OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT)--Before Tuesday, visiting scientists had one question when they saw the chemical and materials science building at ORNL.
"They looked at it and said, 'you expect me to work here?'"
Not anymore. ORNL replaced the 60 year old complex with a new one.
Scientist Steve Overbury said, "this is how we're going to solve the energy crisis. This is how we're going to meet the energy challenges of the next century."
Challenges like finding new fuel sources.
"This will be the scientific technology behind many energy related technologies such as batteries, fuel cells, bio-mass into chemicals, solar fuels," he added.
And this new building will help scientist focus on coming up with better solutions to our fuel problems.
ORNL Director Thom Mason said they're "trying to get away from sources of energy that are imported, that have an economic cost, that have a national security cost associated with their use, and have an environmental cost."
And they're hoping this new research will energize u-s industry as well
"That's why having a facility where we can synthesize, characterize and understand materials will allow us to develop materials for new energy applications, hopefully then have us industry pick those up and turn them into projects that are manufactured here and sold around the world," he said.
A world that 60 years from now could be powered by the work they're doing today.