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News Release

Release Date: March 23, 2004

DOE Researchers Contribute to First Ever Encyclopedia of Energy

A renowned publisher of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services has called upon the U.S. Department of Energy to help produce the first encyclopedia ever to be published on the entire field of energy.

Elsevier, a global publishing company headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, has invited scientists from the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to author seven of ten sections about coal for the new Encyclopedia of Energy. The six-volume set has an international perspective, and includes 21 topics about all aspects of energy. Elsevier will release the encyclopedia to the public on March 12.

NETL is a science, technology, and energy laboratory with expertise in fossil energy technologies, contract and project management, analysis of energy systems, and international energy issues. The NETL contributors wrote the sections on clean coal technology, chemical and physical properties of coal, coal conversion, fuel and non-fuel uses of coal, coal mine reclamation and remediation, formation of coal resources, and coal transportation and storage. Approximately 400 international authors, including the NETL scientists, wrote the encyclopedia.

“It is a great honor for our researchers to be asked to contribute to the encyclopedia,” said Mark Maddox, acting Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy. “Our participation demonstrates the laboratory’s leading role in coal research for our nation and the world. The encyclopedia will be a valuable tool for many years to come.”

Production of the encyclopedia was organized by editor-in-chief Cutler J. Cleveland, director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies at Brown University. Dr. Cleveland, who has been a consultant to the Energy Department, asked NETL for specific contributions to the coal topic. Mildred Perry, a senior analyst in NETL’s Office of Coal and Environmental Systems, coordinated the laboratory’s participation. She explained that the authors were selected for their expertise on the given subject.

Two years of effort were required to produce the encyclopedia. According to Cleveland, the encyclopedia uses a unified, integrated approach that emphasizes not only the importance of the energy concept in individual disciplines, but also how energy bridges seemingly disparate fields such as history, ecology, and economics. The publishing company’s goal is to get it into all major libraries, where it will serve as an important and useful reference.

Written at a level suited to both the scientific and the non-technical reader, the encyclopedia targets a wide audience that includes undergraduate and graduate students, academics, and research scientists who study energy. It will also be useful to business corporations, professional firms, government agencies, foundations, and other groups whose activities relate to energy.

Readers can gain fundamental information within the sections, and can delve deeper into any topic through the references to other articles that link related sections of text. Authors’ suggestions for other sources are also provided, as well as an appendix section that includes a chronology of energy-related developments, an annotated bibliography of reference works and data sources, and a directory of energy-related organizations. The selection of reference tables in the appendix section includes measurement systems, common units and their definitions, and energy and power conversion factors.

A prospectus and ordering information are available at The encyclopedia will be available online through Elsevier’s ScienceDirect® in 2004.

Elsevier publishes more than 1,800 journals and 2,200 new books per year in addition to electronic products such as ScienceDirect® and MD Consult bibliographic databases, online reference works, and subject-specific portals. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world-leading publisher of information for professional users.


Contact: David Anna, DOE/NETL, 412-386-4646