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.

Appalachian Radio Station Covers UK CAER Rare Earths Efforts in the Region

clock February 22, 2018 11:32 by author Thomas

Allegheny Front, a Pennsylvania-based public radio station, recently reported on the efforts to explore rare earth element extraction and research in the Appalachian region. It focused on, among others, the work of Dr. James Hower from the University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research. From the article:

Hower says that in order for a rare earths industry to be successful in the region the industry will need to be headquartered in the region that produces the material.

“You don’t want to transport this material too terribly far,” Hower explained, “because you have a lot of material that is not rare earths that you have to then put back somewhere. Ideally we want to be working at source landfills, do initial processing there, and then send more finished products somewhere else for further polishing.”

The full article can be found here.



New UK CAER Grant Seeks to Improve Industrial Water Treatment Technology

clock February 19, 2018 12:11 by author Thomas

The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (UK CAER) received a $740,000 grant from the United States Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE NETL) that seeks to lower the cost for and improve the efficiency of industrial water treatment.

 

The grant – entitled “Intensified Flue Gas Desulfurization Water Treatment for Reuse, Solidification, and Discharge” – will help advance UK CAER’s impressive portfolio of water treatment research, a critically important project for Kentucky companies.

 

“This grant will strengthen our wastewater research program,” said Kunlei Liu, Associate Director for Research at UK CAER. “Our team is developing and demonstrating cost-effective and practical technologies for reducing and managing wastewater, benefitting Kentucky companies and strengthening Kentucky’s industrial sector.”

 

Flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) technology is used to remove sulfur dioxide from exhaust flue gas at fossil fuel power plants. FGD technology is an important environmental mitigation process, as it also captures portion of heavy metals created during power generation, including selenium, arsenic and mercury.

 

UK CAER’s project seeks to intensify the traditional water treatment process, thereby lowering the cost for industry, said Xin Gao, Senior Research Engineer at the Center, and the principle investigator for the funded project.

 

“This next-stage technology currently being developed at UK CAER has a potential to intensify and/or integrate the conventional wastewater treatment process,” said Gao. “If successful, this technology would significantly lower the cost for water treatment.”

 

This UK CAER project seeks to utilize electrocoagulation, flotation and nanofiltration – via membranes – to remove as many heavy metals and soluble salts from the water as possible, and then recycle that water into the system. This process will reduce the amount of fresh water needed and make landfilling those particulates easier.

 

As part of the project, the UK CAER research team will be evaluating the effectiveness of electrocoagulation and long-term operation of membrane filtration as well as the ability to consistently create “landfillable solids” while meeting government regulations.



Chad Risko Named 2018 Cottrell Scholar

clock February 15, 2018 15:29 by author Thomas

Chad Risko, an assistant professor of chemistry and researcher at the Center for Applied Energy Research, has been named a 2018 Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Started in 1994, Risko is the first recipient of the award at UK, a designation that recognizes top early-career scholars in chemistry, physics and astronomy. The Correll Scholar program focuses on individuals who fulfill the dual role of researcher and teacher.

 

Full story can be found on UKNow.



UK CAER Outreach Featured in The Ledger Independent

clock February 12, 2018 14:57 by author Thomas

UK Center for Applied Energy Research's Outreach Program Coordinator, Greg Copley, was featured in an article about his energy efficiency outreach to local governments around Kentucky. Specifically, the article focuses on the successes at the Mason County governmental offices, especially the detention center.

Full article can be accessed here.