Posted By Adam Fagen,
Monday, May 09, 2011
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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued its 2011 Strategic Plan
, which outlines the
broad, cross-cutting and collaborative goals that stretch across our complex.
It is to serve as a blueprint for DOE to help address the nation’s energy,
environmental, and nuclear challenges through transformative science and
The plan outlines that DOE's mission is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental, and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. The report identifies four overarching goals:
- Catalyze the timely, material, and efficient transformation of the nation’s energy system and secure U.S. leadership in clean energy technologies.
- Maintain a vibrant U.S. effort in science and engineering as a cornerstone of our economic prosperity with clear leadership in strategic areas.
- Enhance nuclear security through defense, nonproliferation, and environmental efforts.
- Establish an operational and adaptable framework that combines the best wisdom of all Department stakeholders to maximize mission success.
Among the specific targeted outcomes is "Develop cellulosic ethanol technologies by 2012 that can facilitate mature production costs less than $2.00/gallon."
In the area of bioenergy, DOE will continue to develop biotechnology solutions for energy, the environment, and carbon sequestration, with particular emphasis on Basic science research translates into cost-effective technologies for next-generation production of biofuels.
The Department will support research in the discovery, design, and synthesis of biomimetic and bioinspired functional approaches and energy-conversion processes based on principles and biological concepts. The emphasis is the creation of robust, scalable, energy-relevant processes and systems that work with the extraordinary effectiveness of processes from the biological world. Areas of particular focus include the following:
- Understand, control, and build complex hierarchical structures by imitating nature’s self- and directed-assembly approaches.
- Design and synthesize environmentally adaptive, self-healing multicomponent systems that demonstrate energy conversion and storage capabilities found in nature.
- Create functional systems with collective properties not achievable by simply summing the individual components.
- Create biomimetic and/or bioinspired routes for the synthesis of energy-relevant materials.
- Develop science-driven tools and techniques for the characterization of biomolecular and soft materials.
Genomics-based systems biology research, agronomic strategies, and fundamental understanding of biological and chemical deconstruction of biomass are particularly important elements of these activities. Research supported in this area will have impacts beyond bioenergy, underpinning technologies such as batteries and fuel cells, catalysis, hydrogen generation and storage, and membranes for advanced separation.
The targeted outcome is to apply systems biology approaches by 2015 to create viable biofuels processes and greatly increase
(Thanks to Toby Smith, Energy Sciences Coalition)