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.

Energeia Newsletter Volume 23-4 now published (2012)

clock December 4, 2012 13:33 by author Alice


Energeia Newsletter Volume 20-4 now published

New <a href="">2012 Energeia Newsletter</a> now published, including:

  • Why China's energy scence is the new silk road;
  • What werewolves have to do with energy; and
  • Meeting announcements and much more.


UK Visualized Future for Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

clock November 26, 2012 15:51 by author Marybeth McAlister


For the last 60 years, Paducah, Kentucky, has been the point of origin for enriched uranium bound for U.S. energy and defense. The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, and the surrounding 3,000 acres, is one of the most contaminated top-secret sites in the United States. Since 2003, the Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and the Environment has gathered scientific data, investigated remediation techniques, and talked to Paducah residents about the future of the site. What was missing was a way to communicate the science of what was happening underground to spark conversation about the potential of the site. That’s where design came in. University of Kentucky College of Design students were enlisted to visualize the 5 miles of toxic pollutants underground, as well as research future uses for the site. The one with the greatest potential was the idea that the problem, the contamination, was the solution. Technology developed in Paducah could be exported to other contaminated sites around the globe.

UK College of Design students have created a vision of what the future could hold for this plant. Go to:

More information on the KRCEE program can be found at:


New Prospectus Explains CAER's Utility Consortium

clock November 24, 2012 13:35 by author Marybeth McAlister


Teaming with Kentucky's major power companies, the University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research has formed a consortium (CMRG). The group is carrying out a $24M ten-year program of research to development and demonstrate cost-effective and practical technologies for reducing and managing CO2 in existing coal-fired electric power plants. The intention is to position electric utilities to respond to a carbon-constrained economy prior to the imposition of environmental rules. Its purpose is to maintain and strengthen coal's competitive advantage as a least-cost fuel for electricity production, while improving environmental quality.

A new prospectus on this program can be found at:

CAER Advisory Board Meets Young Researchers

clock November 15, 2012 09:46 by author Marybeth McAlister

The Annual CAER Advisory Board meeting was a little different this year. Some of our younger researchers attended the board meeting and dinner, getting to meet and learn from the members of the board. Following the second day's program, several board members toured the CAER's new renewable fuels and energy storage research building.

CAER Takes Energy Research to Western Kentucky High Schools

clock November 5, 2012 09:54 by author Marybeth McAlister

Electricity isn’t magic — it's science. And on Thursday, Nov. 1, high school students from Union and Henderson County, along with students from the Earle C. Clements Job Corps Academy, learned just what allows them to use their iPhones, hair dryers, and other much-beloved electrical appliances. This interactive energy seminar featured researchers from the CAER and was part of the fourth annual Energy Week, sponsored by Plugged In-The Northwest Kentucky Energy Initiative.

Sarah Mardon, Western Kentucky energy coordinator for CAER, helped organize the event.

"We are excited to host the seminar for high school students for the second year in a row," she said. "It is important to further develop the students' understanding of how coal, a resource familiar to students from these counties, and its by-products, are used by utilities and industries. We also want to share the research we are performing at UK."

CAER researchers Jack Groppo and Robby Pace showed approximately 150 students the important role that minerals, such as coal, play in their lives.  They demonstrated how coal is used to make electricity and how technology is used to capture and recycle the ash that results from burning coal. 

They also discussed how algae are being developed to capture carbon dioxide from power plants, and how algae biomass can be used in several ways.

Afterward, the students viewed and learned about solar panels and wind turbines installed on the Job Corps site.

"We are very excited to host this educational event for local high school students and our Job Corps students," said Job Corps Business and Community Liaison Nyra Syers-Ford. "The Job Corps Academy solar panels and wind turbine, which power our material handling warehouse, are a highlight for students interested in alternative energy. This is our second year and we hope to continue and grow this great event."

Plugged In-The Northwest Kentucky Energy Initiative's goal is to support the region's energy producers, help develop work force training opportunities and educate students about energy-related fields. It also promotes northwest Kentucky as a potential leader in energy technology and innovation.

"With numerous students from across the region showing interest in energy related topics we look forward to another successful Energy Week in Northwest Kentucky," added Kevin Sheilley, president and CEO of Northwest Kentucky Forward.

