News Release

Release Date: July 25, 2014

From Lab to Market—HEVI-Shot Helps Reduce Lead Levels in Fragile Ecosystems

Hunters and sportsmen are loading their shotguns with shells that contain environmentally friendly shot because of the metallurgical expertise of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), the business ingenuity of a private sector entrepreneur, and a productive commercialization partnership.

In the 1980s, governments began banning the use of shotgun shells containing lead because of a dramatic increase in the lead content of soil and groundwater, and an accompanying threat to fragile ecosystems. Recognizing the need for a suitable alternative, a U.S. entrepreneur reached out to the Albany Research Center (which later became a key part of NETL) to enlist the facility’s metallurgical experts in helping to develop his idea for replacing lead-laden shot.

NETL scientists and engineers, who had experience developing coatings that extended the life of mining equipment, helped evolve the idea by developing and characterizing material for a new kind of shot that uses iron-tungsten waste material in shotgun shells instead of lead. Today, an all-new company called ENVIRON-Metal Inc. markets HEVI-Shot®—shotgun shells that are used by enthusiasts throughout North America. 

Watch the video above to find out more about how NETL helped a U.S. company move its idea from the laboratory to market.

This month, NETL and other Energy Department national laboratories are showcasing ways in which technology transfer, industry partnerships, and demonstration projects ensure that public investments in science and technology have a life beyond the lab. For more information, please visit the Energy Department’s national lab webpage.