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Symposium on energy research highlights future challenges, opportunities
Date:4/8/2008

NEW ORLEANS, April 8, 2008 Escalating oil and gas prices along with the global challenge of climate change have spurred new generations of scientists to search for alternative energy sources. A national panel of experts on the topic gathered Monday at the 235th National Meeting in New Orleans to present a comprehensive overview of the current status, limitations, and future challenges of several significant renewable energy sources.

The review, which included research from multiple scientific and engineering fields, covered solar and nuclear energy, the hydrogen economy, electrical energy storage, and catalysis for transportation fuels. The symposium was a joint collaboration between the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

Finding alternative energy sources is a multi-disciplinary effort, but if you were to pick a specific source whether it is nuclear energy or biomass, for example it all comes down to the field of chemistry, said ACS President Bruce E. Bursten. Where the ACS plays a role is informing people about the importance of chemistry, and we must also remind people of these chemistry-based issues. Bursten co-hosted the symposium, titled Energy Research: Future Challenges and Opportunities, along with AIChE president Dale Keairns.

Since global energy consumption will double, and perhaps triple, by the end of the century, scientists and engineers must find ways to supply new energy in a way that minimizes release of atmospheric greenhouse gases, said Raymond L. Orbach, the keynote speaker and Under Secretary for Science at the U.S. Department of Energy.

To adequately meet the energy demand of the future, Orbach said, transformational breakthroughs are needed to provide a foundation for novel technologies. He believes major advances could be nearby because of the emergence of nanotechnology, which could lead to revolutionizing the way energy is used, sto
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Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
202-872-4400
American Chemical Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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