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.

Patrick Mansfield, UK CAER Student, Presents Poster at NCUR

clock May 6, 2014 15:05 by author Alice
A student with the CAER Power Generation research group recently participated in the 2014 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) that took place on the UK campus during April 2014. Patrick Mansfield, UK Chemical Engineering undergraduate, presented a poster dealing with carbon fibers reinforced polymer composite multiwall carbon nanotubes studded carbon fibers. Nearly 4,000 students and mentors across the US presented their research and creative endeavors.



UK CAER Shiela Medina Collaborates on the Kentucky Electricity Portfolio Model Report - UKNOW Story

clock April 15, 2014 10:42 by author Alice
Today's UKNOW reports on "UK, Energy Cabinet Forecast Kentucky's Energy Future" - A team of students and researchers from the University of Kentucky Department of Statistics and the UK Center for Applied Energy Research worked last summer with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to evaluate energy and environmental policy under a range of potential carbon dioxide regulatory scenarios. More...

 

The UK team included several students,Department of Statistics Professor Arne Bathke, and department Chair Arnold Stromberg. From CAER, Shiela Medina served in leadership role for the project team.


UK CAER Field Rep Visits 2014 CEDAR Coal Fair

clock April 11, 2014 15:42 by author Alice
CAER field representative Greg Copley visited the CEDAR coal fair and photographed the displays from the Science and Math categories. The 2014 Coal Education Development and Resource (CEDAR) Coal Fair was held April 8-11 at the University of Pikeville. Eastern Kentucky students (grades are K-4, 5-8, 9-12.) competed with posters and model displays of the coal industry to demonstrate how science and math are applied in real world situations which included:

 

- how coal is used to create electricity,
- how much coal a household uses,
- how mining provides economic opportunities
- how coal can clean water.

 



CAER HS Student Places at Local Science Fair

clock April 9, 2014 11:02 by author Alice
Christine Brandewie, a high school senior from Dunbar, worked on her senior project with the UK CAER Power Generation research group and recently used that research in a science fair entry titled: Catalysts to Decrease the Cost of Carbon Capture.

 

She recently placed second in the Chemistry division at the District Level on February 8th. She moves onto the next level, Regionals, this spring.


CAER 101 Project Brings Scientists into the Classroom

clock April 7, 2014 18:39 by author Alice

 

The CAER 101 project is bringing together scientists and children in a classroom setting. The scientists create lessons for 4th and 5th graders which allows the students have fun while learning sound energy science concepts in hands-on demos and lessons.

 

Tammy Lane, web editor from the Fayette County Public School System, does a great job of explaining the concept in an article posted today, April 7, 2014 on the FCPS web site:

 

- CAER 101 pairs scientists, fourth-graders in mutual exchange


CAER Staff Put Out the Flames During Fire Extinguisher Training

clock April 2, 2014 09:45 by author Alice
UK CAER Staff "gave it a shot" during a fire extinguisher training set up by UK CAER Safety Officer, Ruthann Chaplin. The UK Fire Marshall gave a short presentation and then would set a controlled fire so that each CAER staff member had the opportunity to use an extinguisher to practice putting out the flames.

 



Topics in Catalysis Issue Dedicated to Burt Davis Now Published

clock March 12, 2014 10:10 by author Alice
A special issue of the journal, Topics in Catalysis, has been published by Springer publisher. The issue includes a collection of papers authored by many of the speakers who attended a three-day awards symposium to honor Burtron H. Davis at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Spring National Meeting in New Orleans on April 8-10, 2013. Additionally, other authors who were unable to attend, but wanted to make a contribution are included.

 

"The presentations reflected an array of catalytic reactions for a wide range of energy applications ranging from traditional reactions in petroleum refining to alternative fuels research (including Fischer–Tropsch synthesis, methanol synthesis, hydrogen production and storage, and the upgrading of chemicals derived from biorenewable resources) to catalytic applications in rocket propulsion. The scope of the presentations and discussions reflects the far-reaching impact that Burt Davis has had on the catalysis and fuels research community".

 

Guest editors, Uschi Graham and Gary Jacobs, two scientists that work with Dr. Davis from the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research Clean Fuels & Chemicals research group, wrote the foreword for this special issue.

 

Dr. Davis, Associate Director of the CFC group at the UK CAER, is the recipient of the prestigious 2013 American Chemical Society’s Distinguished Researcher Award in Petroleum Chemistry.

 



LG&E/KU Consumer Advisory Panel Tours UK CAER

clock March 12, 2014 09:45 by author Alice
A group from the LG&E/KU Consumer Advisory Panel toured UK CAER labs in order to view the work conducted that positively influences the future success of the electric utilities industry. Stops included CO2 Capture Process; Algae/biofuels CO2 capture project; battery storage/energy; solar research; carbon and coal combustion by-products materials research, as well as catalysis synthetic gas process research.

