American Chemical Society videos focus on DOE quest for new energy sources

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2011 — Two new American Chemical Society (ACS) videos illustrate how the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Frontier Research Centers are speeding the development of critically-needed new sources of energy by linking top scientists in multiple disciplines.

The ACS Voices of Research videos feature scientists from the University of Virginia and the University of Maryland explaining their current efforts and describing how the DOE Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) are helping.

In one episode, Brent Gunnoe, Ph.D., and colleagues at the DOE Center for Catalytic Hydrocarbon Functionalization (CCHF) at the University of Virginia are pioneering ways to transform methane, a key component of natural gas, into new fuel sources. “It’s the diverse expertise that allows this science to move forward in a rapid fashion, in a more creative fashion than would be possible without EFRC funding,” Gunnoe explains. He notes that 40 researchers from 10 institutions took part in his project.

In another video, Gary Rubloff, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Maryland Nanostructures of Electrical Energy Storage (NEES) EFRC, explains how they use nanotechnology to develop batteries and other devices that store more energy. Eighteen scientists from six institutions worked on the project. “If we didn’t have the DOE Energy Frontier Research Center as the basis for financial support and, perhaps more importantly, intellectual support, we wouldn’t be able to bring these ideas together,” Rubloff says.

ACS developed Voices of Research to enable individual researchers to explain their work on today’s most cutting-edge scientific challenges, and to show how it has the potential for improving lives today and for future generations. The ACS Office of Public Affairs produces the series.