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.

Summer Partnership with Kentucky State University

clock July 21, 2016 09:49 by author Thomas


Kazi Javed, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Kentucky State University (KSU), has always been committed to bringing science to life for his students. This summer, he is doing just that thanks to a unique partnership with the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER).


Dr. Javed, who teaches an analytical instrumentation class at KSU, is volunteering in the Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis Group here at UK CAER this summer. With a focus in the classroom on instrument design and method development, Dr. Javed is bringing KSU students to UK CAER’s lab this summer to introduce them and train them on instrumentation not available at KSU.

 

Joining Dr. Javed from KSU are four students: Ma’Kaylah Garrett, a biology student from Indianapolis, Indiana; Steven Hall, a mechanical engineering student from Frankfort, Kentucky; Andrew Lentini, a mechanical engineering student from Shelbyville, Kentucky; and Siraj Ramsey, a mechanical engineering student from Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The mechanical engineering students are taking part in KSU and UK’s joint program, where the students attend KSU for three years and UK for two years. Participants receive a bachelor’s in mathematics from KSU and a UK engineering bachelor’s degree.

 

This collaborative work was made possible thanks to National Science Foundation grants entitled “MRI: Acquisition of a Gas Chromatograph with Dual Detection Capabilities to be Used in Sustainable Energy Research” (award number 1531637) and “SusChEM: Promotion of Nickel Catalysts for the Conversion of Biomass-derived Oils to Fuel-like Hydrocarbons” (award number 1437604). 



CCGP Journal Publishes Morpho-Chemistry and Microstructure of Bottom Ash

clock July 18, 2016 15:00 by author Alice

MORPHO-CHEMISTRY AND MICROSTRUCTURE OF MAGNETIC CONCENTRATES OF BOTTOM ASH SAMPLES OF THERMAL POWER PLANTS, ODISHA

Author: Subir Kumar Das, from CSIR - Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar, India

Abstract: Magnetic particles in silico-aluminous bottom ash samples (NT-BA and HR-BA samples) of two thermal power plants of Talcher area, Odisha, India have been studied for determination of their concentration, morphology, internal structure and phase mineral composition. The amounts of magnetic concentrates in NT-BA and HR-BA samples are 25.7 and 4.03% respectively and the former particles are relatively coarse grained. In NT-BA sample, most of the magnetic particles are ideal solid spheres (ferrosphere) with diverse morphological features: smooth, skeletal, dendritic, octahedral, polygonal, granular, and spotted. The magnetic particles of HR-BA sample are fine grained, irregular to angular, mostly associated with glass matrix

The magnetite crystals occur as fine streaks, laths, lamellae and needles. Examination of the inner structure of the ferrospheres and irregular magnetic particles of concentrates of both the samples revealed that the magnetite crystals have different geometric patterns and association with different mineral phases indicating variations in crystallisation conditions in the combustion chamber. The magnetite crystals of HR-BA sample are extensively martitised. The EDS results indicated that in the magnetite, Fe is the dominant element with small amounts of Mn, Mg, Ca and Ti. These elements occur as diadochic replacement of ferrous ion in the magnetite crystal structure.

The glass coexisting with magnetite has highly variable chemical compositions mainly with respect to Si, Al and Fe; few glass particles are enriched in Fe. Detrital quartz grains are occasionally observed within the magnetic particles. The magnetite oxide crystallites in ferrospheres are derived from the decomposition and oxidation of iron-bearing minerals such as pyrite and clays minerals in feed coal during combustion in the thermal power plants.

The full-text of the paper may be viewed/downloaded at the Coal Combustion and Gasification Products journal website: http://www.coalcgp-journal.org/

The CCGP journal is jointly published by the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (UKCAER) and the American Coal Ash Association (ACAA).



UKCAER Researchers Receive Swagelok Training

clock July 15, 2016 10:45 by author Alice
The Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis research group - at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research - hosted Mike Sallee from Swagelok for the 4th annual CAER Swagelok seminar. It focused on how to use tubing and tube fittings appropriately with an emphasis on safety. This seminar is very informational for staff and students alike. Many BEC staff go each time the class is offered because it is a good refresher and something new is learned. Thirteen people were in attendance this year (July 14).



