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 attends Statewide Wood Energy Team Events

clock July 23, 2015 17:51 by author Alice
Dr. Darrell Taulbee, Industrial Support Coordinator, and Outreach and Technical Assistance Coordinator Greg Copley participated in Kentucky’s Statewide Wood Energy Team (SWET) field trip July 21, 2015. An active timber logging site and a reclaimed surface mine reforestation project were visited. Both sites are in Pike Co. KY. The tours were in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Council of Forest Engineering hosted by the UK Forestry Department. Other participants include bio energy interests, forest managers and state and federal forestry representatives.

Dr. Taulbee, right, with fellow SWET member Bobby Clark of Midwest Clean Energy. Taulbee and Copley have participated in previous events including a tour of RECAST Energy’s biomass boiler in Louisville and the 2014 Bioenergy Day at Murray State University. SWET is an initiative sponsored by the KY Energy and Environment Cabinet.

UK CAER Staff Co-authors for Paper Featured in COP Highlights

clock July 23, 2015 17:33 by author Alice
UK CAER Scientist Dr. James C. Hower and Mr. Greg Copley, UK CAER Eastern Kentucky Coordinator are co-authors on a paper that the College of Pharmacy Research Advisory Council selected for the May COP Monthly Publications Highlights.

The paper, "Terfestatins B and C, New p-Terphenyl Glycosides Produced by Streptomyces sp. RM-5-8" was recently published in Organic Letters, 2015, 17 (11), pp.2796-2799, (DOI: 10.1021/asc.orglett.5b01203). Organic Letters is an ACS Publications journal.

"A natural product discovery from a Kentucky coal mine fire site that shows promise in battling alcohol dependence is the UK College of Pharmacy Research Publication Highlight for June 2015." Read the rest of the story ...

UK CAER Staffer is Behind-the-Scenes Faciliator to West Liberty Community

clock June 11, 2015 11:20 by author Alice

Greg Copley, University of Kentucky CAER Regional Field Representative located in West Liberty, Kentucky has been involved in the effort to create studies for a town redesign to help eradicate the devastation caused by the 2012 tornado that ripped through the West Liberty community.   Greg introduced Greg Luhan, UK College of Design, to local business people that were interested in having a redesign of the town created in order to lure new businesses into the area.  

Greg has been a "behind the scenes" coordinator between the UK College of Design team and local business people in West Liberty during this project.  For more on the project and what it means to West Liberty, read the UKNOW's Story.

UK CAER's Regional Outreach Rep Arranges for Centre Students to Tour Surface Mine

clock February 5, 2015 11:23 by author Alice

On January 13, 2015, CAER’s Outreach and Technical Assistance Coordinator, Greg Copley arranged for a group of Centre College freshmen to tour Licking River Resources’ surface mine in Magoffin County.  Dr. Marie Nydam’s Economic, Environmental and Social Effects of Coal Mining in Eastern Kentucky class of 13 students spent roughly 5 hours at the site observing the coal extraction and washing processes.

Licking River’s Vice President Chris Lacy and Keith Fletcher, Land Manager provided the tour and discussed coal’s role in eastern Kentucky as an economic and energy driver. This was the first opportunity for many students to be in eastern KY and go on an active mine site. Many comments were made regarding the complexity of mining, the size of the equipment and the abilities of the miners. The class also witnessed the blasting of a new mine section.

Finally a tour and explanation of the company’s award worthy reclamation efforts occurred. The participants learned how reclaimed land are habitat for a variety of wildlife including elk, turkey, and free range horses.

Utilitiy Economic Group Tours UK CAER

clock February 5, 2015 11:13 by author Alice

THE LG&E/KU Economic Analysis group tour UK CAER on the afternoon of February 4th.  They toured several research areas in the renewables Lab 2; minerals and carbon labs; and the algae greenhouse. 

