DOE research touches virtually every aspect of energy resources,
production, conversion, efficiency, and waste mitigation. A central goal is to
find ways to minimize the use of fossil fuels and maximize the use and
efficiency of renewable energy sources such as water; the sun; wind; ocean
waves, tides, and thermal energy; the earth’s heat; and biomass resources for
biofuels (www.eere.energy.gov). DOE also
seeks to generate, transmit, and use electricity and other energy sources much
more efficiently and with higher capacity; explore the use of hydrogen in fuel
and energy applications; develop clean coal technologies; optimize nuclear
energy plants, and harness fusion as a completely new, economically and
environmentally attractive energy source. (http://science.energy.gov/fes/
Biomass holds great promise as a petroleum replacement, but unlocking its true potential remains a puzzle. A group of researchers at Iowa State University and the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory hope to develop the pieces of that puzzle to create a clearer picture of what takes place within a plant and how that applies to its downstream uses as biomass.
The Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.