CAER Hosts Southern Legislative Conference Attendees

clock July 12, 2016 15:55 by author Thomas


The UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) was pleased to host Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) attendees for a center tour on Tuesday, July 12. Lexington is serving as host of the 70th annual SLC Annual Meeting July 9-13 and, as part of the meeting, conference attendees took part in technical tours.

The Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments was established in 1947 and comprises presiding officers and key legislators from 15 Southern states. The SLC is a non-partisan organization located in Atlanta, Georgia.



Successful Workshop on Thermal Carbons Hosted at UKCAER

clock July 12, 2016 11:12 by author Alice

The Workshop on Thermal Carbons - hosted by the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research in Lexington, Kentucky - boasted of excellent speakers and current, relevant topics such as industrial carbons and fibers, thermoelectrics, heat spreaders, etc. The 1 1/2 day workshop was scheduled prior to the Carbon 2016 Conference and it included a technical poster session, a demo of the UKCAER Carbon Spinline process, a tour of the UKCAER Renewables Laboratory and a reception of the historical UK Spindletop Hall. Speakers included:

  • Dr. Julian Norley, GrafTech International Holdings, Inc. – Industrial Thermal Management Applications for Carbon and Graphite Materials
  • Dr. Dayakar Penumadu, University of Tennessee, Knoxville – Structure-Mechanical Property Relationship for Carbon Fibers
  • Dr. Soeren Koester, Superior Graphite - Graphitized Granular Carbon in PA6 and PPS
  • Dr. Nidia C. Gallego, Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Characterizing the Thermal Properties of Carbon Bonded Carbon Fibers (CBCF)
  • Dr. Alexandre Martin, University of Kentucky - Modeling of Ablative Material for Atmospheric Entry Flows
  • Prof. Gajanan Bhat, The University of Tennessee Knoxville - Processing, Structure and Properties of Rayon-Based Carbon Fibers
  • Mr. Keith Roberts, WDI Directorate, AMRDEC - The History of Rayon Replacement for Carbon Fiber Reinforced Ablative Materials
  • Dr. Simon Chung, Materials Sciences Corp. - Fiber Reinforced Composite Materials with Integrated Heat Spreaders
  • Dr. David L. Carroll, Wake Forest University - Advances in Carbon Nanotube Thermoelectrics
  • Mr. Ruben Sarabia-Riquelme, University of Kentucky - N-Type Thermoelectric Materials Based on MWCNTs
  • Prof. Joe Brill, University of Kentucky - Inverted Anisotropy in Thermal Conductivity of Layered Molecular Organic Semiconductors
  • Prof. Bert Lynn, University of Kentucky - The Chemistry of Whiskeys (Why is Bourbon Different?)
  • Mr. Jarrad Gollihue, University of Kentucky -Current Research and Understanding of Bourbon Whiskey and Its Barrel
  • Dr. Pat Heist, Ferm Solutions - The Science of Making Bourbon




Davis, Jacobs Present on Fischer-Tropsch in Norway

clock June 22, 2016 14:31 by author Thomas

Two members of the UK Center for Applied Energy Research’s Clean Fuels and Chemical Group were invited to present their research at the Natural Gas Conversion Symposium 11 in Tromso, Norway from June 5-9. 

Burt Davis, Associate Director, provided an oral presentation and presented a research poster on the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis process.

Gary Jacobs, a Principal Research Engineer at the Center, provided a plenary lecture and presented a research poster as well. In addition, Dr. Jacobs was nominated to serve on the Natural Gas Conversion Board. 



Power Plant Emissions and Mine Reclamation Topics Covered by CCGP Journal

clock June 2, 2016 16:10 by author Alice


Two new papers have just been published on the Coal Combustion and Gasification Products journal:

- Influence of Coal-Fired Power Plant Emissions Regulations and Consequent Engineering Controls and Coal-Supply Modifications on Fly Ash Chemistry and Petrology: Examples from Kentucky Power Plants - Authors: Madison M. Hood, John G. Groppo, Michelle N. Johnston, James C. Hower, Herek L. Clack, Diego S. de Medeiros, Silvio R. Taffarel, Cesar M.N.L. Cutruneo, Luis F.O. Silva (pp8-18)

- Analysis of Scientific Investigations Related to Reclamation of Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act Permitted Coal Mines with Coal Combustion By-Products - Authors: Kimery C. Vories (pp19-29)

These papers can be read at the CCGP journal Web Address: http://www.coalcgp-journal.org.


