff will provide necessary logistical and other support for Awardees over the course of their internship, including an orientation conference at the start of the program.

Application Requirements: The competition for the Rose Award is open and merit-based.

  • A completed online application form:
  • Personal statement of academic and professional interest and relevance to goals and resources of PNNL and the Rose Award (maximum 500 words)
  • Updated curriculum vitae or resume
  • Citizenship (Photocopy of ID page of passport or proof of permanent residency)
  • Two letters of recommendation (at least one from a current or recent faculty member)
  • Applicants for the Rose Award must have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.0 or equivalent and submit official transcripts of all college- and university-level coursework from the past five years.

Letters of recommenders are asked to comment on the candidate’s qualifications, including technical skills as well as communication skills (both oral and writing skills) for undertaking the proposed program at this time.

Participants must have the necessary academic background for participating in substantial project work at PNNL. In addition, as the selected candidates will work on government funded research at PNNL, a DOE owned facility, the selected candidates will be required to comply with DOE requirements for access to PNNL and access to information generated at PNNL. Continued participation in the program will be contingent upon meeting the access requirements in effect.

All applications will receive consideration without regard to any factor such as race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, marital status, family responsibilities, veteran status, political affiliation, or disability.

Your application must be submitted to Adrian Erlinger, Program Manager ([email protected]) in the order given by June 21, 2019 at 11:59 PM EST. Any documents that are not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Incomplete applications will not be considered.


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Low-cost, large-scale energy storage is a priority not only for integrating renewable energy like wind and solar into the electrical grid but also to improve the reliability of the nation’s power grid. Experts consider a type of battery called redox flow batteries the most promising option; however, operational challenges and high cost have impeded widespread adoption.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s (PNNL) redox flow battery technology increased the batteries’ energy density by 70 percent, expanded the operational temperature range by 80 percent, and reduced the overall system cost by nearly 40 percent for an 8-hour energy storage system.

PNNL negotiated licenses with five commercial partners, an achievement that won a national Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer in 2013 and a Deals of Distinction Award from the Licensing Executives Society the same year. One of the licensees, UniEnergy, launched its first product in 2014. At a press conference featuring UniEnergy’s and utilities’ roles in Washington State’s Clean Energy Fund, Governor Jay Inslee called the PNNL-developed battery system “world-class technology that is going to put renewable energy to work.” UniEnergy has already created 45 jobs.

DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability funded the research and development for the advanced battery. UniEnergy benefitted from PNNL’s Technology Assistance Program, which provided a week of technical assistance at no cost to the company. Another licensee, Aartha USA, is collaborating directly with PNNL to customize the technology for its use.

Finding Disease Biomarkers for Early Diagnosis and Treatment

Identifying molecules that indicate disease, known as biomarkers, promises to significantly improve human health through early diagnosis and customized treatment. However, improved research instruments are needed to separate and identify specific molecules that make up these biomarkers.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) developed an instrument that can process these complex samples rapidly and accurately, detecting rare yet important molecules for early disease diagnosis. This instrument combines two complementary analysis techniques in one instrument. It is called CoMet, short for Combined Orthogonal Mobility and Mass Evaluation Technology. No other single instrument on the market can do what CoMet does. It won an R&D 100 award from R&D Magazine in 2013.

PNNL and Agilent Technologies, a California-based measurement systems company with customers in more than 100 countries, collaborated to develop, engineer, and test the technology and validate its market need and value. In 2013, Agilent licensed the CoMet technology. The company introduced the instrument to its customers at the American Society for Mass Spectrometry conference in 2013 and began taking orders on its commercial model the following year.

Neighboring power organizations exchange electric power to keep the electricity grid operating as efficiently and reliably as possible. Utilities rely on past trends to predict how much power they’ll need to generate in the next few minutes to hours. But accurate forecasting is challenging because it can be affected by weather, renewable energy fluctuations, and the instability of neighboring power organizations. With little time for corrective action, incorrect forecasts can raise operational costs and affect stability of the regional power market. Put simply, the ability to forecast accurately is crucial for the efficiency and safety of the power grid.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) developed a software tool that makes much more accurate predictions than what most utilities are using now. To address the uncertainty associated with forecasting tasks, the software combines forecasts from multiple scenarios into one that is more reliable and accurate. This way, utilities can operate closer to the mark, improving grid reliability and efficiency, while minimizing penalties.

