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Real Time Highlights Real Time Highlights
March-April, 2003 - VOLUME 2, NUMBER 2

General CAER News
Tom Robl and Jack Groppo recently had a U.S. patent accepted. It is entitled, "Technology and Methodology for the Production of High Quality Polymer Filler and Super-Pozzolan from Fly Ash," US Patent 6,533,848, March 18, 2003.

The commissioning of the new continuous carbon nano-tube production unit went as planned and the optimization of the production parameters is now being done. A decision on dealing with surplus material will be taken in the near future.

Meetings & Special Presentations
Ari Geertsema chaired one session and co-chaired another session of the Topical Conference on Natural Gas Utilization at the AIChE Spring Meeting in New Orleans from March 30 to April 3.

The CAER exhibited at this year's Coal Prep Meeting at Lexington Center's Heritage Hall. Exhibiting at this meeting enables those in the coal industry to familiarize themselves with current research taking place at CAER.

Ari Geertsema attended a meeting of the Advisory Board of the Pittsburgh Coal Conference, where the planning for the upcoming conference in September was finalized.

Personnel Accolades
Daryl McLean participated in the 2003 National Atmospheric Deposition Program Field operations Training Course, Apr. 8-11.

Outside Organization Interactions
The Coal Utilization Research Council, of which CAER is a member, continued to give inputs into the federal budgetary process and work was done in April to give inputs for the FY 04 budget. The option to get a subcontractor role in the recently announced $1 billion FutureGen federal initiative is being explored. The most likely area of involvement might be on gasification ash beneficiation.

Meetings were held with representatives of Toyota (in collaboration with Dr Saito) and with the University of Louisville in view of future joint project proposals. This was related to work done in the catalysis group regarding the so-called nano-wire materials, for which patenting is under consideration.

Mark Dry of the University of Capetown, South Africa, joined the group as a visiting scientist to work with the catalysis group.

UK Connections
The Fuel Processing Technology course which Ari Geertsema presented this spring as a senior/graduate elective in Chemicals and Materials Engineering, was concluded with 17 students completing the course. This course was a completely new course which spanned the range of fuel technologies covering coal, oil, gas, nuclear, renewables, power and related environmental aspects and concerns. It is anticipated to present the course again in Spring 2005. As part of the course, the students were taken to the Ghent power station on April 9, where they had a first hand introduction to the practicalities of a coal fired power station. The collaboration of staff at Ghent to make this possible is much appreciated. They also spent an afternoon at CAER as part of the Fuel Processing Technology course. They were introduced to a range of fuel characterization techniques and were shown a number of the facilities related to their course work. The feedback from the students was very positive.

Mr. John Tuck, together with Mr. Jim Duff of Baker Donelson spent a morning at CAER familiarizing themselves with our fields of research. This will assist them in their lobbying efforts on behalf of UK in Washington DC.

The UK Board of Trustees accepted a new Vision, Mission and Values statement for UK at its meeting of April 1 (See The document that was crafted at CAER in 2001 is in good alignment with this new statement. In the latest draft document for UK's strategy which was also released during April, there is now an acceptance that "Energy and the Environment" is one of the 11 priority areas identified for future development. This strategy will still be expanded in greater detail and the Task Force report on Energy and the Environment which was completed earlier this year, will be used as an input into this process.