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Argonne National Laboratory

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Argonne Impacts State by State

Argonne’s collaborations in Texas and across the United States have led to groundbreaking discoveries and development of new technologies that help meet the nation’s needs for sustainable energy, economic prosperity, and security.

State-by-State Highlights: Texas

Argonne helps AT&T safeguard its infrastructure

The high-resolution forecasting insights provided by Argonne climate and infrastructure scientists helped AT&T data scientists develop a tool that can help anticipate the potential impacts of climate change on AT&T’s network infrastructure and business operations 30 years into the future. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock/Cire Notrevo.)

Dallas, Texas-based AT&T turned to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory to use its science at scale capabilities and generate hyperlocalized climate projections to help it better safeguard its infrastructure against extreme weather. It also helped the company to make more informed decisions about future infrastructure after natural disasters cost the telecommunications giant about $847 million from 2016 to 2019, including $626 million in 2017 alone.

The company piloted its work with Argonne in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, where it was hardest hit with hurricanes, flooding and other extreme weather. Utilizing rare supercomputing resources and cutting-edge modeling techniques, Argonne climate scientists delivered neighborhood-level projections 30 years into the future. AT&T overlaid Argonne’s climate projection maps with maps of AT&T’s infrastructure to identify vulnerabilities and areas that are attractive for future infrastructure. AT&T then made Argonne’s forecasting insights available to universities, municipalities and others for their own climate risk analyses to benefit communities.

Texas researchers use Argonne facilities to target bacterium

(Image by Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock)

Dallas researchers from Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center made a pivotal discovery with a pathogenic bacteria found in shellfish that is used to sense when they are in the human gut, where they release toxins that cause food poisoning.

The researchers used the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a DOE Office of Science user facility at Argonne National Laboratory, to study Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a globally spread bacterium that contaminates shellfish in warm saltwater, a leading cause of acute gastroenteritis. When humans eat raw or undercooked shellfish contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus, the bacteria use bile salts as a signal to release toxins. Until now, the mechanism that those pathogens use had remained unknown. Future experiments will aim to understand how binding of bile salt by this protein complex induces the release of toxins.

Greyhorse, Argonne, collaborate on pivotal technology to reduce hydrocarbons inside wells

(Image by TebNad/Shutterstock)

Houston-based Greyhorse Engineering and Technology is collaborating with DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory on a pivotal new technology that could improve the recovery of oil and natural gas from shale wells located across the United States. The Argonne-patented technology is a treatment that would be used in conjunction with the industry’s current completion practices. Increasing recovery from each well is analogous to farmers obtaining a greater crop yield from their land. This improves the economics for both the operators and farmers and for the consumers.

The technology is inserted deep inside the well during the completion stage of the well, where it creates a chemical reaction that literally chops up the hydrocarbons. The technology then remains inside the well while converting previously solid materials into liquids that otherwise would have been unavailable. The technology is continuing to be developed for use across America in about three years. The research received funding from the Technology Commercialization Fund, managed by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions.