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.

PostDoc Researcher CO2 Capture Solvent Position is Open at UK CAER

clock October 24, 2014 15:40 by author Alice
The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (@UKCAER) is looking for an individual to fill a position/job for CO2 capture solvent and degradation and analysis. The successful candidate will develop test methods to identify and quantify solvent degradation products including nitrosamines as related CO2 capture processes. Other responsibilities will include developing gas phase sampling and analytical methodologies.

The position requires a Ph.D. in chemistry, chemical engineering or environmental science from an accredited college or university. Other degrees will be considered assuming relevant experience. Prior experience in solvent degradation, gas phase sampling and analytical method development using a variety of instrumentation is highly desirable.

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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.



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.


UK CAER's Research is Used in KY's First Megawatt-Scale Carbon Capture Pilot Unit

clock July 21, 2014 14:32 by author Alice

Gov. Steve Beshear (fifth from right) cut the ribbon to begin construction of Kentucky's first megawatt-scale carbon capture pilot unit at an operating power plant located at Kentucky Utilities Company’s E.W. Brown Generating Station, near Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Also pictured, (extreme left) Dr. Kunlei Liu, CAER Director of Research; (to right of Governor) UK President Eli Capilouto and (extreme right) Dr. Rodney Andrews, CAER Director.

A news conference and ribbon cutting on the grounds of the unit was held this morning with Gov. Steve Beshear, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters, LG&E and KU Energy Chairman, CEO and President Victor Staffieri, University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto, and other dignitaries and industrial partners in attendance. The $19.5 million project with the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research is made possible through ... rest of story from UKNOW.


UKNOW HIghlights CAER - China Carbon Capture Collaboration

clock July 15, 2014 13:06 by author Alice
According to a story on UKNOW: LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15. 2014) — The University of Kentucky has entered into an agreement with a major Chinese petrochemical conglomerate to develop technologies to capture, utilize and store 1 million tons of carbon dioxide per year from a coal-fired power plant in Dongying, Shandong, China.

The agreement, between UK's Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and the Sinopec Corporation's Shengli Oilfield Company and Petroleum Engineering Construction Corporation, is a project of the joint U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) as part of its Carbon Capture, Use, and Storage (CCUS) initiative. Preliminary work on the project began in 2012, and work is scheduled to continue through 2017.

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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.

 



UK CAER Works with Deep Springs Elementary

clock June 4, 2014 10:35 by author Alice

CAER reseachers Andy Placido and Stephaine Kesner recently spent time at the Deep Springs Elementary school to bring one of the CAER 101 modules - Using Motors to Make Electricity -  to the students during their review day prior to testing.  Demonstration of mini-wind turbine was used to show when blades spin, an LED bulb is lit.  Changing speeds of the fan at a set distance shows how this can change energy production. 



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.



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


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.



New Job Annoucement from UK CAER Power Generation Research Group

clock December 17, 2013 15:39 by author Alice

The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research seeks a Pilot-Scale CO2 Capture Process Operations Team Member. This position will include hands-on operation of a 0.1 MWth scale CO2 capture process located at UKy-CAER and will require lifting and climbing ladders. There may be opportunity for contribution to the preparation of scholarly reports, manuscripts, articles, and proposal submissions. For more information please visit the UK CAER website.



Congratulations to Darrell Taulbee - IBA Incoming President

clock November 18, 2013 13:36 by author Marybeth McAlister

Longtime CAER researcher, Darrell Taulbee, was recently named the incoming President to the Institute for Briquetting and Agglomeration at the 33rd biennial conference in San Francisco, CA. He has been involved in the organization for the past decade, vice president and a member of the  board of directors. He also won the Neal Rice Award for Best paper. The IBA is a group of business and technical people interested and involved in the research, development, and production of briquettes, pellets, and other densified products, and the equipment used to produce them.For more information on IBA, go to: http://agglomeration.org/

 



25 Elementary School Science Teachers Learn from CAER Science Lab Tour

clock November 17, 2013 20:16 by author Marybeth McAlister

For several years CAER havs been part of KYNEED's bigger area tour for science teachers. The two day travels include power plants, mines, Locust Trace Elementary, etc.  The group gets a close up view and explanation of carbon dioxide capture, biofuel energy, and how coal ash can be recycled into useable products instead of land filled at CAER. 



Keeping Power Plants in Line with Federal Emission Regulations

clock November 17, 2013 19:20 by author Marybeth McAlister
Credit engr.uky.edu

 

Kentucky lawmakers were briefed about ongoing technological developments to make the state's coal-fired power-plants more in line with new federal emissions standards.  But, the effort may be more about keeping coal a viable source of energy for the state than it is about fixing the environment.

 

Rodney Andrews is the director for the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research. The Center's work is largely centered on what to do with the carbon dioxide that’s created as a result of burning fossil fuels like coal and contributes to climate change.

But Andrews says it’s not quite ready for prime time.

“These technologies take time to develop. They also take, unfortunately, a lot of money. So we are looking at projects going out as far as 2020,” said Andrews.

That troubled energy subcommittee co-chair Rep. Richard Henderson and other fellow Eastern Kentucky lawmakers, who criticized the EPA and Obama Administration for new emission regulations.

