Albany Research Center
The Albany Research Center is a U.S. Department of Energy materials research laboratory located in Albany, Oregon. Researchers address fundamental mechanisms and processes; melt, cast and fabricate up to one ton of materials; completely characterize the chemical and physical properties of materials; and deal with the waste and by-products of materials processes. For more than half a century, the Center has established recognized expertise and capabilities in wear and corrosion, melting and casting, and in materials Development.
The Albany Research Center was established on June 2, 1942, as part of the U.S. Bureau of Mines. Its purpose was twofold: (1) to find methods for using the abundant low-grade resources of the area, and (2) to develop new metallurgical processes using electrical energy. It was known then as the Northwest Electro-development Laboratory. The 42-acre campus of the recently vacated Albany College was chosen to house the research facilities.
During the early years, one of the Albany Research Center's landmark achievements was a process for producing zirconium. Dr. William J. Kroll, an eminent scientist from Luxembourg, played a major role in formulating the research program at the Albany Research Center. It was his work on the lesser known reactive metals that led to the birth of both the titanium and zirconium industries, which employ processes that bear his name. In 1948, zirconium was chosen for use in the reactor of the first nuclear-powered submarine, the Nautilus. The center produced the metal for the submarine in collaboration with the U.S. Navy and the Atomic Energy Commission.
In 1985, the Center was named an historical landmark by the American Society for Metals.
In 1995, Congress closed the U.S. Bureau of Mines, but the Materials Partnership Program at the Albany Research Center was transferred into the Office of Fossil Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy.
On November 27, 2005, the Center joined the agency's national laboratory complex as the newest branch of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). We are now known as NETL-Albany.
NETL continues its legacy of making unique contributions to materials science. Some of the recent contributions include: new protection strategies for the protection of the Nation's bridges (infrastructure); new protection strategies for thermocouples and refractories used in gasifiers, carbon dioxide sequestration by mineral carbonation, micro-reactors for reforming and/or continuous reforming and separation of hydrogen for fuel cells, and oxidation/sulfidation alloys for fuel cells, gasifiers, super and ultra-supercritical power plants.
Albany Research Center
U.S. Department of Energy
1450 Queen Ave. SW
Albany, OR 97321-2198