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 Technology Licensed by International Chemical Company

clock May 9, 2018 13:35 by author Thomas

LUXFER MEL Technologies, a global producer and supplier of inorganic materials, has licensed technology from the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy (UK CAER) that shows great promise in reducing vehicle emissions.

The licensing agreement concerns patented materials which can function as passive nitrogen oxide (NOx) adsorbers, a catalyst-based system that helps reduce NOx at low temperatures. The technology was created out of a collaboration between UK CAER’s Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis research group, led by Mark Crocker, and LUXFER MEL Technologies Research Division. Funding for the work was provided by the National Science foundation and the Department of Energy under the auspices of the NSF/DOE Partnership on Advanced Combustion Engines.



The technology shows potential for reducing the NOx emitted by vehicles during so-called cold starts. One of the problems with traditional NOx mitigation systems is that they do not reduce emissions at low temperatures. This new technology seeks to solve this problem.

LUXFER MEL Technologies is based in Manchester, United Kingdom and supplies zirconium-based chemicals across the world. The company conducts research and development and manufacturing on three continents.LUXFER MEL Technologies products are utilized in a variety of applications including automotive catalysis, electronics, structural and functional ceramics, paper production, chemical catalysis, solid oxide fuel cells, water purification and many more.



UK CAER’s Biofuels Group Receives $2M to Support Novel Emissions Research

clock August 15, 2017 08:53 by author Thomas

The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research’s (CAER) Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis Group has received a $2 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant to develop new emissions technology for low-temperature gasoline.



The project is entitled “Research and Development of Novel Adsorber Technology to Address Hydrocarbon and Nitrogen Oxide Emissions for Low Temperature Gasoline Applications.” As part of the grant, UK CAER will be partnering with the University of California, Berkeley, Purdue University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Ford Motor Company.

This research project seeks to solve a problem with vehicle emissions. As internal combustion engines become more efficient, their exhaust gas becomes cooler. However, catalytic converters need to be warm to start efficiently removing pollutants (specifically nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons).

With national emission standards for vehicles becoming more stringent, it is increasingly important to remove these pollutants from exhaust gas when a vehicle is first started, in other words, when the exhaust gas is still cold.  

“To accomplish this goal, we are conducting research on a class of materials (zeolites) that can effectively trap pollutants until the vehicle’s catalytic converter is warm enough to convert them to harmless products,” said Mark Crocker, Associate Director of UK CAER’s Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis Group and Professor of Chemistry. “If successful, this technology will play a critical role in creating cleaner and more efficient vehicles.”

The grant was funded by DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office, and reasserts DOE’s commitment to advanced, energy efficient transportation technologies. Work of this type will improve our nation’s energy security, help consumers and businesses save money on transportation energy costs, and strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness. All told, DOE invested $19.4 million in 22 new cost-shared projects across the nation.