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.

UKCAER Alumnus Gives Talk on Patent Law

clock September 1, 2016 16:33 by author Alice

Dr. Rakesh Mehta (PhD, JD) from BakerHostetler located in Philadelphia, discussed patent law with University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research scientists and engineers. His specialty is chemical, materials, pharmaceutical, and mechanical patents. The title of his presentation was Patents Deconstructed—The What, the Why, the If, the When. He stated that confusion prevails when it comes to patents. If we can help deconstruct what patenting is, all will have gained something.

Rakesh Mehta is an alumnus of not only University of Kentucky, but also of CAER. His MS in 1994 was under CAER’s Dr. B.K. Parekh and PhD was under Dr. Kalika, chair of UK Chemical and Materials, in 1996. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship from Virginia Tech in 1997 under Dr. James McGrath in polymeric composites and joined DuPont as Research Engineer, where he spent seven years at the famous DuPont Experimental Station. He completed his JD simultaneously while working at DuPont and since 2004, has been practicing law, particularly intellectual property, first in Washington DC and then in Philadelphia area law firms. Currently, he is a Counsel at Baker Hostetler LLP, an AMLAW 100 firm with fourteen offices and about 950 lawyers.



Donor Creates Award Program, Honoring Long-time Staff Member Marybeth McAlister

clock August 11, 2016 15:33 by author Alice

An anonymous donor has created a new award program at the UK Center for Applied Research (CAER), which is designed to recognize and honor staff excellence.

The program is named in honor of Marybeth McAlister, long-time Director of Communications for UK CAER. Called the Marybeth McAlister Memorial Outstanding Staff Award, the program will recognize one member of UK CAER’s support staff with this annual award each year.

“We are very grateful to have a donor step up and want to do something to honor both Marybeth’s legacy and current staff here at UK CAER,” said David Melanson, Assistant Director for External Affairs and Development. “I think such generosity speaks volumes to what staff do for the Center each and every day.”

Marybeth McAlister is remembered by her colleagues for her selfless spirit, empathy, attention to detail, and kind disposition. In short, the donor felt that naming this staff award in her honor was appropriate.

“We at the Center knew that Marybeth was someone we could always count on – no matter the situation,” said the donor.

In accepting this gift, the Center has committed to raise additional funding to ensure this program will continue in perpetuity.

If others would like to honor Marybeth and support this outstanding staff award program, contact Dave Melanson, Assistant Director for External Affairs and Development, at david.melanson@uky.edu or donate online at https://www.uky.edu/GiveNow/ (under Gift Information, select “Research” and then the “Marybeth McAlister Staff Award Gift Fund”).



UKCAER Seminar - Recent Developments in Emission Control

clock August 4, 2016 09:21 by author Alice

DATE: Monday, August 8, 2016
TIME: 3:15 – 4:30 pm
WHERE: Ben Bandy Conference Room, Lab 1

TITLE: Recent Developments in Emission Control
SPEAKER: Dr. Christine Lambert, Ford Motor Co.

ABSTRACT: Modern emission control devices for gasoline and diesel powertrains evolved over decades of development to meet ever more stringent emission standards. For example, the U.S. standards for nitrogen oxides (NOx) have decreased by 97% from 1974 to 2004. The most well-known device, the three-way catalyst, is used under stoichiometric conditions of spark-ignited engines and controls hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Newer devices include diesel oxidation catalysts, Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems for NOx, and diesel soot filters. The latest diesel emissions certifications in the U.S. include multifunctional devices like diesel soot filters with SCR catalytic coating. As emission standards continue to tighten in U.S., Europe, and China, research is focusing on HC traps, low temperature NOx adsorbers, N2O mitigation, and gasoline soot filters.



Latest Paper Published by CCGP Journal

clock July 26, 2016 11:52 by author Alice

The Coal Combustion and Gasification Products journal has published the following paper:

Distribution of Uranium and Other Radionuclides in Coal and Coal Combustion Products, with Discussion of Occurrences of Combustion Products in Kentucky Power Plants written by authors: James C. Hower, Shigeng Dai, Greta Eskenazy.

Abstract: Uranium and thorium are part of the mineral assemblages within coals. Uranium can also occur in organic associations, particularly in low-rank coals. While the average U concentration in coals is 2.9 ppm for low-rank coals and 1.9 ppm for bituminous and higher rank coals, high concentrations are known from certain low-rank and thin coals and from coals in areas associated with U mineralization. No high-U coals are mined for power production in the United States. Uranium and Th in coal combustion products are found in amounts more or less in proportion to their concentrations in the feed coal. Not being volatile elements, both U and Th are concentrated in the

Full text of article is at the CCGP Journal



UKCAER Tours Students from the Chinese University of Mining and Technology

clock July 25, 2016 18:20 by author Alice


The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research hosted a tour of 60 students from the Chinese University of Mining and Technology. The group is part of a two week Study Abroad program for the undergraduates and six faculty from CUMT (Chinese University of Mining and Technology). The UK Mining Engineering Department is working with the UK College of Business to host the group.



