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The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
  • 2013-01-15 15:35:00
  • Article ID: 598103

Expert Can Offer Insight on Alternative Energy Sources

Sherry Squires, Boise State University Communications, 208-425-1563, ssquires@boisestate.edu

U.S. states, as well as countries around the world, must grapple with a number of questions when looking at alternative power generation sources. Especially important are impacts on the economy and whether the domestic workforce, industry and government will be capable of operating, regulating and servicing nuclear power plants.

Dr. David Solan, director of the Energy Policy Institute at Boise State University, is an expert in energy issues. He is the Principal Investigator for more than $3 million in collaborative research grants and contracts from the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the Western Governors’ Association, the State of Idaho, and the Idaho National Laboratory, among others.

Solan recently has been invited to head up a Statistical Working Group for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The group has been tasked with developing a prototype decision support tool for countries evaluating their power generation options.

“Countries considering new electric power generation infrastructure need to consider a wide variety of factors,” Solan said, including population, public support, the amount of generation needed, climate and geography. The tool Solan and his team are working on will help individual countries make these determinations and ultimately make comparisons to other generation choices, such as renewables and fossil fuels.

Dr. Solan has worked as a senior advisor at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on management and energy issues. He also served as an energy policy specialist on a committee and directed a legislative office in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Scientists Program Yeast to Turn Plant Sugars into Biodiesel

Redox metabolism was engineered in Yarrowia lipolytica to increase the availability of reducing molecules needed for lipid production.

Soils Could Release Much More Carbon than Expected as Climate Warms

Deeper soil layers are more sensitive to warming than previously thought.

3-D Models Help Scientists Gauge Flood Impact

Using one of the world's most powerful supercomputers--Titan, the 27-petaflop Cray XK7 at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)--a University of Iowa team performed one of the first highly resolved, 3-D, volume-of-fluid Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations of a dam break in a natural environment. The simulation allowed the team to map precise water levels for actual flood events over time.

Titan Simulations Show Importance of Close 2-Way Coupling Between Human and Earth Systems

A new integrated climate model developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other institutions is designed to reduce uncertainties in future climate predictions as it bridges Earth systems with energy and economic models and large-scale human impact data.

Weaving a Fermented Path to Nylons

Microbial enzymes create precursors of nylon while avoiding harsh chemicals and energy-demanding heat.

India's EV Drive Will Boost Power Utilities, Increase Energy Security

India is pushing hard to electrify its automobile market, aiming to sell only electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030. But what impact will that shift have on the country's utilities and the grid? A new report by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that the prospective EV expansion will deliver economic benefits, help integrate renewable energy, and significantly reduce imports of foreign oil.

Studying Argon Gas Trapped in Two-Dimensional Array of Tiny "Cages"

For the first time, scientists have trapped a noble gas in a two-dimensional porous structure at room temperature. This achievement will enable detailed studies of individual gas atoms in confinement--research that could inform the design of new materials for gas separation and nuclear waste remediation.

Mica Provides Clue to How Water Transports Minerals

In a new study from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Delaware, chemists have been able to look at the interface between water and muscovite mica, a flat mineral commonly found in granite, soils and many sediments. In particular, the researchers looked at the capture and release of rubidium - a metal closely related to but more easily singled out than common elements like potassium and sodium.

Unraveling the Molecular Complexity of Cellular Machines and Environmental Processes

State-of-the-art mass spectrometer delivers unprecedented capability to scientists.


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PNNL Scientist Ruby Leung Appointed a Battelle Fellow

Ruby Leung of the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been named a Battelle Fellow -- the highest recognition from Battelle for leadership and accomplishment in science. She is one of eight Battelle fellows at PNNL.

Gu and Paranthaman Named ORNL Corporate Fellows

Researchers Baohua Gu and Parans Paranthaman have been named Corporate Fellows of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

DOE Funds Center for Bioenergy Innovation at ORNL to Accelerate Biofuels, Bioproducts Research

The DOE has announced funding for new research centers to accelerate the development of specialty plants and processes for a new generation of biofuels and bioproducts.

Grant Focuses on 'Hydrogen Sponge' for Use in Fuel-Cell Vehicles

Finding practical hydrogen storage technologies for vehicles powered by fuel cells is the focus of a $682,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, awarded to Mike Chung, professor of materials science and engineering, Penn State.

Engineers Win Energy Department Grants to Help Develop a Reliable, Resilient Power Grid

Two Iowa State electrical engineers have won Energy Department grants to help improve the country's power grid. The projects' goals include addressing the challenges of adding high levels of intermittent power sources to the grid, mainly wind and solar power.

Heart of Matter Studies Resonate with Award Winner

Raul Briceno was presented with the 2017 Kenneth G. Wilson Award for Excellence in Lattice Field Theory on June 22. The award citation noted his "groundbreaking contributions to the study of resonances using lattice QCD."

Computing Takes the Prize

It's not unusual for anyone to shop online at Amazon, but one young scientist went to the website looking for more than a favorite book. University of Connecticut Postdoctoral Researcher Nobuo Sato plans to conduct theoretical research in nuclear physics using the online retailer's computing services, and he has been awarded the 2017 JSA Postdoctoral Research Grant to do it.

New Mexico Firm Uses Motion of the Ocean to Bring Fresh Water to Coastal Communities

Working with scientists at Sandia National Laboratories through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program, a Santa Fe company has produced a pump system that uses wave power to send pressurized seawater onto shore where it is desalinated without the use of external energy.

Yi Cui Named Blavatnik National Laureate

Pioneering nanoscientist Yi Cui, professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University and of photon science at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has been named a 2017 Blavatnik National Laureate. The $250,000 award recognizes the most promising researchers age 42 and younger at top U.S. academic and research institutions.

Protein Data Takes Significant Step Forward in Medicine

Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Oregon Health & Science University are part of a nationwide effort to learn more about the role of proteins in cancer biology and to use that information to benefit cancer patients.


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Scientists Program Yeast to Turn Plant Sugars into Biodiesel

Redox metabolism was engineered in Yarrowia lipolytica to increase the availability of reducing molecules needed for lipid production.

Soils Could Release Much More Carbon than Expected as Climate Warms

Deeper soil layers are more sensitive to warming than previously thought.

Weaving a Fermented Path to Nylons

Microbial enzymes create precursors of nylon while avoiding harsh chemicals and energy-demanding heat.

Loosening of Lignocellulose: Switchgrass and Success in Sugar Release

Using a genetically modified line of switchgrass, scientists reduced plant cell wall recalcitrance while increasing sugar release over three generations.

Extending the Life of Lithium-Ion Batteries

Scientists offer new insights into how the source of electrons in batteries fails.

Unraveling the Molecular Complexity of Cellular Machines and Environmental Processes

State-of-the-art mass spectrometer delivers unprecedented capability to scientists.

Speeding Up Catalysts for Energy Storage

Researchers develop the fastest synthetic catalyst for producing hydrogen gas, potentially leading to a new environmentally friendly, affordable fuel.

Watching Neutrons Flow

Like water, neutrons seek their own level, and watching how they flow may teach us about how the chemical elements were made.

FIONA to Take on the Periodic Table's Heavyweights

FIONA (For the Identification Of Nuclide A) is a newly installed device designed to measure the mass numbers of individual atoms of heavy and superheavy elements. FIONA will let researchers learn about the shape and structure of heavy nuclei, guide the search for new elements, and offer better measurements for nuclear fission and related processes.

Laser Stripping Powers Protons

Researchers demonstrate a new technique that could lead to significantly higher power proton beams to answer tough scientific questions.


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