It was not long before this innovative forecasting method caught the attention of a heavy hitter in the industry. PJM Interconnection, of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, is the largest grid operator in North America, serving over 61 million people. PJM licensed the software in 2013. When PNNL evaluated the software on PJM’s data, the software reduced forecast errors by up to 48 percent, which PNNL estimated could save PJM’s customers about $75M annually. These impressive results demonstrate the tremendous potential of this forecasting method to reduce the price volatility in the nation’s power market.

This work was supported by PNNL’s Lab-Directed Research and Development internal funds. Under an Agreement for Commercializing Technology, PJM funded PNNL to customize the software for PJM’s operating environment.

Complex scientific instruments called mass spectrometers measure the amount of ions, tiny portions of molecules, in a sample by pushing the ions through the instrument like a swift-flowing stream. These measurements can determine the presence of certain types of substances, such as the amount of harmful chemicals in drinking water or a specific type of protein in a person’s blood that might indicate cancer. Unfortunately, measurements can be hindered, because a large portion of that free-flowing stream of ions is lost while they move from the ion source into the detector for measurement. Because of these ion losses, some substances cannot be detected at all.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s (PNNL’s) electrodynamic ion funnel significantly improves the measurement and detection capabilities of mass spectrometers by enabling more ions in a substance to reach the detector. By focusing the ions with the funnel, scientists can get detection rates that are, on average, five to ten times better than without the funnel. This means scientists can measure smaller quantities of a substance, and even “see” substances that were previously undetectable. Most importantly, scientists are gaining new insights about the makeup of materials that are critically important in fields such as medicine and environmental science.

Four manufacturers of mass spectrometers currently hold active license agreements with PNNL: Bruker Daltonics, Billerica, Massachusetts, licensed in 2003; Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, Massachusetts, 2009; Agilent Technologies, Inc., Santa Clara, California, 2010; and MassTech, Columbia, Maryland, 2011. All except MassTech are selling products that incorporate the ion funnel, with sales estimated at $85M annually.

The ion funnel was developed through funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Laboratory Technology Research Program, DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research, and National Institutes of Health. To demonstrate the technology to interested manufacturers, PNNL staff used a small amount of internal technology maturation funds obtained from the Laboratory’s licensing income.

Detecting and measuring even the smallest amounts of chemicals is important for protecting people from environmental toxins, workplace chemical exposures, and other hazards. Laser-based sensing instruments are powerful tools to detect and measure such chemical mixtures in gas form. However, the electrical current needed to drive these laser systems frequently introduces noise or jitter. Even slight fluctuations in the laser’s wavelength and intensity can affect an instrument’s detection ability.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) developed an ultra-low-noise power supply for driving quantum cascade lasers, which are often used in laser-based sensing instruments. The electronic noise reduction from using this new power supply enables up to ten times the detection capability of other power sources, “the lowest current noise density of any commercially available driver,” according to manufacturer Wavelength Electronics.

A PNNL researcher approached Wavelength Electronics, a woman-owned small business in Bozeman, Montana, which develops electronic components for laser systems. Wavelength wanted to see it demonstrated in one of its customer’s laser sensing systems: Aerodyne Research, in Massachusetts. Impressed by the results, Wavelength licensed the technology and began selling commercial prototypes in 2009. Wavelength had never previously worked with a DOE laboratory, and initially was apprehensive about engaging with an organization that it perceived as being large and bureaucratic. But when PNNL responded rapidly to Wavelength’s needs, it took only 10 months to demonstrate and commercialize the technology. Now, Wavelength is supplying low-noise current controllers to government and commercial entities for activities ranging from methane monitoring during fracking to disease detection. This product is generating several hundred thousand dollars in annual sales for Wavelength. PNNL and Wavelength won a Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for the commercialization in 2011.

Funding to develop the laser system and the low-noise power supply came from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Nonproliferation Security Administration. In addition, the research benefited from Laboratory Directed Research and Development internal funds and the technology transfer from PNNL’s Technology Assistance Program, which provided technical expertise for a limited time at no cost to Wavelength.



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