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.

Online Text book Written by CAER's Graham, Jacobs and Davis

clock June 30, 2014 11:10 by author Alice
The online book ‘Practical Electron Microscopy and Database,’ a reference for TEM and SEM operators, engineers, technicians, managers, researchers and students uses TEM/EELS data and figures generated and published by Graham, Jacobs and Davis. For more information, check out the online book page.



Research by Fulbright Scholar Completed while at UK CAER Wins Major Award

clock June 4, 2014 13:46 by author Alice
Thani Jermwongratanachai, previously a graduate student at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research, has won the best oral presentation award at the RGJ - Ph.D. Congress XIV held at the Jomtien Palm Beach Hotel and Resort in Pattaya, Thailand. Ph.D students present at the RGJ conference at the end of their educational program. The title of Thani's talk was “A Comparison between Pt and Ag as Metal Promoters for Co/Al2O3 Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Catalyst”.

 

Thani Jermwongratanachai, previously a graduate student at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research, has won the best oral presentation award at the RGJ - Ph.D. Congress XIV held at the Jomtien Palm Beach Hotel and Resort in Pattaya, Thailand. Ph.D students present at the RGJ conference at the end of their educational program. The title of Thani's talk was “A Comparison between Pt and Ag as Metal Promoters for Co/Al2O3 Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Catalyst”.

 

 

Thani was part of the Royal Golden Jubilee (RGJ) program of Thailand project which aims to produce 5,000 Ph.D. graduates in as few as 15 years when it was realized in the last two decades that one of the serious causes for the social and economic weakness of Thailand was the severe shortage of highly qualified human resources especially in the field of science and technology. Because of its merit, the project was also proclaimed one of the programs to commemorate H.M. the King's Golden Jubilee year of reign.

 

The work that was presented was completed at CAER during the summer of 2013. His advisers were Boonyarach Kitiyanan (Chulalongkorn University), Gary Jacobs (UK-CAER), and Burtron H. Davis (UK-CAER). Top, as he was affectionately known at CAER, came to the Center as a Fulbright Scholar after receiving a grant in 2012. The grant application was written by his three advisors, with Dr. Jacobs and Prof. Davis serving as his hosts in the USA. During his stay, he made presentations at national and international meetings and was a co-author on 6 refereed publications.

 

His primary research explored the use of silver as a promoter in cobalt Fischer-Tropsch synthesis catalysts to not only possibly replace expensive precious metal promoters (e.g., platinum), but to also improve the product selectivity away from undesirable light gas products. Much of his work involved the use of synchrotron radiation, and Top had the opportunity to accompany Dr. Jacobs on visits to the synchrotron at Brookhaven National Laboratory, as well as to collaborate with researchers at Argonne National Laboratory.

 

In May of 2014, Dr. Jacobs received funding from the Royal Golden Jubilee program to visit Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, and serve on Top’s graduate committee. On May 16th, Top successfully defended his thesis, entitled “Utilization of methane: methylation of benzene with methane, and gas-to-liquids (GTL) via Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.” The same day, Dr. Jacobs gave a one hour seminar entitled “Applications of synchrotron methods in the characterization of catalysts for the production of alternative fuels.”

 



UK CAER's Uschi Graham Joins NAM Organizing Committee

clock June 4, 2014 11:32 by author Alice

Dr. Uschi Graham, UK CAER Research Scientist, has been asked to join the organizing committee of the 24th North American Catalysis Society.  The 24th NAM conference will be held in Pittsburg, PA from June 14-19, 2015 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. 



Burt Davis Receives 2014 NACS Award for Distinguished Work

clock June 4, 2014 11:01 by author Alice

Dr. Burtron Davis, UK CAER Clean Fuels and Chemicals Associate Director, is the has received the 2014 NACS Award for Distinguished Service in Advancement of Catalysis.

