University of Kentucky CAER Home

Clean Fuels Staff

  • Burt Davis
    Associate Director - Clean Fuels and Chemicals
    Scientist IV/Engineer
    Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
    Research focuses on direct and indirect liquefaction; Catalysis in Coal Conversion; Analysis of Synfuels Products; and the relationship between Coal Structure and Liquefaction Behavior. Also, documenter of historic scientific personalities through videotaping.

  • Debanjan Chakrabarti
    Visiting Scientist - Clean Fuels and Chemicals
    Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
    He is earning a PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta. (September 2013 - February 2014).

  • Muthu Kumaran Gnanamani
    Senior Research Scientist - Clean Fuels and Chemicals
    Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
    Research interests include Fischer-Tropsch synthesis; nano cobalt catalysts and their application in FT synthesis; microkinetic ttudies of C/C coupling. Expertise in ultra deep desulfurization of VGO and oxidative desulfurization of HDS diesel; synthesis and characterization of various mesoporous molecular sieves like MCM-41, HMS, SBA-15, SBA-16 and their aluminum, titanium, zirconium substituted materials; and testing catalysts for hydrodesulfurization, hydrogenation, and hydro cracking of various model compounds (Thiophene, cyclohexene, cumene) in a fixed-bed catalytic micro reactor operating at atmospheric pressure.

  • Uschi Graham
    Principal Research Scientist - Clean Fuels and Chemicals
    Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
    Research focus: Catalyst Materials for Fischer Tropsch Synthesis Applications; Catalysts for CO2 Reforming and Reduction; Mixed Plasma Reactors; CVD Applications; Carbon materials for Catalyst Supports; Oxide Nanowires, Nanotubes and Nanowebs; Characterization of Nanomaterials: XPS, XRD, SEM, HR-TEM, STEM and EELS; Nanomaterials from Flame Pyrolysis; Catalysts for Fuel Cells and Batteries; Nanoimaging of Tissue Materials and in situ Characterization.

  • Gary Jacobs
    Principal Research Engineer - Clean Fuels and Chemicals
    Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
    Expertise includes Catalyst Characteraction: Synchrotron techniques (EXAFS, XANES, XRD); Vibrational spectroscopies (FTIR, Raman); Adsorption methods (physisorption, chemisorption); Temperature programmed methods (TPR, TPD, TPO, etc.); Probe reactions for active site characterization (e.g., ring opening, acid/base sites, metallic sites). Hydrogen Production Catalysis: Fuel processing catalysis for hydrogen production/purification - high/low temperature water gas shift, preferential oxidation; Storage and release of hydrogen via chemical carriers - steam reforming of alcohols, methanol synthesis. Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis: Cobalt-based catalysts for gas-to-liquids ... - characterization of metal-support effects (crystallite size, extent of reduction, site densities); - catalyst stability issues. Other Areas: Dehydrocyclization of paraffins; Solid superacid catalysts; Model catalysts.

  • Robert Keogh
    Principal Research Scientist - Clean Fuels and Chemicals
    Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
    Catalyst preparation and testing (bench scale to pilot plant); analysis of reactor products; direct and indirect liquefaction.

  • Wenping Ma
    Senior Research Engineer - Clean Fuels and Chemicals
    Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
    Coal/Natural gas to liquid fuels; hydrogen production by water gas shift reaction; syngas production by dry/steam reforming of natural gas; catalysts for production of liquid and hydrogen fuels; modeling and simulation of reactor behaviors at steady and unsteady states.

  • Venkat Ramana Rao Pendyala
    Senior Research Scientist - Clean Fuels and Chemicals
    Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
    Research focus is on Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis. Expertise in synthesis, characterization of various mixed oxide and mesoporous materials supported on metal catalysts, and testing the catalysts for hydrogenation, hydrodechlorination, dehydrogenation, alkylation and ammoxidation reactions by various compounds.

  • Wilson (Will) Shafer
    Associate Research Scientist - Clean Fuels and Chemicals
    Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
    Research focus in Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis (FTS); FTS Products Separation (GC/LC) and Analysis (IR, MS, FID).

  • Dennis Sparks
    Associate Research Engineer - Clean Fuels and Chemical
    Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
    Modification and operation of the prototype integrated process unit (PIPU) pilot plant; construction and operation of various bench-scale fixed bed and CSTR catalytic reactors.

  • Leslie Hughes
    Administrative Assistant

  • STUDENTS - review the student section of the CAER Directory