UK CAER Current News

The Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) is one of the University of Kentucky's multidisciplinary research centers. Its energy research provides a focal point for environmental, renewable and fossil fuels research in Kentucky.

UK Visualized Future for Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

clock November 26, 2012 15:51 by author Marybeth McAlister

 

For the last 60 years, Paducah, Kentucky, has been the point of origin for enriched uranium bound for U.S. energy and defense. The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, and the surrounding 3,000 acres, is one of the most contaminated top-secret sites in the United States. Since 2003, the Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and the Environment has gathered scientific data, investigated remediation techniques, and talked to Paducah residents about the future of the site. What was missing was a way to communicate the science of what was happening underground to spark conversation about the potential of the site. That’s where design came in. University of Kentucky College of Design students were enlisted to visualize the 5 miles of toxic pollutants underground, as well as research future uses for the site. The one with the greatest potential was the idea that the problem, the contamination, was the solution. Technology developed in Paducah could be exported to other contaminated sites around the globe.

UK College of Design students have created a vision of what the future could hold for this plant. Go to: http://www.research.uky.edu/reveal/paducah.shtml

More information on the KRCEE program can be found at: http://www.caer.uky.edu/environment/home.shtml

 




New Prospectus Explains CAER's Utility Consortium

clock November 24, 2012 13:35 by author Marybeth McAlister

 

Teaming with Kentucky's major power companies, the University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research has formed a consortium (CMRG). The group is carrying out a $24M ten-year program of research to development and demonstrate cost-effective and practical technologies for reducing and managing CO2 in existing coal-fired electric power plants. The intention is to position electric utilities to respond to a carbon-constrained economy prior to the imposition of environmental rules. Its purpose is to maintain and strengthen coal's competitive advantage as a least-cost fuel for electricity production, while improving environmental quality.

A new prospectus on this program can be found at: http://www.caer.uky.edu/powergen/cmrg/home.shtml




CAER Advisory Board Meets Young Researchers

clock November 15, 2012 09:46 by author Marybeth McAlister

The Annual CAER Advisory Board meeting was a little different this year. Some of our younger researchers attended the board meeting and dinner, getting to meet and learn from the members of the board. Following the second day's program, several board members toured the CAER's new renewable fuels and energy storage research building.



CAER Takes Energy Research to Western Kentucky High Schools

clock November 5, 2012 09:54 by author Marybeth McAlister

Electricity isn’t magic — it's science. And on Thursday, Nov. 1, high school students from Union and Henderson County, along with students from the Earle C. Clements Job Corps Academy, learned just what allows them to use their iPhones, hair dryers, and other much-beloved electrical appliances. This interactive energy seminar featured researchers from the CAER and was part of the fourth annual Energy Week, sponsored by Plugged In-The Northwest Kentucky Energy Initiative.

Sarah Mardon, Western Kentucky energy coordinator for CAER, helped organize the event.

"We are excited to host the seminar for high school students for the second year in a row," she said. "It is important to further develop the students' understanding of how coal, a resource familiar to students from these counties, and its by-products, are used by utilities and industries. We also want to share the research we are performing at UK."

CAER researchers Jack Groppo and Robby Pace showed approximately 150 students the important role that minerals, such as coal, play in their lives.  They demonstrated how coal is used to make electricity and how technology is used to capture and recycle the ash that results from burning coal. 

They also discussed how algae are being developed to capture carbon dioxide from power plants, and how algae biomass can be used in several ways.

Afterward, the students viewed and learned about solar panels and wind turbines installed on the Job Corps site.

"We are very excited to host this educational event for local high school students and our Job Corps students," said Job Corps Business and Community Liaison Nyra Syers-Ford. "The Job Corps Academy solar panels and wind turbine, which power our material handling warehouse, are a highlight for students interested in alternative energy. This is our second year and we hope to continue and grow this great event."

Plugged In-The Northwest Kentucky Energy Initiative's goal is to support the region's energy producers, help develop work force training opportunities and educate students about energy-related fields. It also promotes northwest Kentucky as a potential leader in energy technology and innovation.

"With numerous students from across the region showing interest in energy related topics we look forward to another successful Energy Week in Northwest Kentucky," added Kevin Sheilley, president and CEO of Northwest Kentucky Forward.

The CAER maintains energy coordinators in western and eastern Kentucky. The purpose is to assist local governments and industry in the development of energy projects by introducing them to the capabilities of the center as well as the university as a whole.