UK CAER Carbon Associate Director Quoted in Lane Report

clock January 9, 2015 14:11 by author Alice


The LANE REPORT, a publication that covers business and economic news from across Kentucky, recently focused on the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research's efforts in dealing with issues that affect the competitiveness of Kentucky's coal. Per the report ...

"Scientists at the UK Center for Applied Energy Research are exploring ways to improve the ecological impact of fuel coal and investigating whether it is feasible to turn it into a versatile, non-fuel raw material for industry. CAER’s research focuses include employing algae to gobble up carbon dioxide from power plants’ emissions, better managing waste coal ash, and transforming coal into high-strength, lightweight carbon fiber."

"The coal research complements a plethora of other energy studies CAER’s team of geologists, chemists and engineers of various disciplines are undertaking. They also are investigating biodiesel uses, advanced battery construction, renewable energy, and more."

"Explorations into remediation of coal-fired power plants emissions is CAER researchers’ top job, a mission shared with energy scientists the world over, according to Matt Weisenberger, the center’s associate director."

"The question is whether the various strategies CAER and other energy institutes are reviewing, is financially viable and scalable enough to counter criticisms of coal as a fuel source."

The complete Lane Report Article on UK CAER.


November 2014 Eastern Unconventional Oil & Gas Symposium in Lexington, Kentucky

clock October 16, 2014 10:36 by author Alice
The University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research and the UK Kentucky Geological Survey are collaborating for an inaugural symposium focusing on unconventional oil and gas in the Eastern US.

The Eastern Unconventional Oil and Gas Symposium ("EUOGS," is being held in Lexington, Kentucky, November 5-7, 2014. The symposium seeks to address a broad range of upstream and downstream issues related to energy production from emerging resources in the northeast United States.

To register for the EUOGS event.

The agenda/schedule can be found on the website:

Renewable Energy -- Opportunities and Limitations - PEIK Seminar

clock October 16, 2014 10:35 by author Alice
PEIK Seminar: October 17, 2:00pm, Worsham theater: "Renewable Energy -- Opportunities and Limitations"

The Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) in conjunction with the IEEE Power and Energy Society Lexington Chapter, is holding a seminar: Friday, October 17 at 2:00 pm (Please note different location)

Seminar Title: “Renewable Energy - Opportunities and Limitations”
Speaker: Dr. David Link, Manager of R&D, LG&E/KU
Date: Friday, October 17, 2014, 2pm, Worsham Theater, Student Center Addition, University of Kentucky

Please join us for the seminar. All faculty, students, staff, and visitors are welcome at the seminar.

More information on PEIK seminars can be found at .

(Professional Engineers and others who want Professional Development Hours can receive 1 PDH for the PEIK seminar. Participants wanting to receive PDH certificates should sign in at the seminar, and certificates will be emailed to them.)

Are high energy costs and unreliable power affecting your bottom line?

clock October 16, 2014 10:26 by author Alice
Sign up today for one of two Kentucky CHP Workshops in November to learn how a Combined Heat and Power system could help your business lower costs, improve power reliability and enhance environmental performance.

The CHP Workshops will provide:
  • An overview of CHP technologies
  • Types of systems available
  • Fuel options
  • Utility rates and regulations
  • Financing options and incentives
  • Policies and permit requirements
PLUS, you can get the facts about CHP in a Q&A session with end users and learn how to request a No Cost CHP assessment of your facility.

CHP End-Users Workshops
November 6, 2014 – Bowling Green, KY
Western Kentucky University
Knicely Conference Center, Room 112
2355 Nashville Road
Bowling Green, KY 42104
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CST
Registration deadline is November 3 for the Bowling Green workshop.

November 13, 2014 – Richmond, KY
Eastern Kentucky University
Quad A, Perkins Building
521 Lancaster Avenue
Richmond, KY 40475-3102
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST
Registration deadline is November 6 for the Richmond workshop.

Register Today!

The cost to attend is $30 which includes continental breakfast, lunch and all workshop materials. Pre-registration is required. No walk-in registrations can be accepted.

