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Linking Transformational Materials and Processing for an Energy Efficient and Low-Carbon Economy: Creating the Vision and Accelerating Realization

TMS was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (formerly the Industrial Technologies Program ) in February 2010 to lead a project comprised of a three-phased study into areas where new materials and processing breakthroughs can lead to transformational advances in energy efficiency, energy security, and carbon emission reduction. A one page summary of project milestones can be accessed here.

Project Phase I

Phase I entailed convening the Energy Materials Blue Ribbon Panel, consisting of 21 materials community thought leaders representing industry, academia, and government. The Panel developed a vision shaping its recommendations based on the following principles:
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Project Phase II

TMS launched Phase II of the project on September 16, 2010, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when it convened Technical Working Groups (TWGs) for each of the four cross-cutting themes delineated in Phase I. The outcomes of this process are summarized in Linking Transformational Materials and Processing for an Energy Efficient and Low-Carbon Economy: Creating the Vision and Accelerating Realization: Opportunity Analysis for Materials Science and Engineering, released in January 2011.
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Project Phase III

Building on the prioritized sets of new products and manufacturing processes identified in Phase II, TMS convened Innovation Impact Teams in June 2011 for each of the following technical focus areas:

Through this process, the Teams identified 54 specific breakthrough opportunities that can potentially deliver significant energy, environmental, and economic benefits in the next two to 10 years. As presented in the capstone report of the project, the Innovation Impact Report, these technologies together can:

  • Save more than 2,800 trillion British thermal units (TBtu)— More than the total amount of U.S. energy provided by wind, solar, biomass waste, and geothermal combined.
  • Avoid 435 million metric tons (MMT) of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions—Equivalent to about one-third of all CO2 emissions generated by the U.S. industrial sector
  • Eliminate $65 billion in unproductive energy expenditures.

With a significant and sustained research and development investment, the study has determined that these advances can yield significant benefits in the near-term, while laying the groundwork for clean energy advances in the future.


All of the project’s findings and suggested strategies are outlined in a concise, non-technical summary, Materials: Foundation for the Clean Energy Age. This booklet, as well as the Innovation Impact Report, reports from other phases of the project and supporting articles, can be accessed below.

Project Reports

Click on the title of any of these resources to download a PDF copy.

PUBLICATION: "Materials: Foundation for the Clean Energy Age"
This booklet offers a succinct summary of a cadre of breakthrough materials and manufacturing technologies that can yeild signficiant results in the near-term, along with suggested strategies to ensure that these potentially gamechanging research innovations are transitioned effectively to realistic commercial implementation.

REPORT: "Innovation Impact Report"
This report identifies more than 50 materials innovation opportunities that can deliver significant energy savings, environmental gains, and economic advantages in the next 2 to 10 years.

FACT SHEET: Innovation Impact Report Summary
A one-page overview of the topic areas and key findings of the Innovation Impact Report.

ARTICLE: "Laying the Foundation for the Clean Energy Age"
A roundtable interview with members of the Energy Materials Blue Ribbon Panel on the key takeaways of the Innovation Impact Report.

Web Resources

These links provide additional background information, relevant articles from journal publications, and links for further resources. [View]

Project Partners