The CAER maintains energy coordinators in western and eastern Kentucky. The purpose is to assist local governments and industry in the development of energy projects by introducing them to the capabilities of the center as well as the university as a whole.

Kentucky's Special Energy Subcommittee Meets and Tours CAER

clock October 30, 2012 15:05 by author Marybeth McAlister

UK President Eli Capilouto welcomed the Kentucky Special Energy Subcommittee to the Center for Applied Energy Research. The subcommittee held one of its regular meetings at the Center's new energy-efficient lab building and then toured the facility.

Chemistry Gets Fun

clock October 30, 2012 11:39 by author Marybeth McAlister


CAER graduate students Liz Ware-Harman  and Justin Mobley demonstrated experiments at the UK Chemistry Dept. during National Chemistry Week. They performed chemical and safety demonstrations for a large group of students from local schools.

UK Energy Club 101 Seminar

clock October 25, 2012 10:45 by author Marybeth McAlister


The UK Energy Club will be hosting its third Energy 101 Seminar of the semester this Thursday October 25th at 7:00pm in the Marksbury Theater.  The seminar will be given by Chris Reeves of CMTA.and will be speaking about energy efficient building designs and net zero buildings.

The Marksbury Theater is located at 329 Rose St. between Avenue of Champions and Maxwell St.  It is directly behind Qdoba.

Video Released on John Anthony's Research

clock October 23, 2012 14:04 by author Marybeth McAlister

UK Chemistry Professor, and CAER faculty associate's solar energy work is highlighted in a recent video.

CAER Now Has Large-Capacity Briquetter and Sample Preparation Equipment

clock October 23, 2012 12:57 by author Marybeth McAlister


The capabilities of the Engineered Fuels Group have recently expanded with the receipt of Komarek B-220 briquetter and 9 ft3 ribbon-paddle blender manufactured by Scott equipment.  The briquetter and blender combination significantly increases the CAER’s ability to provide services for our industrial partners by producing briquetted fuels in quantities sufficient for combustion tests.  To learn more about these capabilities, contact Dr. Darrell Taulbee at 859-257-0238;


Battery Center Toured by International Journalists

clock October 23, 2012 11:27 by author Marybeth McAlister


The Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center was toured recently by journalists. The Kentucky FAMiliarization Tour is sponsored by the Cabinet of Economic Development.  It is made up of professional writers from around the world who are interested in the automotive industry and related manufacturing.  They visited Kentucky as guests of Governor Beshear and toured the highlights of the state such as Ford, Toyota, UPS, and the Battery Center. The goal is to give them story information for future publications. 

Energy Coordinators Exhibit at Ky Academy of Sciences

clock October 22, 2012 15:37 by author Marybeth McAlister

UKCAER Regional Energy Coordinators Sarah Mardon and Greg Copley exhibited at the recent Kentucky Academy of Sciences Meeting.

Andrews Named 'Friend of College' of Design

clock October 22, 2012 09:12 by author Marybeth McAlister

The UK College of Design recently named @UKCAER Director Rodney Andrews this year's "Friend of the College." The award is given to someone who has partnered with the College to bring recognition and success.

Through his work at CAER, he has been instrumental in reviewing and promoting projects like the Houseboat for Energy Efficient Residences (HBEER), The Rivers Cities Project, The Paducah Studio, and the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam.

Successful Gaffin Lecture at CAER

clock October 19, 2012 11:26 by author Marybeth McAlister

CAER Assoc. Dir. for Carbon Materials, Matt Weisenberger (left), and American Carbon Society Gaffin Lecturer, Julian Norley.

Julian Norley Corporate Fellow, GrafTech International Holdings Inc., lectured on its 125 years as a carbon and graphite materials science company. The talk took his audience from the early days of gaslight assistance through today's use of the company's products in smart phones.

CAER's Recent Workshop on CCBs a Success

clock October 19, 2012 08:26 by author Marybeth McAlister

Experts from around the world (and here at CAER) taught a two day short course on ash use and management. The attendees learned the most up to date news on beneficiation, ccbs in the construction environment, current regulatory issues, and much more.