“Do we wait, and hope that we have a less radical administration the next time, and we can move forward with carbon capture? What do we do, what do we need to do as a body to help move East and West Kentucky forward?” asked Henderson.

Andrews’ answer? Continue funding research.

But even in the best-case scenario, he said, energy costs across the state will continue to climb in the years to come.

A version of this article was first produced by WEKU.



Zeolite Membrane Development PostDoc Position Available

clock November 5, 2013 13:47 by author Alice

The University of Kentucky, Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) is seeking to fill an immediate postdoctoral scholar opening. The successful candidate will develop a zeolite membrane/membrane reactor for gas/liquid separation/reaction.

The position requires a Ph.D. in materials science, chemical engineering, chemistry, or a related field from an accredited college or university. Prior experience in any field of synthesis of zeolite membranes, zeolite catalyst synthesis, or heterogeneous catalysis is highly desirable. Prior industrial experience in the production of zeolite catalysts, such as FCC or hydroprocessing catalysts, is also highly valued.

 



CAER Receives $3 million for Carbon Capture Research

clock October 1, 2013 10:31 by author Marybeth McAlister

CAER is working to advance technology to capture carbon dioxide from new and existing coal-burning power plants, funded by a major grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The National Energy Technology Laboratory, part of the DOE Office of Fossil Energy, has selected the UK Center for Applied Energy Research for the three-year, $3 million project.

The announcement comes on the heels of regulations proposed Sept. 20 by the Environmental Protection Agency to sharply reduce carbon emissions from new power plants. This development presents serious challenges to the coal industry, which currently lacks cost-effective technology that would enable it to comply with the proposed lower limits.

"Technologies for carbon capture, utilization and storage will be crucial in sustaining coal as a viable fuel under increasing carbon constraints," said CAER Director Rodney Andrews. "The technology is feasible, but it is not yet ready for full-scale implementation. That's why this project is so important." 

The CAER project will advance the DOE's goal of having technology available by 2020 that can achieve a 90-percent carbon dioxide capture rate, at a cost of $40 per metric ton of carbon dioxide captured.

A major cost associated with commercial carbon dioxide capture is the size of the "scrubber" needed to handle the volume of flue gas produced by a power plant. CAER has developed a catalyst to speed up the absorption rate of the solvent used, so the scrubber can be much smaller. Overall, the CAER technology could reduce the cost of carbon dioxide capture by 56 percent, compared to the current DOE reference case.

Research and development by CAER will enable efficient, cost-effective implementation of carbon capture throughout the power generation sector and ensure that the United States and other nations will continue to have access to safe, reliable, and affordable energy from fossil fuels, Andrews said.

"These essential factors of production, in turn, have and will continue to drive industrial growth, raising personal incomes, higher standards of living, and an improved quality of life," he said.

DOE's investment is $2,966,957, in addition to cost share of $242,615 from UK and $499,675 from the Carbon Management Research Group, an industry-based research consortium with membership consisting of AEP, Duke, EPRI, LGE-KU and the state’s Department of Energy Development and Independence. Kunlei Liu, CAER associate director for research, will serve as the university’s principal investigator.

UK President Eli Capilouto commended researchers at CAER for tackling head-on the "questions of efficiency, sustainability and utilization," raised by the global energy debate.

“Our researchers, in partnership with the Department of Energy and the Carbon Management Research Group, are reaching new discoveries that can transform the Kentucky and national energy economy,” he said.



Several Job Positions Available at UK CAER

clock September 23, 2013 11:53 by author Alice

The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research has posted 8 job descriptions that are now available.  Please review the Power Generation page for details.

  • CO2 Capture Process Modeling Post Doctoral Researcher
  • CO2 Capture Process Data Analysis Post Doctoral Researcher
  • Environmental Gas Sample Collection Technologist
  • Amine Aerosol Emissions from CO2 Post Doctoral Researcher
  • Solvent Degradation and Emissions Post Doctoral Researcher
  • Zeolite / Zeolite Membrane Development / Liquid Separation Post Doctoral Researcher
  • Electrochemical Development for Thermal Energy Generation Post Doctoral Researcher
  • Catalysis / Develop Catalysts to Enhance CO2 Capture Processes Post Doctoral Researcher


New Position Available from Power Generation Research

clock March 18, 2013 17:14 by author Alice

New Position for a Post Doc Scientist now advertised from the Power Generation Research Group at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research.



BAE Mid-West Regional Rally Tours UK CAER

clock March 1, 2013 16:11 by author Alice

The 2013 BAE Mid-West Regional Rally - attended by various BAE student branches from such states as Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and others - toured the UK CAER facilities and met with research scientists on March 1, 2013.  They spoke with Rodney Andrews, UK CAER Director and then toured the new CAER Lab #2 Renewables Building.  They spoke with scientists from the Biofuels research area as well as a tour of the CAER Greenhouse.  They also toured the Minerals Processing and Carbon SpinLine Buildings and finished with a tour of the Power Generation lab.  

The Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Mid-West Rally is held each year in a different state to promote networking by holding meetings and tours to allow the students to learn about various engineering-related activities in the host state.  UK BAE Professor, Dr. Czarena Crofcheck, organized the tour.