The following is taken from the NACS Press Release (nacatsoc.org/category/news/):  The Award is pre­sented every two years to rec­og­nize an indi­vid­ual who has advanced cat­alytic chem­istry or engi­neer­ing through both sig­nif­i­cant ser­vice to the catal­y­sis com­mu­nity and out­stand­ing tech­ni­cal accom­plish­ments. This award includes an hon­o­rar­ium ($5,000) and a plaque. It is awarded by the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety and spon­sored by Exxon­Mo­bil Research and Engi­neer­ing and Clari­ant and will be pre­sented dur­ing the 2015 NAM in Pittsburgh 

Dr. Davis is being rec­og­nized in par­tic­u­lar for his con­tri­bu­tion to indus­trial research prob­lems with a detailed under­stand­ing of cat­alytic trans­for­ma­tions. His work in iso­topic label­ing stud­ies has helped obtain in depth knowl­edge of reac­tion path­ways of indus­tri­ally rel­e­vant processes and prob­ing cat­alytic mech­a­nisms. Specif­i­cally, Dr. Davis has focused on Fischer-Tropsch reac­tion mech­a­nisms and cat­alytic trans­for­ma­tions using cobalt, iron and ruthenium-based cat­a­lysts research­ing fun­da­men­tal ques­tions with indus­try rel­e­vance. Dur­ing his five decade career, Dr. Davis has co-authored more than 500 peer reviewed pub­li­ca­tions and orga­nized numer­ous sym­posia in var­i­ous areas of catalysis that honored renowned petroleum chemists including Paul H. Emmett, W. Keith Hall, Robert Eischens and John Sinfelt among many others. 

In ser­vice to the catal­y­sis com­mu­nity, Dr. Davis has served the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety in var­i­ous capac­i­ties includ­ing orga­niz­ing the 12th NAM in Lex­ing­ton and serv­ing as the Hon­orary Chair of the 23rd NAM in Louisville. For the past three decades Dr. Davis has func­tioned as a his­to­rian of the NACS and the catal­y­sis com­mu­nity. His fore­sight, ded­i­ca­tion and efforts to archive and record the his­tory of the soci­ety and cat­alytic sci­ence has led to an unprece­dented NACS hosted col­lec­tion of more than 1300 videos of con­fer­ence pre­sen­ta­tions and one on one inter­views.  He has captured the voices, images and messages of many of the greats in catalysis including Professors Paul Emmett, Ed Teller, Geoff Wilkinson, Robert Burwell, Daniel Eley, Michel Boudart, Mark Dry, and Hermann Pines just to name but a few.  This col­lec­tion stands as a tes­ta­ment to the ded­i­ca­tion of Burt Davis to the preser­va­tion of the his­tory of catal­y­sis for gen­er­a­tions to come.



UK CAER Scientist Gives Plenary Lecture at International Nanotechnology Congress

clock May 12, 2014 15:53 by author Alice
Dr. Uschi Graham, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research, recently attended the International Nanotechnology Congress, held April 23-36, 2014 in Antalya, Turkey. She presented one of the plenary lectures at the Congress that was entitled “In vivo processing of ceria nanoparticles: Impact on free radical scavenging activity and oxidative stress.” Ceria is an important industrial catalyst material used in fuel synthesis applications and is extensively studied in the Clean Fuels and Chemicals Group at the CAER.

 

The Nanotox2014 Congress continues the series of international conventions on nanotoxicology that so far has included meetings in Miami (2006), Zurich (2008), Edinburgh (2010) and Beijing (2012). The focus of these meetings is on outcomes of interactions between engineered nanomaterials and biological systems. The Congress in Antalya had participants from 42 countries representing Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and Africa.

 



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.

 



Catalyis Expert Meets Another Milestone and is Honored

clock November 7, 2013 12:03 by author Marybeth McAlister

 

 

Associate Director Burt Davis is being honored by a Special Issue of Topics in Catalysis on “Catalysis for Energy Applications”.  The guest editors are CAER researchers Uschi Graham and Gary Jacobs, and the Chief Editors are Professor Gabor Somorjai (University of California, Berkeley, USA) and Professor Hans-Joachim Freund (Fritz Haber Institut der Max Planck, Gessellschaft, Germany).  The 39 papers, including 10 co-authored by at least one group member from CAER,  have been accepted and are being prepared by Springer Publishing for early 2014 publication. The prolific group also has two most-cited articles in Journal of Catalysis and Applied Catalysis A: General over the last five year period. 