 



Coal Combustion Products Workshop to be held April 2014

clock March 12, 2014 09:35 by author Alice

The Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and the American Coal Ash Association (ACAA) will host a workshop on coal ash utilization in Lexington, KY. The workshop will offer a comprehensive overview of coal combustion products (CCP) from the point of generation to inclusion in buildings, agriculture, infrastructure, and environmental remediation projects. The event is targeted at those who wish to increase their knowledge of the materials and the opportunities for recycling. Generators, marketers, consultants, public officials and students will find this workshop valuable in understanding the scope of CCP use and issues related recycling.

Date: April 29-30, 2014 at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Lexington, Kentucky.

Website: http://www.caer.uky.edu/ash2014/home.shtml

Topics/Speakers:

  • Dry FGD Systems and Products - Anne Oberlink, UK CAER
  • Wet FGD Systems – Gypsum Characteristics and Uses - Lamar Larrimore, Southern Company
  • Recovered Ash - Tom Robl, UK CAER
  • Geopolymers - Stephen Bryan, Ecocem Materials
  • CCPs and Sustainability - LEED - Lionel Lemay, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
  • Testing Methods - LEAF - John Daniels, UNC Charlotte
  • Ash Regulations - Tom Adams, American Coal Ash Association
  • CCP Recycling Challenges - Lisa Bradley, AECOM
  • Fly Ash Basics - Bob Jewell, UK CAER
  • Fly Ash Characterization and Mineralogy - Bob Rathbone, Boral
  • Fly Ash Uses and Applications - Jack Groppo, UK CAER
  • Ponds Management, Conversion and Abandonment - Gary Brendel, GAI Consultants


CAER Connects with Children at UK's Engineering Day

clock February 26, 2014 17:01 by author Alice

 

CAER was one of many exhibitor participants at the 2014 University of Kentucky's Engineering Day event held on the UK Campus on February 22nd.

 

Jack Groppo, a long-time CAER engineer, interacted with a lot of youngsters, even high school students hailing all the way from Harlan, Kentucky. The CAER and the UK Energy Club teamed together to use a bicycle to demonstrate energy conservation. Each child could ride the bike and see how much work it took to light up different types of light bulbs.

 

The CAER supports STEM educational outreach in many ways, including the CAER101 project - a "scientists in the classroom" approach using hands-on demos that support 4th grade curriculum.


What's Up with this Winter Weather? Trent Garrison Discusses topic on WEKU

clock February 21, 2014 17:31 by author Alice
Trent Garrison, a PhD student at UK Earth and Environmental Sciences under the direction of Jim Hower EES Adjunct Professor and UK CAER Geologist, spoke on the WEKU radio show on February 15th. Trent discussed the current weather patterns from a geologist's point of view on the program titled: Eastern Standard: What's Up with this Winter Weather? - Listen to that program.


Podcast of CAER Fuel Seminar Speaker - Max Ball

clock February 21, 2014 17:22 by author Alice

The University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research has published another podcast for individuals interested in energy issues.

It explored the topic of Carbon Capture and Storage by  Mr. Max Ball of SaskPower.  

- Podcast and PPT File

SaskPower's Boundary Dam Integrated CCS Demonstration will be the world's first full application of Post Combustion Carbon Capture to a coal fired power generating unit. An avalanche of learnings will come with start-up of this unit later in 2014. SaskPower 's Carbon Capture Test Facility, now under construction at Shand Power Station, will add another dimension to the operating experience beginning in 2015. Knowledge coming from these initiatives will pave the way for a second generation of clean coal projects.



UK CAER Hosts Workshop for Targeting Ideas to Foundations

clock February 18, 2014 17:46 by author Alice

The UK Office of Proposal Development prepared a workshop for CAER scientists regarding how to locate funding opportunities.

 

Using the SPIN Database to Find Funding Opportunities - This session provided information about the Sponsored Projects Information Network (SPIN) funding database, UK’s primary tool for detailed funding searches of both federal and private agencies. Participants will be introduced to the features of SPIN and will learn how to conduct their own advanced funding searches.

 

Targeting ideas to Foundations - This talk described the types of foundations that might be good targets for CAER research and how they differ from federal agencies.  We will identify some strategies for finding appropriate foundations and talk about the elements in a letter of inquiry, a common first step in approaching foundations.



Podcast of Dr. Wesley Burnett - CAER Seminar Speaker

clock February 17, 2014 18:54 by author Alice

The University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research has published another podcast for individuals interested in energy issues. It explored the topic of Sustainable Energy Development: An economic perspective by Dr. Wesley Burnett from the University of West Virginia, USA.

