EMSL, a national scientific user facility at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, provides integrated experimental and computational resources for discovery and technological innovation in the environmental molecular sciences to support the needs of DOE and the nation.

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Getting to the root of carbon storage in deep soils

Land use changes, nutrient depletion, and drought can make plant roots grow deeper into the soil. But scientists question how that growth affects carbon in the soil. Could more roots reaching deep soil layers result in more ...

New catalyst outshines platinum for producing hydrogen

Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, packs a powerful punch. And because it contains no carbon, it produces only water when used as a fuel. But on Earth, hydrogen most often exists in combination with other ...

Team solves decade-old mystery in chemical transformations

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have solved a mystery for a chemical reaction essential for fuel and fertilizer production. The so-called water-gas shift reaction forms hydrogen fuel and carbon ...

Better 'housekeeping' in wood-decomposing fungi

Scientists hope to harness fungi that decompose the most abundant type of biomass in wood, lignocellulose. Lignocellulose could be used to create the building-blocks of polymers for bioproducts. The key to understanding how ...

Drought spells changes for soil microbes

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Kansas State University found that soil drying significantly affected the structure and function of soil microbial communities.

Setting the stage for fuel-efficient fertilizer

Ammonia, the primary ingredient in nitrogen-based fertilizers, has helped feed the world since World War I. But making ammonia at an industrial scale takes a lot of energy, and it accounts for more than one percent of the ...

Just how resilient are biofilms?

Biofilms hold promise for generating electricity and removing contamination from groundwater, but they also threaten many industrial processes and human health. As the environment changes in which these biofilms thrive, it ...

The influence of microbes on soil respiration

Millions of microbes living in the soil could influence how soils respond to temperature changes. They also influence the amount of carbon dioxide soils give off or respire. Yet scientists rarely consider these microbes when ...

Scientists discover approach to activate inert gases

Inert gases like argon typically do not form chemical bonds except under extreme conditions, such as the icy cold of outer space. As shared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an international team of ...

Determining traits from genes

Advanced technologies allow scientists to decipher information about genes faster and more accurately than ever before. But bridging the gap between the genome and how it will be expressed has proven challenging. Scientists ...

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