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Meetings & Special Presentations

By request of Eastern Kentucky Power Cooperative, Ari made two presentations on gasification technology. The first was an in-house presentation to technical staff and the second to the EKPC Board. EKPC is interested in having a greater awareness of the potential of gasification as a component in power production. Also, in a separate matter EKPC requested CAER to provide an independent due diligence opinion regarding a proposal made to EKPC for a novel gas cleaning technology. This review is performed as a confidential contract.

Tom Robl attended the American Coal Ash Association Annual and Program Committee Meeting and CCP Workshop in Houston, TX.


A task group is evaluating the issues around mercury and coal use. The intent is to define selected areas for investigation by CAER which can build on our strengths and which could lead to competitive applications.

A team is also working on the potential of obtaining an operational experimental rig for coal combustion studies. A facility, which was used in the past, became unusable and the focus is now first on defining the type of research that could be done and then designing the rig accordingly. Inputs from industrial partners will be sought and other facilities will be visited to avoid duplication and to ensure focus.

A meeting was held to which all staff was invited to discuss setting objectives for 2002. The need for challenging "stretch targets" and the use of the rating scale was discussed. It was emphasized that doing what is expected, earns a "normal" rating and that special achievements are to be shown for higher ratings. Staff members were asked to provide at least two special measurable objectives over and above the routine type functions in their positions.

Staff Accolades

Jim Hower was designated Eastern Director for the Coal Byproducts Recycling Consortium while Tom Robl was designated the Midwestern Chairperson of the same consortium.


On February 6-10, Tom Robl attended the 21st Meeting of the Science for Peace Steering Group in Brussels, Belgium. He, as Project Director, reported on a NATO-funded CAER project entitled "Planning Grant for Environmental Impact and Reuse of Oil Shale Combustion Solid Waste in Estonia." This project is an environmental project designed to assess the impact of the largest ash landfill in the world on the hydrology of the region.

Burt Davis attended the 3rd International Symposium on Synthesis of Ecological High Quality Transportation Fuels in Osaka, Japan, where he delivered a paper entitled, "Environmental Impacts of Synthesized Transportation Fuels."

Outside Organization Interactions

Exploratory discussions were held with senior representatives from Statoil regarding catalysis research. Statoil is considering CAER as a possible venue to evaluate some of their catalysts and is currently working with Mossgas in South Africa to build a natural gas slurry bed Fischer-Tropsch pilot reactor.

An initiative was launched between the Gasification Technology Council (CAER is a member) and the DOE to consider forming a consortium to promote university research in the areas related to coal gasification. The director participated in a workshop to consider appropriate mechanisms to achieve this goal. The DOE, being very supportive of the concept, is considering the legal position of consortia and will call a meeting when they have a proposal for further discussion. The intent is to use the consortium as an interface between industries defining needs and providing technical inputs and DOE providing funding.

Discussions were held with representatives of EnviRes, a local company intending to develop a gasification method using molten iron. This project shows a fair deal of promise and CAER staff was involved in an advisory role. The next EnviRes step in this development is a potential test in Sweden with co- funding of DOE.

Ari participated in several discussions of a sub-committee of the Coal Utilization Research Council (CURC) to provide inputs for the CURC technology road map. This road map is being aligned with the DOE road map and specific attention was given to put renewed emphasis on liquid fuels and a drive towards a greater degree of energy self-sufficiency. The role of enabling research in the context of larger government programs was also stressed.

Discussions with the American Coal Ash Association (ACAA) were held and UK/CAER has been requested to put in a bid to organize the January 2003 conference of the ACAA. Doing so could give CAER an opportunity to gain greater access to ACAA (we have been a member for a dozen years). They are potentially considering relocating the headquarters with Lexington as one of their options. If the bid is awarded, it will be handled similarly to an external research contract.