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 Research Covered in Newsweek

clock January 30, 2018 15:39 by author Thomas

How can we harvest more energy from the sun? UK CAER researcher and Chemistry Professor John Anthony and international colleagues used an innovative approach to improving solar energy production.

 

http://www.newsweek.com/physics-solar-panels-future-energy-sun-791329 



UK CAER Hosts College of Design Students

clock January 30, 2018 15:31 by author Thomas


UK CAER hosted students from UK College of Design faculty member Anne Filson’s graduate studio on Monday, January 29. The focus of the studio is the design of a bioplastics factory within a 100 acre algae photobioreactor array that’s adjacent to one of Kentucky’s coal-fired power plants. Working with the Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis group, the students have a chance to learn more about the Center’s biofuels and sustainability research program as well as the CAER Lab #2, the first LEED-designed research laboratory in Kentucky.





UK CAER, ACAA to Host Ponded Ash Workshop in Richmond, Virginia

clock January 25, 2018 08:24 by author Thomas


The two organizations that created the World of Coal Ash – the largest and most successful meeting in the coal ash industry – are teaming up again. The American Coal Ash Association (ACAA) and the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (UK CAER) are hosting the 2018 Workshop on Current Issues in Ponded Coal Combustion Products (CCPs) on March 20-21 in Richmond, Virginia.

Attendees will hear from and interact with some of the world’s leading experts in the following technical areas:

  • Seismic Issues
  • Regulatory Design Issues – Closure in Place
  • Response of Ash to Dewatering
  • Sampling and Instrumentation
  • Legal View of Current Environmental Issues
  • Ground Water Quality Changes after Closure in Place
  • Utility Specific Monitoring Strategies and Requirements
  • Groundwater Remediation Options

“If you work, consult, or contract in this marketplace, this is the meeting for you,” said Tom Adams, Executive Director of ACAA. “The depth and breadth of topics covered over these two days is truly impressive and will provide attendees with new information and tactics to help companies continue to compete in this ever-changing industry.”

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is a co-organizer and sponsor of the Current Issues in Ponded CCPs workshop. Other sponsors and exhibitors include Watershed Geo, Charah, Waste Connections, and the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Registration is now open at http://www.worldofcoalash.org/ash/, and you can find a detailed agenda on that same website. The workshop will be held at the Omni Richmond Hotel. Hotel accommodations are available at https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/richmond/meetings/university-of-kentucky-center-for-applied-energy-research-conference and attendees must make their reservation by February 12 to ensure the group rate.

Professional development hours (PDH) will be available. 

 



UK CAER Hosts Undergraduates in NSF's Broadening Participation in Engineering Program

clock January 11, 2018 11:05 by author Thomas

On Tuesday, UK's Center for Applied Energy Research was happy to welcome the incoming group of undergraduates in the Broadening Participation in Engineering program. The program, a joint venture by UK CAER and UK's College of Engineering, was formed due to the disproportionately low fraction of minority students that graduate with engineering degrees going on to become faculty.

 

 

 

The program is available to incoming African American, Hispanic, or Native American engineering students at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and has three main goals:

  • To encourage African American, Hispanic and Native American students to choose engineering and help them graduate with engineering degrees
  • To help these students acquire the skills they need to become engineering professionals, academics, leaders and role models
  • To investigate if mentoring in research centers offers advantages over mentoring in traditional engineering departments

These students are matched with research mentors at UK CAER and academic and faculty advisors at UK College of Engineering. They are given access to a number of university resources in order to develop skills needed for a successful entry into the field of engineering: study, research, and communication skills, management and outreach expertise.

Their visit to CAER allowed them to hear from principal researchers and group leads about the work done at the center, meet possible mentors, and tour the facilities.



UK CAER, Hazard Partnership Seeks to Improve Rural Power Generation

clock January 10, 2018 09:32 by author Thomas

The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (UK CAER) received a $1.6 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant to develop an innovative partnership in Hazard, Kentucky that could serve as a model for future energy projects in rural Eastern Kentucky communities.

DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) funded the project, which is titled Gasification Combined Heat and Power from Coal Fines. Funding for twenty percent of the project cost is provided by the University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Arq Coal Technologies LLC, and Beijing Baota Sanju Energy Science and Technology Co, Ltd. The grant will allow UK CAER and its community partners to complete a front end engineering design (FEED) study for a 5-megawatt electric equivalent polygenerating unit utilizing waste coal fines and biomass as feedstocks.

 “This project could be a first step to a mid-west regional partnership for research, development and deployment of energy-related innovation,” said Kunlei Liu, the project’s principal investigator and Associate Director at UK CAER. “This type of project, involving many partners across Kentucky and beyond, shows great promise for testing and demonstrating new energy technology.”

UK CAER will be recycling two eastern Kentucky products – sawdust and coal fines – to help create localized power generation in Perry County.

“I’ve always believed that localized and regional power generation would work well in many Kentucky communities – particularly throughout rural Kentucky,” said Jack Groppo, a principal research engineer at UK CAER and faculty member in UK Mining Engineering, who is working on this project. “We have a tremendous amount of coal fines left over throughout Kentucky coal fields as well as a strong, vibrant lumber industry that has industrial waste as well. This project will allow us to combine those two products to create fuel that will help power rural Kentucky communities for years to come.”

As part of the project, UK CAER will partner with several businesses based in Hazard, including Gay Brothers Lumber, Blackhawk Mining, and the Hazard-Perry County Economic Development Alliance.



UK CAER will use biomass (sawdust) from Gay Brothers Lumber and will utilize waste coal fines from Blackhawk Mining. The model location will be located at the Coal Fields Regional Industrial Park in Hazard.

The Center will also collaborate with Beijing Baota Sanju Energy Science and Technology Co, Ltd. in China to conduct a preliminary design on the 5-megawatt gasifier, as the project seeks to find out how best to optimize how much heat and power can be generated. The grant will fund a cultural impact study in the region to help determine the community and financial benefits of local, gasified power generation.

Smith Management Group of Lexington will contribute to the FEED study, along with Trimeric Corporation from Texas.