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 CAER Projected Mentioned in Power Engineering International Magazine

clock June 12, 2015 08:55 by author Alice
In a March 18, 2015 article from the Power Engineering International Magazine that was entitled "Managing Coal Ash", the University of Kentucky's Rare Earth Elements project was mentioned as a research group that is working to develop the growing area of coal ash use in the extraction of desirable rare earth metals.

Jim Hower and Jack Groppo from the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research and Dr. Rick Honaker of the UK Mining Engineering department and Cortland Eble at the Kentucky Geological Survey are the scientists working on this project.


UK CAER Publication from Canadian Light Source: From plant matter to jet fuel

clock June 11, 2015 17:40 by author Alice


An article about UK CAER's experts (the handsome fellows in the above picture are (left to right): Dr. Venkat Ramana Rao Pendyala, Senior Research Scientist; Dr. Gary Jacobs, Principal Research Engineer; and Dr. Burtron H. Davis, Assistant Director, all from the Clean Fuels and Chemicals Group located at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research) focus and ability in harnessing synchrotron research to refine the processes used to convert plants to gas to usable liquid was recently featured on the Canadian Light Source website.

The article From plant matter to jet fuel - Streamlining the production of ultraclean fuel discusses how the CAER team uses synchrotron analysis to study the effects of specific impurities on the conversion process to try to identify at what threshold each chemical blocks efficient conversion to usable fuel. Right now, roughly one-third to one-half of the cost to produce syngas for fuel production comes from cleaning out impurities. In the long term, this work could help large companies produce inexpensive, clean, and renewable sources by significantly cutting that cost.

The full article can be read from the Canadian Light Source website.

Phys.org also picked up the article.


UK CAER Analytical Services Staff Exhibit at the International Biomass Expo

clock June 11, 2015 17:32 by author Alice


Darrell Taullbee, scientist from the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research gave a presentation while various UK CAER staff attended and exhibited at the 2015 International Biomass Conference and Expo in Minneapolis, MN. (Pictured: Darrell Taulbee and Courtney Fisk. Not pictured: Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez).


UK CAER Algae CO2 Remediation Services Published in ABO, Algae Industry Project Book

clock June 11, 2015 16:01 by author Alice
The East Bend Demonstration project at the Duke Energy Power Plant in Union, Kentucky is the site of a demonstration scale photobioreactor that converts the CO2 in flue gas to algal biomass via photosynthesis. The Algae Industry Project Book highlighted this joint project between Duke Energy and the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research project conducted by the Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis research group. The report is published by the Algae Biomass Organziation (www.algaebiomass.org) showcases some of the member companies that are developing algae's unique ability to drive economic growth, enable food and energy security and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.


Made in Kentucky Documentary Created by University of Kentucky

clock June 11, 2015 15:55 by author Alice
"Made in Kentucky," a one hour documentary, discusses the issues Kentucky faces — growing concerns about climate change and the demand for coal replaced by the demand for natural gas — and explores some of the solutions that might lead to a stronger Kentucky economy while still protecting the environment. To read more, review the UKNOW News story.


2015 Science Fair High School Students Interning at UK CAER

clock June 11, 2015 15:31 by author Alice
The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research hosts several local Lexington high school senior interns each year. The students create a specific project and then are advised, mentored and also work along side the scientists on that project in the CAER laboratories. These projects will result in the high school seniors presenting their results at local, district and state science fairs.

 

High school senior Kristen Moore competed in the District Science Fair and was awarded the Mayor's Urban Environmental Award. She then completed in the regional science fair. Axel Kiefer from Tates Creek High School also competed in the district science fair, in the environmental science category. Both Kristen and Axel worked with the UK CAER Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis Research group under the leadership of Dr. Mark Crocker.

 

Madison Hood, Kentucky High School Senior from Dunbar High School won first place in her topical category at the District Science Fair. She interned with Dr. James Hower, UK Petrology Lab.


UK CAER Collaboration with University of Milan in Italy

clock June 11, 2015 15:22 by author Alice
As part of a collaboration with Professor Carlo Visconti and Professor Luca Lietti from the University of Milan, Italy, UK-CAER’s Clean Fuels and Chemicals Research group, led by Dr. Burtron H. Davis, had the opportunity to host Ms. Michela Martinelli, a PhD graduate student, for several months.

 

During that time, Ms. Martinelli worked with UK-CAER research staff to investigate methods to improve low temperature water-gas shift catalysts for fuel cell applications. She worked very hard, and one manuscript was accepted for publication in an excellent journal, while a second completed manuscript was submitted as a book chapter.

 

During her stay at UK-CAER, Ms. Martinelli collaborated not only with our staff, but also with researchers at both Brookhaven National Laboratory, where she had the opportunity to visit and conduct experiments, and Argonne National Laboratory. We are happy to report that Dr. Michela Martinelli successfully defended her PhD thesis in December of 2014.


UK CAER's History with Petrographers

clock June 11, 2015 15:12 by author Alice
Jim Hower, UK CAER (far left), with his PhD students (Trent – 2015 anticipated; Jen – 2008, Joan – 1990).

 

The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research hosted a rather informal meeting of petrographers that have previously worked at the CAER. The large group was a happy coincidence of Maria, Agnieszka, and Ali coming down from Bloomington, Indiana, and Joan Esterle just happening to be in the area while visiting family in Louisville, Kentucky (see photo above).

 

From left to right: Trent Garrison (Kentucky PhD student), Jim Hower (University of Kentucky CAER), Ali Karayigit (Hacettepe Univ., Turkey), Joan Esterle (Univ. Queensland), Jen O’Keefe (Morehead State Univ.), and Maria Mastalerz and Agnieszka Drobniak (Indiana Geological Survey).


UK CAER Staff Receives Training from Agilent

clock June 11, 2015 15:02 by author Alice
Back in 2009, Agilent Technologies brought a GC Tips and Tricks Seminar to CAER presented by Daron Decker. The seminar was highly informative and equally entertaining. For the past 6 years, Agilent has reserved Daron’s energetic presentations for the Western US and Canada. Daron recently returned to CAER to give another GC Tips and Tricks Seminar and he most certainly did not disappoint! About 30 people were in attendance including several from local industry, UK Campus, CAER and Agilent Technologies. The seminar included three 1-hour discussions: Injector Maintenance, Troubleshooting GC Systems, and Faster GC Analysis. A big thanks goes out to Mike Purcell, our Agilent Technologies Sales Representative, for coordinating the event.


UK CAER Staffer is Behind-the-Scenes Faciliator to West Liberty Community

clock June 11, 2015 11:20 by author Alice

Greg Copley, University of Kentucky CAER Regional Field Representative located in West Liberty, Kentucky has been involved in the effort to create studies for a town redesign to help eradicate the devastation caused by the 2012 tornado that ripped through the West Liberty community.   Greg introduced Greg Luhan, UK College of Design, to local business people that were interested in having a redesign of the town created in order to lure new businesses into the area.  

Greg has been a "behind the scenes" coordinator between the UK College of Design team and local business people in West Liberty during this project.  For more on the project and what it means to West Liberty, read the UKNOW's Story.