General CAER News
Dr. Isabel Suarez-Ruiz, of Instituto Nacional del Carbon in Oviedo, Spain, arrived July 5 to spend 4 months here as a visiting scientist in the Coal Petrology Lab. Another Spaniard, Dr. Ignacio Martin-Gullon will be working in the Carbon Materials Group for four months. Dr. Martin-Gullon was part of the CAER staff from 1996-1997, when he was a postdoctoral researcher. His home university is at Spain's Universidad de Alicante, where he is a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering.
Agnieszka Myszkowska of the Polish CCP Union was a guest scientist working with Jim Hower in the Petrography Laboratory from Aug 1-12.
Meetings and Special Presentations
Discussions were held with representatives from the military on synfuels from coal and the director was invited to make a presentation on this technology at a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) workshop in Arlington, Virginia.
The director made a presentation by request to the Special Subcommittee on Energy in Frankfort on the topic of solids from coal production and use in Kentucky, during which some of the CAER technologies in coal preparation and work related to coal ash were highlighted.
An agreement was reached with the American Coal Ash Association (ACAA) to have the next World of Coal Ash (WOCA 2007) as a joint CAER/ACAA conference at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.
Proposals and Awards
CAER has been specifically named in the comprehensive energy bill that was recently passed by Congress. The bill authorizes $85 million for three institutions (Purdue, SIU and CAER) to evaluate the commercial and technical viability of advanced technologies for the production of Fischer-Tropsch (FT) transportation fuels manufactured from Illinois Basin coal. A kick-off meeting with representatives of the three institutions was held and task forces have been formed to take the initiative further to work towards getting the scope and necessary language ready for submission to legislators for the required appropriations later in 2005. The time frame stated in the bill is from 2006 to 2010 and it will lead to the erection of a facility to produce at least 500 gal/d FT products.
CAER researcher, Mark Crocker, recently received news that a proposal entitled, "Investigation of Aging Mechanisms in Lean NOx Traps," will receive a total of $1,079,314 in funding from the US DOE, including cost share, over the next three years. The project will work to reduce NOx emissions in lean exhaust gases (i.e., gases in which excess oxygen is present) such as those emitted by diesel engines. Improving catalyst durability will be a particular goal of the project. This is important because environmental concerns are resulting in the adoption of stringent new NOx emission standards in the U.S. for diesel vehicles. Staff working on this project will spend a portion of their time at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Ford Motor Company.
Two researchers received grants from the Department of Homeland Security. This month's feature article describes the awards.