Skip to main content

About Brookhaven National Laboratory

"Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is working to solve grand challenges in energy, the origins of matter, computing and national security. We have a strong focus within energy on materials for the electric grid and geothermal systems, energy storage, and photovoltaics, as well as fuel cells catalysts and renewable resource planning.

Located on Long Island in New York State, Brookhaven Lab is a significant source of scientific and engineering development for the state and the Northeast United States. We are also a significant employer and regional economic driver, accounting for more than $678M in economic activity and 5000+ jobs."


Mitigating Degradation in High-Performance Geothermal Systems

Brookhaven Lab can address challenges in three critical areas affecting performance of geothermal energy systems including changes in geology and hydrology, equipment performance degradation due to geochemistry and new materials development for geothermal wells and power plant systems.

Fouling in geothermal wells or power plants from mineral deposition or corrosion can have significant effects on system efficiency. Through geochemical modeling and hydrothermal testing, BNL scientists can both establish expected performance and evaluate the economic value of byproducts extracted from geothermal fluids.

Ensuring the structural integrity and reducing leakage in geothermal wells and associated plant equipment is critical for profitable and reliable geothermal energy systems operations. Brookhaven Lab has a long history in developing new sealant and adhesive materials that address these challenges. A dedicated cements development laboratory, plus advanced test and evaluation capabilities, have allowed BNL researchers to design new light-weight materials and establish well operating practices and standards that address stresses from thermal shock and degradation due to corrosion.

Further into the plant, fluids circulating through heat exchangers and other components can experience changes in chemical composition. The result is severe performance deterioration due to scaling or phase separation. Using BNL-developed geochemical modeling these effects can be predicted and mitigation approaches developed, including selection of specialty materials for equipment construction.

Brookhaven Lab has experience both supporting a client's evaluation and testing and licensing technology for product development. Several currently-available commercial products are based on these BNL-developed technologies.


Brookhaven Lab operates several energy-focused state-of-the-art scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Through partnership with more than 3000 annual visiting scientists and industry partners we create, characterize, understand, and exploit nanomaterials under real working conditions to address national energy needs.

The National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) is one of the most advanced tools for discovery-class science that ultimately will enhance national and energy security and help drive abundant, safe, and clean energy technologies. NSLS-II offers scientists from academia and industry the tools to make major advances in materials that will enable new energy technologies such as nanocatalyst-based fuel cells, solar energy, high temperature superconductors, electrical storage systems, and more.

The Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) explores unique material properties and nanoscale processes. The CFN is a user-oriented research center whose mission is to be an open facility for the nanoscience research community and advance nanoscience in a way that address the nation's energy challenges. CFN hosts a broad range of nanoscience research in such diverse fields as efficient catalysts, fuel cell chemistries and architectures, and photovoltaic components.

The Northeast Solar Energy Research Center (NSERC) being built on-site will serve as a solar energy research and test facility. It will include laboratories for standardized testing, a solar PV research array for field testing existing or innovative new technologies under actual northeastern weather conditions, and access to data from the 32-MW Long Island Solar Farm located at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Additional Information

Photo of large metal tubes above ground and a power station connected to the tubes. There is mountains, trees, and a blue sky with clouds in the background.