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/
A team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has discovered a way to dramatically increase the selectivity and binding strength of crown ethers by incorporating them within a rigid framework of graphene. Strong, specific electrostatic binding of crown ethers may advance sensors, chemical separations, nuclear-waste cleanup, extraction of metals from ores, purification and recycling of rare-earth elements, water purification, biotechnology, energy production in durable lithium-ion batteries, catalysis, medicine and data storage.
Turbulent combustion simulations, used in the design of more fuel-efficient combustion systems, have gotten their own efficiency boost, thanks to researchers from Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division. They developed new algorithmic features that streamline turbulent flame simulations, which are commonly used in the design of combustion systems such as diesel engines; after testing the enhanced code on NERSC supercomputers, they were able to achieve dramatic improvements in simulation times, which will help reduce the time -- and thus the cost -- of designing new engines.
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.