Sustainability and Energy: Expert Reports

The division produces 60-70 reports per year. These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review. The experts who volunteer their time participating on study committees are vetted to make sure that the committee has the range of expertise needed to address the task, that they have a balance of perspectives, and to identify and eliminate members with conflicts of interest. All reports undergo a rigorous, independent peer review to assure that the statement of task has been addressed, that conclusions are adequately supported, and that all important issues raised by the reviewers are addressed. Thus, while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy.

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Showing results 1 - 5 of 6

Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels in the United States (2012)

Biofuels made from algae are gaining attention as a domestic source of renewable fuel. However, with current technologies, scaling up production of algal biofuels to meet even 5 percent of U.S. transportation fuel needs could create unsustainable demands for energy, water, and nutrient resources. Continued research and development could yield innovations to address these challenges, but determining if algal biofuel is a viable fuel alternativ... More >>

Report in Brief

Transforming Combustion Research through Cyberinfrastructure (2011)

Combustion has provided society with most of its energy needs for millenia, from igniting the fires of cave dwellers to propelling the rockets that traveled to the Moon. Even in the face of climate change and the increasing availability of alternative energy sources, fossil fuels will continue to be used for many decades. However, they will likely become more expensive, and pressure to minimize undesired combustion by-products (pollutants) wil... More >>

Catalysis for Energy: Fundamental Science and Long-Term Impacts of the U.S. Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences Catalysis Science Program (2009)

Catalysis, the process by which a substance (a catalyst) increases the rate of a chemical reaction, is essential to the ability to control chemical reactions, including those involved in energy transformations. Catalysis is therefore integral to current and future energy solutions, for example, developing environmentally benign energy sources such as biomass and solar energy, and developing efficient energy systems such as fuel cells. Thi... More >>

Report in Brief

Sustainability in the Chemical Industry: Grand Challenges and Research Needs - A Workshop Report (2005)

Through innovative design, creation, processing, use, and disposal of substances, the chemical industry plays a major role in advancing applications to support sustainability in a way that will allow humanity to meet current environmental, economic, and societal needs without compromising the progress and success of future generations. Based on a workshop held in February 2005 that brought together a broad cross section of disciplines an... More >>

Charting the Future of Methane Hydrate Research in the United States (2004)

Methane hydrate has become the focus of international attention because of the vast potential for human use worldwide. If methane can be produced from hydrate, a reasonable assumption given that there are no obvious technical or engineering roadblocks to commercial production, the nation's natural gas energy supply could be extended for many years to come. However, some technical and engineering challenges would have to be solved and mor... More >>