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Brookhaven Develops Clean, Sustainable Energy Alternatives

Increased Reliability

In addition to these alternative energy projects, the Laboratory is also working to improve the reliability and diversity of existing energy sources.

For instance, Brookhaven researchers are developing an advanced oil-burner system that offers increased efficiency and reduced air emissions relative to conventional burners. This concept will be used in residential appliances and is also the centerpiece of a novel thermophotovoltaic system for electric power generation.

Scientists are also researching clean liquid fuels, such as heating oil, with ultra-low sulfur and nitrogen contents, using microorganisms to upgrade oil, coal, and other petroleum products, plus developing advanced, proliferation-proof nuclear reactor designs. Work focused on energy conservation includes the development of advanced heating equipment and improved heating-distribution systems in buildings.

Brookhaven’s research to improve fuel-oil efficiency has saved approximately $6 billion in the past decade for the 10 million Americans who heat their homes and businesses with oil.

This research has also resulted in two technologies that have been patented: a fan-atomized oil burner, which is up to 10 percent more efficient than typical burners, and a flame-quality indicator, which monitors a burner’s flame for maximum efficiency.

More Information

• Funding: Offices of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy; Nuclear Energy, Science & Technology; and Fossil Energy; U.S. Department of Energy

• Patent: “Method for low temperature catalytic production of hydrogen,” United States patent no. 6,596,423, July 22, 2003

• Contact: William Horak,  or (631) 344-2627

• Web:

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