Idaho National Laboratory

Unique national and homeland security capabilities.

Mission: Lead and integrate U.S. nuclear energy research, development, demonstration and deployment efforts; ensure the nation's energy security with safe, competitive and sustainable energy systems and unique national and homeland security capabilities. 

Areas of Research: Nuclear science and engineering; nuclear reactor design, development, operations and safety; national security research and testing; development of sustainable energy and environmental solutions.


Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho

Owned By: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy

Managed By: Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC
(Battelle is the LLC member company, with Babcock & Wilcox, URS Corporation, Electric Power Research Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as integrated subcontractors)


Commercial Innovations

Oil Spill Cleanup with Centrifugal Contactors: Remediating the Environment

Discovery: Prompted by the 1988 Monongahela River diesel spill, the Idaho National Laboratory looked for new ways to adapt nuclear fuel and waste separation technology to oil and water mixtures.

Development: Costner Industries Nevada, Inc. licensed the centrifugal contactors separator in 1993 to enhance their waste separation capabilities in response to oil spills.

Deployment: In 2010, British Petroleum ordered 32 V20 units for deployment throughout the Gulf of Mexico. The V20 unit processes 200,000 gallons of oil and water mixture per day to 99.9% purity.

Biodiesel from Biowaste: Making Biodiesel Competitive

Discovery: Idaho National Laboratory used breakthrough chemistry to develop continuous-flow Supercritical Solid Catalyst (SSC) technology.

Development: SSC produced the highest American Society for Testing and Materials-quality B-100 biodiesel from waste fats, oils and greases. Licensee BioFuelBox, Inc. demonstrated the viability of SSC in a small, modular refinery in 2009, showing a capacity of 3,000 gallons per day.

Deployment: SSC could ultimately replace about 20% of petroleum diesel, reducing oil imports by 800,000 barrels per day. It has the potential to divert 10 million pounds of waste from landfills per facility annually and uses far less water than alternative processes.

Antibody Profiling: Faster Than DNA

Discovery: Idaho National Laboratory funded research to create an inexpensive alternative to DNA testing for individual identification, resulting in new antibody profiling technology.

Development: In 2007, a patent was issued and the technology was licensed to Identity Sciences, LLC (IDS), a Georgia-based global human identification company focusing on forensics and healthcare.

Deployment: IDS trademarked the product “AbP ID” and funded research, testing, marketing and all efforts to take the product from the laboratory to the international market. AbP ID is a low-cost, easy-to-use, accurate kit that quickly matches individuals for forensic purposes.