Employees from around the country were honored at the 2011 Sustainability Awards last week for driving initiatives that reduce the Energy Department’s use of energy, water and paper, cut down on its waste, and make our buildings and vehicles more efficient.
For many, a barrel of oil is almost synonymous with its most prominent product, gasoline. While almost 40% of a barrel of oil is used to produce gasoline, the rest is used to produce a host of products including jet fuel and plastics and many industrial chemicals. As the United States works to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, we must recognize the complexity of that dependence and work to replace the whole barrel.
In the U.S., businesses tend to invest in research that will pay off in the short term. National laboratories are filling a gap by conducting the essential research that will change the game 10 to 20 years down the road. Learn more about how years of conducting advanced research in both the private and public sectors led to battery technology that made electric cars possible.
The Solar Village has been open to the public on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park for seven days now, which means the 2011 Solar Decathlon is fully underway. But the 19 teams of students competing in the competition aren’t the only ones busy at work in the Solar Village. Volunteers, many of whom are employees of the Energy Department offering their time and resources, are also working around the clock to make sure the competition runs smoothly and to educate the public on energy efficiency and renewable energy use.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu Sept. 23 announced the Department finalized a $105 million loan guarantee to support the development of one of the nation's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants.
Diesel engines can be more than twice as fuel efficient as gasoline engines, but they also produce more pollution like particulate matter and nitrogen oxide. A team of researchers at Argonne are combining the efficiency of diesel with the cleanliness of gasoline.
Teams at two of the Energy Department's laboratories are making headway on two projects that will enable building a new lithium battery that charges faster, lasts longer, runs more safely, and might also arrive on the market in the not-too-distant future. Learn more.