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DOE to establish Energy Frontier Research Center at PNNL
Date:4/30/2009

RICHLAND, Wash. -- The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will be home to one of 46 new multi-million-dollar Energy Frontier Research Centers announced earlier this week by the White House in conjunction with a speech delivered by President Barack Obama at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences.

The EFRCs, which will pursue advanced scientific research on energy, are being established by the DOE's Office of Science at universities, national laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and private firms across the nation.

"As global energy demand grows over this century, there is an urgent need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and imported oil and curtail greenhouse gas emissions," said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. "Meeting this challenge will require significant scientific advances. These Centers will mobilize the enormous talents and skills of our nation's scientific workforce in pursuit of the breakthroughs that are essential to make alternative and renewable energy truly viable as large-scale replacements for fossil fuels."

The 46 EFRCs, to be funded at $2 to 5 million per year each for a planned initial five-year period, were selected from a pool of some 260 applications received in response to a solicitation issued by the DOE's Office of Science in 2008. Selection was based on a rigorous merit review process utilizing outside panels composed of scientific experts.

The DOE plans to award $22.5 million over five years for PNNL's new Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, which will be led by PNNL chemist Morris Bullock. The Center comprises more than a dozen researchers from PNNL, the University of Washington, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wyoming. The Center is expected to receive $4.5 million in its first year.

"This is fantastic," said Doug Ray, PNNL associate laboratory director for fundamental and computational sciences. "The Center for
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Contact: Mary Beckman
mary.beckman@pnl.gov
509-375-3688
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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