Burt Davis



Founders and Innovators of Catalysis Science - Energeia Vol 24 - 2013

clock October 22, 2013 11:10 by author Alice

The next issue of the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research's newsletter, Energeia, (vol 24, issue 3, 2013) is now available.  Articles include: 

  • The Founders and Innovators of Catalysis Science, Part 2 by Dr Burt Davis
  • Why EPSCoR Matters by Jeff Mossey
  • News items including:
  • Record Breaking Catalysis Conference Organized by CAER Researchers.li>
  • Institute for Briquetting and Agglomeration 33rd Biennial Technical Conference
  • CAER selected for National Energy Technology Laboratory $3 million project


Real Time May-June 2013 Newsletter

clock July 25, 2013 11:18 by author Alice

Real Time is now available!

May-June 2013 Newsletter from the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research

Feature: Record Breaking North American Catalysis Society Conference co-organized by UK CAER Researchers. Burt Davis receives a NACS award.

Highlights: CAER's renewable energy laboratory building has saved approximately $147,000 per year in utility savings; CRN and CEATI have annual meeting at UK CAER; Russell Cave students enjoy tour at UK CAER; Researches reach out during recent STEM Girl's day at EKU; Steven Lipka is early grantee of announced UK-GE master agreement; UK CAER presents award to John Moffett for CAER Distinguished Service Award; and much more!



Energeia 2013 Issue 24-2 now Published

clock July 17, 2013 16:12 by author Alice

Energeia 2013 Issue 24-2 includes:

  • The Founders and Innovators of Catalysis Science - Paul Emmett, Edward Teller, Geoffrey Wilkinson, Edith Marie Flanigen, Gabor Somorjai, Gehard Ertl, Keith Hall, Robert Grubbs by Burt Davis
  • WOCA 2013
  • CAER Expands Briquetting and Binder Development
  • Commentary - Economic Development in Eastern Kentucky Requires Integration of Energy Resources by Roger Ford
  • CAER Spring Filled with Student Tours


Record Breaking Catalysis Conference Organized by CAER Researchers

clock June 13, 2013 11:00 by author Marybeth McAlister

 

The record-breaking 23rd Meeting of the North American Catalysis Society got off on a fast track at an opening reception at Churchill Downs this month.  A large portion of the successful conference was organized by University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy catalysis scientists.

This biennial meeting, with its large international participation, is the premier scientific event in the field of catalysis.  The Tri-State Catalysis Society hosted the 23rd North American Meeting (NAM) in Louisville and this event surpassed all previous NAMs with 1,300 attendees, 54 exhibitors, 400 oral presentations, 600 posters, $278K in general sponsorship from 38 sponsors, and $75K in Kokes awards to enable students to participate in the meeting.

CAER researcher Uschi Graham was the co-meeting chair, along with Umit Ozkan (The Ohio State) and Madan Bhasin (MATRIC). CAER Associate Director Burt Davis was the honorary chair; and CAER researcher Gary Jacobs chaired the Kokes Student Award Committee.

 

 



Girls Learn from Female Mentors

clock June 12, 2013 11:06 by author Marybeth McAlister

 

CAER researchers Anne Oberlink and Liz Harman-Ware reached out to high school girls at the EKU Girls’ STEM Day recently. The scientists were accompanied by two high girls who recently toured CAER. STEM practitioners and educators led girls through activities that mirror real-world STEM tasks and highlight creative and innovative problem solving.  Anne and Liz exhibited and served as mentors.

Anne (left) and Liz



High School Students' CAER-mentored Projects Win at Recent Science Fairs

clock April 8, 2013 11:11 by author Marybeth McAlister

 

Four local high school students who were mentored by University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research scientists have proved experience gain by working in laboratories with mentors is invaluable.

