|Date:||6/12/96 Record No.: 10390|
|Contact:||Todd Zdorkowski, 515-294-5640|
Ames Lab, a different kind of DOE lab, is located at Iowa State University. It started in the 1940s developing methods to purify uranium. Much of the funding comes from Energy Research/Basic Energy Sciences Office in DOE. The headcount is hard to determine, because there's such a high degree of overlap with the university and its various centers, but in round numbers figure about 400 FTEs and upwards (counting grad students). The annual budget is about $30 million. As the smallest lab in the DOE system, they produce results and win awards in disproportionate numbers, and have the lowest overhead rates of any DOE lab.
They have unique capabilities and expertise in a number of interesting areas, including magnetic materials and applications, rare earth materials (they produce most of the world's research grade supply), thermoelectrics (and TPV--thermo photovoltaics), ash characterization and use, biomass, coal cleaning, NDE , and fluidized bed combustion (FBC) operations and troubleshooting. They've got a monitor to measure carbon in ash, and an alkalinity monitor for gasifier diagnoses.
Also, some unpublished ideas for a new class of high temperature corrosion resistant coatings (needs a demo partner and a little funding). Also high strength conductors--10 times the tensile strength of Cu, at 80% of the conductivity. [Wouldn't this be interesting for transmission lines? No more temperature sag limits? Increased tower spacing? Not to mention high-speed generator rotors, and magnetizer coils, and other applications where strength is an issue?] These opportunities are virtually untapped.