Skip the graphical homepage and go directly to a textonly sitemap Skip the graphical homepage and go directly to a text on this page

General CAER News

Ralph Brodd and 
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear

  • Governor Steve Beshear announced that battery industry veteran Ralph Brodd has been selected to lead the Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center. The Center, located in Lexington at the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), is a partnership among the Argonne National Laboratory, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.
  • Neil Chatterjee, of Senator Mitch McConnell's office, toured the CAER with the coal ash group as the focal point of the day in August.
  • The US Geological Survey has released a web page devoted to the petrology of world coals examined by CAER petrographers as part of the USGS World Coal Quality Inventory. Current and former Applied Coal Petrology Laboratory professionals and students included in this release include Jim Hower, Jen O'Keefe, Irena Kostova, J.D. Stucker, Jordan Drew, and Allison Richardson.

Several meetings on CAER's new laboratory buildings have taken place recently:

  • At a recent meeting researchers had one last opportunity to review the design development drawings of the new laboratory and give comments before the first group of bids was released. A review of the new building was conducted. Also an overview of the building's mechanical systems was given, including the geothermal plan and the heat recovery system. The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for October 13, 2010.
  • CAER researchers and UK Capital Projects Management Division (CPMD) staff met with consultants to go over laboratory layouts and casework for the new building's labs.
  • Finally, CAER researchers and UK CPMD met with consultants to go over laboratory layouts and casework for the new building's labs.
  • A meeting was held on August 11th to firm up the design requirements for the construction of the Fischer-Tropsch Process Development Unit Building. The attendees were comprised of personnel from CAER, UK Capital Management Project Division, Murphy and Graves Architects and CMTA Engineering Consultants.

UK Interactions

  • The CAER has created a beta version of an energy database, which shows energy project outreach to all the state's counties. The new tool was demonstrated to UK President Lee Todd and Vice President for Research, Jim Tracy in August and will be available online soon.
  • Several researchers were interviewed by (or provided copy for) Odyssey magazine staff for the latest issue, which highlights carbon management research.

Outside Interactions

Several interactions with industry took place during this period, including:

  • Representatives from Hydro-Maxx demonstrated their technology to CAER Director Rodney Andrews, Associate Director Mark Crocker, and Program Manager Darrell Taulbee in August. In a separate meeting the three also met with representatives from Square 1 Energy to discuss their hydrogen injection technology.
  • Rodney Andrews and Darrell Taulbee met with Russell Bolyard and Rick Usery, Mepco, Inc., Morgantown WV.; Bob Hinkle, Mars Mineral, Mars PA; Hank Kleinfeldt, the Kleinfeldt Co, Cincinnati, OH; Tom Barnett, KR Komarek, Elk Grove, IL; and Frank Rafter; Aeroglide, Aerie, NC to discuss the design and cost of construction for commercializing a technology developed at the CAER for manufacturing coal-biomass briquettes from waste coal fines.
  • Rodney held discussions with Bob Wombles and Brian McCurrie at Koppers Industries in Pittsburgh to discuss collaborations.
  • Nigel Snelling of Marathon Petroleum met with Rodney Andrews and Mark Crocker to discuss various energy topics of mutual interest, including CO2 capture/utilization using algae.
  • Mark Crocker met with fuelKY; Advanced Earth Energy Technologies; and DEDI representatives to discuss mutual interests in the area of algae cultivation and thermochemical conversion of biomass to fuels. They were also given a tour of the CAER greenhouse. Afterwards they met with Drs. Mike Montross and Czarena Crofcheck at the Dept. of Biosystems & Ag Engineering.
  • Mark Crocker and Kunlei Liu (Power Generation Associate Director) visited Duke Energy's East Bend Power Plant with Doug Durst and David Julius (of Duke Energy) to discuss CO2 capture/utilization using algae.
  • Darrell Taulbee traveled to Mars, PA to observe drying tests conducted at Mars Mineral Inc.
  • Mike Mangeot, Kentucky Association of Economic Development Director, discussed speaking at either the fall 2010 or spring 2011 statewide conference. The topic would be on CAER and other UK resources available to the state's local economic development agents. The conversation was initiated through a meeting at the KY Chamber of Commerce Economic Summit and Annual Meeting held in Louisville with Mr. Mangeot and Greg Copley, the CAER Field Representative.
  • Rodney is on the Kentucky Climate Action Plan Council and attended the August meeting in Frankfort. He also attended the Kentucky Infrastructure Report Card meeting in Frankfort. He will lead the section on energy infrastructure with Shiela Medina.
  • CAER's Clean Fuels and Chemicals Associate Director Burt Davis attended technical advisory board meeting for the University of Louisville Energy Center.
  • Following up on a suggestion received at the CAER/Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) day, field representative Greg Copley coordinated a mine tour for two Department of Energy Development and Independence staff and a summer intern. Licking Valley Resources VP Chris Lacy took Copley and the EEC staff to the company's operations in Magoffin County. The group toured two operating surface mines and related reclamation projects as well as a deep mine entrance and outside support operations.
  • Professor Rod Jones of the University of Dundee in Scotland visited the coal combustion by-products group to discuss research.