The Kentucky CHP Workshops are sponsored by the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers – KAM; the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet – EEC; the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center – KPPC; the U.S. Department of Energy – State Energy Program and the DOE Southeast CHP Technical Assistance Partnership.

Rodney Andrews, UK CAER Director, Speaks at 2014 Governor's Conference

clock October 16, 2014 10:14 by author Alice
Dr. Rodney Andrews was a panel speaker for the EPA's Greenhouse Gas Proposed Regulations session at the 38th Governor's Conference of Energy and the Environment - The Changing Landscapes in Kentucky - in Lexington, Kentucky - October 8, 2014.

Dr. Andrews is the Director of the University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research. He told the audience that carbon emissions are a global issue and other countries are increasing their fossil fuel use even as the U.S. is considering policies to cut back on the use of fossil fuels in the U.S. The EPA GHG proposed regulations will have a huge impact on low income families across the country and in Eastern Kentucky. And, the EPA's proposed Greenhouse Regulations is a case of policy getting ahead of technology.

Governor Conference Attendees Tour UK CAER

clock October 16, 2014 09:55 by author Alice
The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research recently offered a tour to attendees from the 2014 Governor's Conference on Energy and the Environment. CAER investigates energy technologies to improve the environment. Researchers contribute to technically sound policies related to fossil and renewable energy.

Tour participants learned about coal beneficiation, utilization and conversion process technologies; fuel use; coal combustion by-products; engineered fuels; derivation of high added-value materials and chemicals; and renewable energy such as biofuels and bioenergy, electrochemistry, solar energy and environmental remediation.

DEDI Creates Map of Kentucky Energy Bills as Percentage of Household Income

clock September 10, 2014 15:25 by author Alice
The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet's Department for Energy Development and Independence has created a cool and interesting map detailing Kentucky residents' energy bills and what percentage of that is used for their household income. Take a look at DEDI's YouTube Video page to see all the details.

Members of Utilities Services Tour UK CAER

clock August 5, 2014 18:00 by author Alice

The East Kentucky Power Cooperative DSM steering committee met recently on the UK CAER energy campus and afterwards took a tour around the CAER energy labs including stops in the renewables building including the solar and biofuels research groups. Additionally they reviewed carbon materials lab; minerals/environmental lab; greenhouse; and the power generation unit . The DSM members include members in the distribution co-ops that deal directly with electric consumers.

The ASER Summary: Community Engagement at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

clock July 11, 2014 15:43 by author Alice
The US Department of Energy (DOE) conducts environmental monitoring at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) and releases an Annual Site Environmental Report (ASER). Although available to the public, the ASER is developed for site managers and DOE Headquarters. This year, under the guidance of UK CAER’s Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and the Environment (KRCEE), Marshall County High School AP Environmental Science will summarize what they have learned about the PGDP ASER. The goal is to educate local students about the operations and cleanup activities at the PGDP and communicate the students’ new knowledge to the public.

Leading up to the PGDP tour, DOE Program Manager, Tracey Duncan, and KRCEE Principle Investigators, Steve Hampson and Dr. Richard Hallbrook gave lectures on the history and environmental challenges of the PGDP. On May 13th, members of KRCEE, Marshall County students and staff were given a DOE guided tour of the PGDP.


Afterwards, the group assembled at the Western Kentucky Wildlife Management Area (WKWMA) lodge to experience a presentation with live specimens by Dr. Steven Price, UK, Dept. of Forestry. The group then toured the WKWMA as Tim Kreher, Kentucky Wildlife Biologist, explained ecological considerations, use and management at the WKWMA.

STEM CAMP 2014 Rocks ... Bounces, Clanks, Gurgles ... at UK CAER

clock June 30, 2014 15:03 by author Alice
UK CAER hosted 144 eager, young, potential scientists - incoming 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders - at the Spindletop Energy campus on June 24 and 25, 2014. The students were participating in the See Blue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Camp being held at the University of Kentucky. The week-long day camp is designed to help students explore and integrate the STEM disciplines through authentic hands-on projects and real world applications.