Center Helps Train Kentucky Science Teachers

clock June 2, 2016 12:29 by author Thomas

It may be summer but school is most certainly in session at UK CAER. But in this classroom, it is the teachers that are the pupils.

UK CAER researchers are taking part in a Kentucky Council for Post-secondary Education (CPE)-funded program to train science and mathematics teachers how to teach energy in the classroom. The program, Energy is Elementary, is a partnership between the UK College of Education and CAER, and is taking place at the Center from June 1-3.  This grant has afforded the Center the opportunity, to expand the current CAER 101 program to a total of 11 schools. The CAER 101 program gives our researchers the opportunity to be present in the classroom and inspire 4th grade students to become scientists while having fun and learning the basics of energy.



Winburn Problem Solvers Team Visits CAER

clock May 25, 2016 08:44 by author Thomas

Students from Winburn Middle School's Future Problem Solvers team spent some time at UK's Center for Applied Energy Research on May 17 to help prepare for an international competition. The students spent time with representatives from CAER, DEDI and the Association of MISO States to learn about the future of the energy industry.

 

 

The students are training for a problem solving competition that will take place June 1-5 at Michigan State University. The contest will feature a question about energy and the students came to CAER to learn as much as they can about that topic.

"We tried to provide as much useful information about energy as we could," said Shiela Medina, Assistant Director of Policy and Engagement for the Center. "It was a pleasure to host such a bright and inquisitive group of students. I can't wait to see how they do at their competition."



UKCAER Graduate Student Presents at MACE Spring Symposium

clock May 24, 2016 14:59 by author Alice
Nicholas W. Linck, graduate student working in the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research's Materials research group, recently presented a poster at the MACE 2016 Spring Symposium. MACE is the UK Materials and Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association located on the University of Kentucky campus.


Spring 2016 Tours at the UKCAER

clock May 24, 2016 14:06 by author Alice

The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research has hosted two recent tours - a group from the Kentucky Geological Survey and a group from the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers organization. Both groups had to dodge a few raindrops but came away from the tour with more insight into the scientific energy research conducted at CAER.

Some of the stops included:

  • Algae Greenhouse (CO2 capture with algae) and Biofuels (fuels, chemicals and other products created from harvested algae)
  • Minerals Processing (utilization of coal ash by-products used to produce UKCAER/Minova's Tekecrete products, use in concrete and other building materials)
  • Carbon Materials processing (creation of carbon fibers used in the automotive and airline industries)
  • Electrochemical Power Sources (creation and/or testing of batteries used in autos, retail products, etc.)
  • Coal/Biomass-to-Liquids Pilot Facility (gasification of CBTL to synthetic fuels)
  • Solar/Organic Materials (creation of new, advanced thin-film technologies from organic compounds).


Tekcrete Receives UK CAER’s First Russian Patent

clock May 5, 2016 13:49 by author Dave Melanson

 

Tekcrete Fast, the rapid-strength, high-bonding shotcrete material created by UK Center for Applied Energy Research and its corporate partner Minova USA, Inc., is the first UK CAER-created product to receive a Russian patent.

Tekcrete was created by UK CAER and Minova as a high-end, low-energy concrete alternative. It has been primarily used for infrastructure repair and stabilization but is drawing interest from many other markets. The Russian patent is the third for Tekcrete, which already holds patents in the United States and Australia. 

Watch a video about the project here.



UK CAER Receives $2.4M Grant for US-China Clean Energy Research Center

clock May 5, 2016 09:39 by author Dave Melanson

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected UK's Center for Applied Energy Research for a five-year renewal of its United States-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) grant. CERC was created in 2009 by DOE, the China Ministry of Science and Technology and the China National Energy Administration to facilitate joint research and development on clean energy by teams of scientists and engineers from the US and China. Read more here.