Teaching and Instruction

Dr. James K. Neathery

  • CAER Program Manager, Jim Neathery's adjunct faculty appointment in the UK Department of Mechanical Engineering has been unanimously approved by the faculty. The appointment is for a two year term (and renewable). Jim is also one of the instructors (along with Jack Groppo and Rodney Andrews) for the Power Generation Technologies course as a part of the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) program in the engineering college of UK.
  • Mark Crocker participated in a Ph.D. committee meeting for Emad Aish (graduate student, UK Department of Chemistry).
  • Rodney Andrews attended a NIST training session in Virginia.

Mehmet Maral at the CAER

  • Mehmet Maral is a geological engineering Ph.D. student from Istanbul Technical University in Turkey. He will be working with Jim Hower in the petrology lab for six months.

Staff/Student Accolades

  • Burt Davis is well known in the scientific community for his catalysis expertise. His sheer number of acclaimed articles illustrates his proficiency. A recent chemical abstracts search showed that he tops lists in number-of-articles that are cited by Sci-Finder in the areas of 'Fischer-Tropsch synthesis,' 'water-gas shift,' 'coal liquefaction,' 'zirconia catalysts' and many other areas.

Kelby Cassity at CAER

  • Congratulations to Kelby Cassity. The chemistry graduate student/CAER research assistant successfully defended his dissertation recently. Kelby's advisor is Mark Meier, UK Chemistry Department Professor and CAER Associate Director for the Carbon Materials Group. Kelby's dissertation is titled, "Chemical Modification and Characterization of Carbon Nanotubes." He will begin a postdoctoral position at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee soon.

Allison Richardson at CAER

  • Allison Richardson successfully defended her MS in Earth & Environmental Sciences on July 12th. Her thesis, dealing with the origin of coal lithotypes in the Richardson coalbed in eastern Kentucky, was completed under the direction of Jim Hower. Allison has been hired by Chesapeake Energy in Oklahoma City.

Meetings and Special Presentations

  • Rodney Andrews and Czarena Crofcheck (BAE) attended and presented at the Southern Legislators' Conference in Charleston, SC on opportunities in biofuels. Rodney also presented to the Professional Mining Engineers Symposium on the state of the art in coal utilization technologies.
  • Kunlei Liu gave a presentation to E.ON regarding Oxyfuel coal combustion and his research effort on chemical looping at CAER.
  • Several members of CAER's Carbon Materials Group were active at the American Carbon Society's International Carbon Conference in Clemson, SC. CAER's director chaired sessions; and four group members and graduate students made presentations. The same sort of output was shown by the Environmental Catalysis Group and the Clean Fuels and Chemicals Groups at the American Chemical Society Conference in Boston.


  • The Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and the Environment (KRCEE) completed an initial round of well-attended public meetings to help the public develop a preferred plan for the future use of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) property. Twelve possible future-use scenarios have been identified following the ending of uranium enrichment activities and the decommissioning of existing industrial facilities. Public meetings will be held during October to identify one or more preferred future uses.

Grants and Proposals

  • Darrell Taulbee submitted a white paper at the request of the National Institute for Homeland Security to continue funding for ANFO project - "Reducing The Explosion Potential of Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer; Continuation Research."