Consensus Reports

These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review.

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Showing results 1 - 5 of 46

Environmental Engineering for the 21st CenturyAddressing Grand Challenges (2018)

Environmental engineers support the well-being of people and the planet in areas where the two intersect. Over the decades the field has improved countless lives through innovative systems for delivering water, treating waste, and preventing and remediating pollution in air, water, and soil. These achievements are a testament to the multidisciplinary, pragmatic, systems-oriented approach that characterizes environmenta... More >>

Negative Emissions Technologies and Reliable Sequestration: A Research Agenda (2018)

To achieve goals for climate and economic growth, "negative emissions technologies" (NETs) that remove and sequester carbon dioxide from the air will need to play a significant role in mitigating climate change. Unlike carbon capture and storage technologies that remove carbon dioxide emissions directly from large point sources such as coal power plants, NETs remove carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or enhance natural carbon sinks.... More >>

Report in Brief

Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs (2018)

In the quest to mitigate the buildup of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere, researchers and policymakers have increasingly turned their attention to techniques for capturing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, either from the locations where they are emitted or directly from the atmosphere. Once captured, these gases can be stored or put to use. While both carbon storage and carbon utilization have costs, utilization offer... More >>

Report in Brief

Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology (2018)

The age of synthetic biology has brought with it opportunities to transform approaches to treating disease, manufacturing chemicals, producing fuels, remediating contaminants, and numerous other applications with benefits to humankind. Some synthetic biology capabilities, however, have dual use potential -- that is, they are capabilities that can be used for beneficial purposes but could be misdirected to cause harm to humans, animals, plants... More >>

Report in Brief

Reducing the Threat of Improvised Explosive Device Attacks by Restricting Access to Explosive Precursor Chemicals (2017)

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are a type of unconventional explosive weapon that can be deployed in a variety of ways, and can cause loss of life, injury, and property damage in both military and civilian environments. Terrorists, violent extremists, and criminals often choose IEDs because the ingredients, components, and instructions required to make IEDs are highly accessible. In many cases, precursor chemicals enable this criminal use o... More >>

Report in Brief