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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/)
DOE supports fundamental research in materials sciences and engineering, chemistry, geosciences, and molecular biosciences as they relate to energy (www.sc.doe.gov/production/bes/BES.html). Through its diversified portfolio, system of laboratory and university programs, DOE promotes interdisciplinary research and the integration of basic and applied science. Research in materials sciences and engineering, for example, produces toughened ceramics and a host of other applications requiring lightweight, high-temperature materials. Research in chemistry leads to efficient combustion systems with reduced emissions, and research into the molecular and biochemical nature of plant growth and microbial communities aids the development of renewable biomass resources and possibly entirely new energy sources.