Energy Frontier Research Centers
The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory leads two Energy Frontier Research Centers for the Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences in the Office of Science to:
- Develop a comprehensive understanding of how chemical and electrical energy is exchanged, stored, and released, and
- Characterize and control chemical and physical phenomena at complex interfaces driven far from equilibrium.
To learn more about the Energy Frontier Research Centers, visit the Department of Energy's EFRC website.
To improve reactions important for solar energy storage and fuel cells, the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis seeks to transform our ability to design electrocatalysts that convert electrical energy into the chemical bonds of fuels, or the reverse, convert chemical energy into electrical energy. Our researchers seek to understand, predict, and control the intra- and intermolecular flow of protons in catalytic reactions that are key to a secure energy future. Specifically, our researchers are working to make hydrogen reactions faster and more efficient, to discover more selective catalysts to split molecular oxygen, and improve important aspects of molecular nitrogen catalysts.
IDREAM (Interfacial Dynamics in Radiation Environments and Materials) is focused on providing the scientific basis to accelerate the processing of the Department of Energy's high level radioactive wastes. The vision of IDREAM is to master molecular-to-mesoscale chemical and physical phenomena at interfaces in complex environments characterized by extremes in alkalinity and low-water activity, and driven far from equilibrium by ionizing (γ,β) radiation. Understanding these processes will enable innovations in the rate of radioactive waste characterization and transformation. It will also provide an understanding about waste aging over the many decades it will take to complete this difficult cleanup task.