Mark Crocker Quoted in ACS

clock April 27, 2016 14:13 by author Dave Melanson

UK CAER's Mark Crocker was quoted in a recent American Chemical Society (ACS) Central Science article entitled, "As the Volkswagen scandal showed, building fuel-efficient, low-emitting vehicles is no easy task." You can read the entire article here.



UK CAER Student Presents at NSBE Annual Convention

clock April 18, 2016 16:29 by author Alice
Courtney McKelphin, and undergraduate chemical engineering major at the University of Kentucky, working at the Center for Applied Energy Research in the Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis lab, presented her research at the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Annual Convention in Boston, MA on March 25, 2016.

Courtney currently serves as UK's Chapter Vice President of NSBE and has been a member for two years. Her presentation focused on establishing key kinetic parameters of the catalytic decarboxylation/decarbonylation of triglycerides to fuels.



UK CAER, Sayre Co-Host Energy Fair

clock April 13, 2016 15:50 by author Alice
Exploding balloons. A solar car. A virtual reality sandbox. Sounds like a day at the museum, doesn’t it?

The reality: It was the annual University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (UK CAER) Energy Fair on Monday, April 11. Sayre School hosted the event at its C.V. Whitney Gymnasium, which featured more than 330 students from Cassidy, Russell Cave, Sayre and Yates Elementary Schools participating.

Held each year, the UK CAER Energy Fair provides elementary school students in Fayette County a hands-on, interactive introduction to science, engineering and research. Students learn about various energy-related topics including electricity, mining, biofuels, motors, solar panels, and electromagnets. In addition, students had the opportunity to learn about creating a sustainable energy future for the Commonwealth.

In addition to CAER, presenters included the UK Chapter of the Society of Mining Engineers, Bluegrass GreenSource, UK’s Solar Decathlon team, Sayre Middle School Green Team, and the Kentucky Division of Air Quality, among others.



Environmental Class Tour of UK CAER

clock April 8, 2016 08:51 by author Alice

An environmental lab class under the direction of Dr. David Fraley of Georgetown College toured the University of Kentucky Lab 2, Carbon Spinline and Algae Greenhouse.



UK CAER Takes Safety Seriously

clock April 7, 2016 09:24 by author Alice

A group of University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research scientists, engineers and support staff participated in a First Aid, CPR and AED training class. Ruthann Chaplin, an instructor with the National Safety Council, took the participants through many situations and scenarios, teaching ways to identify and assist in fostering a positive outcome. The class learned about various first responder topics and how to relate them to day to day situations either happened upon, simple accidents, or those events that are life threatening.

According to organizer and instructor Ruthann Chaplin, UK CAER Safety Officer “Having the knowledge and knowing how to react in situations, can mean the difference between life and death for someone in need”.



Video Showcases UK CAER STEM Pipeline Efforts

clock April 4, 2016 15:58 by author Dave Melanson

Much has been reported about the lack of students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) pipeline across Kentucky and the nation.

Changing those statistics has been an on-going national challenge – a challenge in which UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) has taken a leadership role.

The following video showcases how the UK CAER 101 program is helping to inspire the next generation of scientists at Yates, Cassidy and Russell Cave Elementary Schools here in Fayette County.

Helping to inspire those elementary students are current UK student participants in UK’s Broadening Participation in Engineering program, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. UK’s BPE program is a collaboration between UK CAER and UK’s College of Engineering and seeks to inspire traditionally under-represented students to pursue leadership opportunities in STEM fields.

“Mentoring opportunities are available to incoming African American, Hispanic or Native American engineering students at both the undergraduate and graduate level,” said Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez, a research scientist at UK CAER, and Director of the BPE Mentoring program. “The BPE program has really allowed UK to engage in a unique mentoring opportunity for UK scientists. It also has allowed our students an opportunity to help build a pipeline of STEM learners in our community.”

UK Now Story.



UK CAER High School Students Wins Prestigious Army Award at Ky State Science Fair

clock April 1, 2016 13:26 by author Alice
Ashley Liu, a student from the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, won the prestigious Army Award at the Kentucky State Science Fair, March 2016. The research project was based upon her studies on water treatment technology completed at the Center for Applied Energy Research's Power Generation research group. The center is located at the University of Kentucky.



Ashley Liu presented a poster at the Kentucky State Science Fair 2016 at the Eastern Kentucky University.