It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan
It is more than obvious that there have to be major changes in the use of fossil fuels in the next
decade. There will be major innovations in areas such as solar cells, wind or tide power, nuclear
power and new materials problems to be solved. Beyond this, most materials development has focused
on the application, with the fundamental science being the relationship between
structure-properties-processing; the carbon cost of production has not been an issue.
We need to develop the paradigms for materials when the carbon cost becomes a critical issue.
Much of the research we do focuses on some of the fundamental scientific questions central to
many energy related problems, for instance:
- How do we
engineer a concrete/cement that requires less energy to produce?
- How do we reduce frictional
losses which are estimated to cost about 5% of the GDP of most countries?
- How do we improve on
catalysts, for instance increasing the selectivity of partial oxidation reactions?
- Can we improve on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells so we can produce electricity directly
from hydrocarbons with high efficiency
- How do we understand oxide surfaces, and as we do how do we engineer desirable