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).



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




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.


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).


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”.



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.


UK CAER's Tekecrete Featured at First Defense Expo

clock April 1, 2016 12:55 by author Alice

A new technology developed at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research and Minova's North American headquarters in Georgetown, Kentucky was exhibited at the FDX 2016 First Defense Expo in Louisville in mid-March 2016. CAER and Minova scientists reached out to the first responder community by discussing Tekcrete Fast. This product/process allows a fiber-reinforced, high-strength, ultra-rapid setting concrete to be applied for almost immediate stabilization of damaged buildings and other damaged concrete infrastructure. The process can be sent into the location immediately and be used at a safe distance.

The Tekcrete Fast technology used the construction technique called shotcrete and is applied at high velocity that also facilitates adherence to various construction surfaces. A slightly different formulation, Tekcrete Fast M, is used in underground applications to almost instantly stabilize dangerous mining conditions, contributing to mine safety.

The research and joint patent leading to the Minova license came about when UK CAER partnered with Minova on a project for the National Institute of Hometown Security (NIHS), located in Somerset, Kentucky.



Ohio Valley Organic Petrographers Meeting

clock April 1, 2016 11:20 by author Alice


Organic petrographers from the Ohio Valley area representing various universities met on March 31, 2016 at the Kentucky Geological Survey in Henderson, Kentucky.

Dr. Jim Hower of the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (center, back row) participated in the meeting to discuss various organic petrology of coals and carbonaceous shales topics.


UK CAER Reaches Out to Math "Athletes"

clock April 1, 2016 10:52 by author Alice

 

Biofuels is the name of the game! Three University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research staffers - Scientist, Dr. Jack Groppo; Engineer, Ms. Shiela Medina; and Ms. Alice Marksberry - participated in the UK hosted 2016 MathCounts competition. On a Friday night in March, nearly 200 Mathcounts winners from middle schools in counties throughout the Commonwealth participated in fun science experiments with UK faculty, staff and students.

 

The UK CAER hosted an educational stop that featured the Biofuels Game - a board game created by CAER scientist Dr. Eduardo Santillian-Jimenez. The game reflects decisions made by the students that must compare and contrast the pathway of creating a gasoline/diesel product from either crude petroleum or biomass. Students must consider how to create the end product via economical and environmentally sound decision-making processes.

 

Mathcounts is a national enrichment, coaching and competition program that promotes middle school math achievement through grassroots involvement.


Graffin Lecturer Discusses "This Ubiqutuos Carbon" at a UK CAER Seminar

clock March 4, 2016 09:58 by author Alice
This ubiqutuos carbon... was an interesting topic presented by Dr. Cristian Contescu, Senior Research Staff, Materials Science and Technology Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, at a recent University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research Seminar held on March 2, 2016.



After Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age, and after the Silicon Age of the informational revolution, the technologies of 21st century are marked by the ubiqutuous presence of various forms of carbon allotropes. For long time, diamond and graphite were the only known carbon allotropes, but that has changed with the serendipous discovery of fullerences, carbon nanotubes, and graphene. Every ten or fifteen years scientists unveil new forms of carbons with new and perplexing properties, while computations suggest that the carbon’s family still has members unknown to us today. At a dramatically accelerated pace, new carbon allotrope forms find their place at the leading edge of scientific and technological innovations. At the same time traditional forms of carbon are being used in new and exciting applications that make our life safer, healthier, and more enjoyable. The 21st century may soon be recognized as the Age of Carbon forms.

This educational talk emphasized the role that carbon, the fourth most abundant element in the Galaxy and the basis of life on Earth, was the engine of most important technological developments throughout the history of civilization. The talk will emphasize carbon’s strong ability, as an element, to generate a variety of allotropic forms and to enter in a multitude of combinations with itself and with many other chemical elements. These properties have placed carbon at the core of numerous inventions that define out civilization, while emerging new technologies open a rich path for value-added products in today’s market. The potential of new (and traditional) carbon allotropes for development of new applications in nanotechnologies and nanocomposites, energy storage and conversion, gas separation, storage and sequestration, health management and drug delivery, defense and national security, aeronautics and astronautics, basic sciences and life sciences is still not fully explored and demands more basic and applied research. Today’s carbon science and technology offers a broad range of opportunities for the young generation of students, engineers and scientists.