- Podcast and PPT File

Economics is a social science concerned with the allocation of scarce resources for satisfying unlimited wants. Given the exhaustibility of fossil fuels and concerns over global climate change, economic science provides an approach to better understand energy markets. The burning of fossil fuels result in economic and environmental consequences that are not always reflected in the prices of the resources. These “hidden costs” or externalities result in market failure, as the market fails to generate the efficient level of pollution control. In the case of stock pollutants, externalities can be particularly severe, arguably resulting in costs to future generations. Government intervention is often necessary in the presence of market failure.

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is an economic tool used to evaluate the equivalent value of benefits and costs of a particular project for a community. CBA is useful to establish whether such a project is worthwhile.

In this discussion, I shall address basic economic concepts including energy economics as a science, externalities, market failure, property rights, and cost-benefit analysis. The purpose of the discussion is to educate non-economist about these basic economic principles in attempt to bridge the gap between science and engineering.



College of Design Architecture Students Tour UK CAER

clock February 17, 2014 17:31 by author Alice

Approximately 60 students from the UK College of Design's Structural and Materials Concepts in Architecture class (Professor Martin Summers) toured the various research areas at the CAER on February 13, 2014. The students reviewed various material's related stops as well as hearing about the UK CAER Laboratory #2 Energy Efficient research building.

The tour stops included:

  • Dr. John Anthony's solar labs which develop functional materials for electronic and optical applications in organic thin-film transistors (for flexible flat-panel displays), organic solar cells (for low-cost generation of electricity) and organic light-emitting diodes (for high-efficiency lighting);
  • UK CAER Biofuels research which strives to reduce environmental impacts of fuel use and to develop renewable fuel sources;
  • UK CAER ECT research, specially potential building materials created from coal combustion by-products;
  • UK CAER Carbon Materials research, another area of materials development from high value carbon from Kentucky's fossil resources (nanotubes, carbon fibers, etc);
  • Algae Greenhouse project which works to capture CO2 from a coal-fired plant by the cultivation of algae (which can be converted into fuel products).


UK College of Design Senior Project at UK CAER

clock February 17, 2014 17:25 by author Alice
UK CAER is working with a UK College of Design student to create educational stations for use at various research site locations through the CAER campus. Jessica Neiser, a UK CoD interiors student, will be conducting her senior thesis project by designing a "system" that can be followed to develop these potential educational materials or "stops" throughout the center.


UK CAER Begins Work on the Local Government Energy Retrofit Program

clock February 17, 2014 17:21 by author Alice

The UK CAER recently received a Local Government Energy Retrofit Program grant. The scope is to work with local governments around the state to help them through the process of contracting with Energy Service Contractors to improve the efficiency of their facilities. Greg Copley is the contact person for this service.



UK Professor John Anthony Mentors Ky Senior to Intel Science Talent Search

clock January 30, 2014 13:25 by author Alice
From the Lexington-Herald Leader: Valerie Sarge, a senior at Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School, has been named one of the 300 semi-finalists in this year's Intel Science Talent Search, the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition. She was the only student chosen from Kentucky.

 

Valerie, whose topic was Synthesis of Benzodifuran Derivatives for Solar Cells, will receive a $1,000 award for her research. Dunbar also will receive $1,000 to further her education in science, math and engineering.

 

Forty finalists will be invited to Washington, D.C. in March to participate in final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists and compete for monetary awards.

 

John Anthony, University of Kentucky Hubbard Professor of Chemistry, Organic Synthesis and Materials Chemistry has been Valerie's mentor during her science project. Additionally Dr. Anthony was able to provide financial assistance for equipment and supplies to support Valerie's research from an Office of Naval Research grant.

 



Centre College Freshman Students Tour UK CAER

clock January 29, 2014 09:24 by author Alice

A group of Centre College freshman and their professor, Marie Nydam, recently toured the UK Center laboratories. Their course is on the effects of coal mining and the students are always interested in solutions to the environmental and economic problems they see as they tour Eastern Kentucky. Ms. Nydam felt that CAER would be a great place to visit to see research being completed so that it may become the basis of future solutions.

The students toured the coal combustion research lab; saw a briqetting demo; heard details about coal mine fires; talked with researchers about CO2 capture; learned a great deal about biofuels potential; heard a discussion about energy storage options and toured the CAER's energy efficient laboratory.



New Engineer Technician Position Available from UK CAER

clock January 24, 2014 11:06 by author Alice
The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research is seeking an individual for a full-time Engineer Technician Associate position. The candidate will be involved in various aspects of the Battery Center research including design, construction, assembly, installation, operation, calibration, testing, modification, and maintenance of equipment and analytical apparatus and staying up to date on appropriate use of tools, instruments, computer analytical apparatus, and other battery related technologies.