Lab Spotlight

ORNL’s Air Leak Detection System

ORNL Vitamin B2

A novel, nontoxic fluorescent air leak detection system can find cracks in walls and roofs in existing and new buildings. In laboratory experiments, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers Diana Hun and Brenda Smith used an off-the-shelf humidifier to release a water-based solution of commercially available riboflavin, or Vitamin B2, supplement against a plywood wall with cracks. When the room was pressurized, tiny vitamin droplets were pulled to the leak points, where they accumulated. The vitamins remained invisible unless revealed under ultraviolet light when they fluoresced. The ORNL-developed system could be used in other spaces such as storage containers. 

ORNL provides exceptional researchers with distinctive equipment and unique facilities to solve some of the nation’s most compelling challenges. As the largest U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) open science laboratory, ORNL’s mission is to deliver scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs that will accelerate the development and deployment of solutions in clean energy and global security while creating economic opportunities for the nation.

Lab Spotlight