Graffin Lecture: 19 Oct. 2012, 10-11a.m.

clock October 17, 2012 09:33 by author Marybeth McAlister


Graffin Lecture: 19 Oct. 2012, 10-11a.m. UKY CAER Bandy Room 2540 Research Park Dr., Lexington, KY

Dr. Julian Norley Senior Corporate Fellow, GrafTech International Holdings Inc., Parma, Ohio, USA

GrafTech International - 125 Years of Carbon and Graphite Materials Science - from Arc Carbons to Smart Phones



GrafTech International was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1886 as the National Carbon Company and in 2011 celebrates 125 years as a carbon and graphite materials science company, with annual sales in excess of $1 billion and sixteen manufacturing plants located worldwide. GrafTech today manufactures a wide variety of carbon and graphite raw materials and finished products and services a broad variety of markets including steel making, solar, semiconductor, consumer electronics, oil and exploration, fuel cells and batteries.

The lecture will discuss highlights of GrafTech's 125 year history of invention and commercialization of carbon and graphite materials, covering the topics of arc carbons, brushes, dry cell batteries, electrodes for electric steel making, nuclear graphite, carbon fibers, alkaline batteries, fuel cells, graphite for the solar industry and heat spreaders for Smart Phones.

The American Carbon Society, supported by grants from the Asbury Graphite Mills, Inc., sponsors this lecture series in North American Universities. The lecture series is in honor of George D. Graffin, who was a pioneer in the natural graphite industry. Each year the Society selects a lecturer who has made distinguished contributions to carbon science and engineering. The lecture is available to North American universities, by arrangement with the lecturer.


The Speaker

Based at GrafTech's Parma, Ohio headquarters and R&D center, Dr. Norley directs the company's Advanced Energy group, which works on materials for electronic thermal management, LED lighting, fuel cells and energy storage applications. His work on the development of natural graphite heat spreaders led to a new market for GrafTech in consumer electronic applications, including plasma display panels, laptop computers and a new generation of handheld devices and smart phones. Sales of natural graphite materials for these applications represent one of the most rapid R&D-to-commercialization successes in GrafTech's history. Dr. Norley and his group have received five R&D 100 awards: in 2003 for heat sinks; 2004 for SPREADERSHIELD™ heat spreaders; 2007 for GRAFCELL® Flow Field Plates; 2009 for GRAFIHX® Flexible Heat Exchangers and in 2011 for the SS1500 family of ultrathin flexible graphite materials for smart phone applications. His group has also won and executed over $20 million in U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense and Ohio Third Frontier grants in the areas of electronic thermal management, fuel cells, nanocomposites, heat exchangers and lithium ion batteries. Dr. Norley has presented at numerous conferences and workshops and has been published extensively in his field. He has been awarded 20 US patents with one hundred and twenty three published worldwide patents and applications. In 2005, he was named Senior Corporate Fellow, GrafTech's highest scientific position.

Dr Norley achieved his B.S. degree in Metallurgy from Imperial College, London, in 1980, and his Ph.D. degree in Metallurgy from the same University in 1985.

More information can be found at:

Energeia Newsletter Volume 23, Issue 3 Now Published

clock October 16, 2012 14:45 by author Alice

New Volume 23, issues 3 (2012): Energeia Newsletter now published, including  


  • Fracture Stimulation of Shale Gas Wells - Is it Dangerous?
  • Revealing New Energy in a New CAER Building
  • Commentary - What does the public think about energy, or does it?
  • Burt Davis receives ACS Award
  • Carbon Capture 101 Workshop - February 2013

Distinguished Japanese Scientists Tour CAER

clock October 15, 2012 14:17 by author Marybeth McAlister

CAER was visited by international academics recently. Professors from Akita University and Kyoto University saw the breadth of our research and discussed coal liquefaction with the lab's experts.

Transy's Health, Wellness and Eco Fair

clock October 15, 2012 12:37 by author Marybeth McAlister


CAER staff members participated in Transylvania University's Health, Wellness and Eco Fair on October 10. They spoke to faculty, staff and students about current CAER projects and research along with the exciting announcements surrounding the opening of the new CAER lab.

Power UP Kentucky Web Site is on UKNOW News

clock October 8, 2012 16:27 by author Alice

"Power UP" Provides Resources to Kentucky Teachers and Students - from UKNOW: The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and the UK Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments (Vis Center) have worked together to develop an iPad app and website dedicated to energy education called "Power UP." The app and website are specifically designed for high school teachers throughout the Commonwealth to use in their curriculum, as well as to serve as a resource for students who want to learn more about energy usage.