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Science Area: Clean Energy

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Harnessing the power of water is a practice that has been around for thousands of years, from the ancient Greeks’ use of waterwheels to grind wheat to today’s massive hydroelectric dams that supply power to millions of customers. 

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The new DOE Center for Bioenergy Innovation led by ORNL is focused on accelerating the development of specialty plants and microbial systems to support a biobased economy. 

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Ecologist Virginia Dale is an ORNL corporate fellow and director of the lab’s Center for BioEnergy Sustainability. In her work she focuses on environmental decision making, plant succession, land-use change, landscape ecology, ecological modeling, sustainability, and bioenergy systems.

Dale...

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Plant geneticist Gerald Tuskan is an ORNL corporate fellow and leader of the lab’s Plant Systems Biology Group. Using the computational muscle available at ORNL, Tuskan and his colleagues have resequenced about 1,000 genotypes of the fast-growing perennial poplar tree

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Adam Witt is a postdoc in ORNL's Environmental Sciences Division.

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The ingredients that make geothermal energy suitable for electricity production are simple: heat, permeability (usually fractured rock) and water. Until recently the trick has been finding all in the same place and in the right amounts.

Enormous heat energy is available between 3 and 10 kilometer...

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Recycling is nothing new; microbes have been doing it for a long, long time. ORNL’s Melanie Mayes is exploring how.