These potentially future engineers, geologists and chemists spent the day at CAER involved in rotating between six hands-on experiments, demos and activities generally related to energy. The stops included (see below picture, left to right):

  • Jeanne Hartinger, CAER Staff: Students used engineering concepts to create balloons to compete for the highest bounce by using any of the various materials provided (rubber bands, tape, paper clips, washers) to make the balloon the correct shape, weight, diameter, or mass.
  • Jack Groppo, CAER Engineer: Students learned the basic concepts for water treatment (flocculation) by adding chemicals to suspensions of fine particles to cause rapid settling and produce clear water for recycling.
  • Mike Wilson, CAER Engineer: An outdoors "Energy Walk" combined physical activity with experiential learning by clarifying how much energy it takes to use various household electrical appliances in a typical home.
  • Robert Pace, CAER Scientist: A look at the energy dashboard of the CAER's renewable energy lab was part of the Newton's Cradle activity which utilizes a device that demonstrates conservation of momentum and energy via a series of swinging spheres.
  • Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez, CAER Scientist: The fossil fuels and biofuels race taught kids about the conversion of different starting materials – such as biomass and petroleum – to fuel, while at the same time making them aware of the economic and environmental costs associated with these transformations.
  • Anne Oberlink, CAER Scientist: A visit to the CAER minerals laboratory provided children a hands-on experience utilizing cement, and learning about coal ash, an energy-related by-product, to create a personalized paving stone.

UKNOW's CAER 101 Article and UK REVEAL Video

clock June 4, 2014 15:18 by author Alice
UK Scientists Energize Lessons for Local Fourth Graders - UKNow Campus Article - The "CAER 101" education program, which UK's Center for Applied Energy Research started 12 years ago in partnership with Russell Cave Elementary School, was expanded this year to include Liberty and Yates elementary schools as well. More ...


UK CAER Scientists making their contribution to the education mission of the University of Kentucky includes Jack Groppo, Ashley Morris, Mike Wilson, Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez, Robby Pace, Anne Oberlink, Bob Jewell, Lisa Richburg, and Andy Placido. They developed a dynamic education program for the 4th graders at three Lexington local elementary schools. The scientists along with Marybeth McAlister (and later Alice Marksberry) worked with the scientists and teachers in developing the education modules and spending time with those inquiring young minds.


Marybeth, the CAER communications manager, developed the initial educational outreach program efforts over 10 years ago at the Russell Cave School. In January 2014, she died unexpectedly and the CAER and FCPS teachers have continued with the project in part as a tribute to her.


DEDI New Personnel Visit UK CAER

clock June 4, 2014 13:37 by author Alice
New staffers at DEDI (Department for Energy Development and Independence, part of the Commonwealth of Kentucky's Energy and Environment Cabinet) toured various UK CAER science areas to better understand the various types of research activities that occur at the energy center. In addition to an introduction by Dr. Rodney Andrews, CAER Director, the renewables lab included the building's green characteristics as well as solar, elecrochemical power sources and biofuels research areas. Also included on the tour was the petrology lab, clean fuels and chemicals lab, power generation lab demo, briquetting, algae greenhouse, carbon materials and minerals research labs.

KAM Tours UK CAER Labs

clock June 4, 2014 13:32 by author Alice


Individuals from the Kentucky Manufacturing Association toured CAER labs recently to help develop potential partnerships between Kentucky's manufacturing industry and UK CAER.

UK Alum Tours UK CAER

clock June 4, 2014 13:25 by author Alice
Milton Huffaker, a 1957 UK Physics alumni toured UK CAER during a visit to the University of Kentucky campus to view and discuss various entrepreneur projects, which is the focus of his company, Coherent Investments. Mr. Huffaker toured various research areas at CAER including carbon materials, F-T, minerals, biofuels, batteries and algae.

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.