Valerie Sarge, a junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, placed first in the Energy and Transportation category at the Central Kentucky Regional Science and Engineering Fair, going on to win first place in the same category at the state competition. This qualifies her to go on to Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) to be held in Phoenix. Valerie was mentored by Chemistry Professor/CAER Faculty Associate, John Anthony. In her work with the solar energy group she is using organic compounds called furan-based materials. These can be derived from agricultural waste products to create new semiconductors for use in low-cost solar cells. She is has been working on synthesis, but may soon move toward creating solar cells.

Will Kimmerer, a ninth grader at Sayre School, won top awards at the regional and state fairs in the Environmental Science category, including second in the Physical Sciences category. Kimmerer is interested in water purification and obtained carbon material samples for use in his project from CAER working closely with Director Rodney Andrews during the project. He was selected for the I-SWEEP 2013 conference (International Sustainable World Energy Engineering Environment Project) in Houston, where he will present his work. Additionally, he was selected for the Stockholm Junior Water Award.

Additionally, two Dunbar CAER interns placed well at the regional level and went on to compete at the state competition. Rohin Lohe placed first in the "Engineering: Materials and Bioengineering" category, and went on to place third at the state competition. Lohe will compete at the Kentucky Junior Academy of Sciences on April 27th. John Luan also won in the “Energy and Transportation” category at regionals.

Matt Weisenberger, Associate Director for Carbon Materials, is mentoring Lohe with a project titled "Finite Element Analysis of Heat Conduction through Interfaces: Modeling and Experimental Verification with Stainless Steel, Copper, and Multiwall Carbon Nanotube Arrays as Thermal Interface Materials." Lohe has been conducting his research at the UK CAER laboratory facilities and working directly with the Carbon Materials Research staff in completing the tests.

Finally, Lohe’s project included part of the expertise gained while working with CAER’s Electrochemical Power Sources group under the direction of Associate Director Steve Lipka.  John is working on a project entitled “Carbon-based Capacitive Thin Films for AC Line Filtering” in which the goal is to demonstrate whether carbon-based supercapacitors can be used as a lower-cost, more-dependable replacement for traditional electrolytic capacitors in electronic devices.  



UK CAER Scientists Present at First-Ever SEC Symposium

clock February 4, 2013 15:30 by author Alice

Three University of Kentucky faculty members will present at the first-ever Southeastern Conference Symposium which will be held in Atlanta February 10-14, 2013.

John Anthony, UK's Gill Professor of Chemistry will present at a session about advanced materials for energy applications Dr. Anthony's laboratories are housed at the UK Center for Applied Energy Research Lab #2 Renewable Energy building.

Mark Crocker, associate director of UK CAER's Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis research group and Dr. Burt Davis, associate director of UK CAER's Clean Fuels and Chemicals research group will also present at the SEC Conference.Dr. Crocker will speak in a session about technologies for producing biopower, biofuels and biomaterials. Dr. Davis will present in an energy advances in transportation sector session.

More information can be found in UK's UK NOW news article.



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.



UK CAER Catalysis Publications in "Most Cited" Category

clock September 19, 2012 10:20 by author Alice

The Clean Fuels and Chemical Research Group at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research can lay claim to not one but two "most cited" papers in the area of applied catalysis research.

One of the most downloaded articles on the Applied Catalysis A web site is ... Fischer–Tropsch synthesis: Effect of Pd, Pt, Re, and Ru noble metal promoters on the activity and selectivity of a 25%Co/Al2O3 catalyst, by Wenping Ma, Gary Jacobs, Robert A. Keogh, Dragomir B. Bukur, and Burtron H. Davis. 

 An older publication from the Clean Fuels research group continues to be one of the most cited papers for the same journal ... Fischer-Tropsch synthesis: Temperature programmed EXAFS/XANES investigation of the influence of support type, cobalt loading, and noble metal promoter addition to the reduction behavior of cobalt oxide particles, vol 333, Issue 2, December 2007, Pages 177-191 by Jacobs, G., Ji, Y., Davis, B.H.,  Cronauer, D., Kropf, A.J., Marshall, C.L.