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General CAER News

Ari Geertsema

Director Ari Geertsema announced on June 26th that he plans to take a position in Denver, CO as SVP Technology of a venture capital backed start-up company. The company will build decentralized biomass-to-ethanol facilities using gasification. He will continue to serve as Director until September. Rodney Andrews, Associate Director of the Carbon Group, will be the Acting Director while a search is conducted for a successor.


Dr. Linda Jewell

Dr. Linda Jewell will be at the CAER until the end of November, 2006. She is here on a Carnegie "Time-off" Grant. The purpose of this sabbatical is to continue previous research on adsorption and kinetics that she started in 2004 with Associate Director, Burt Davis. She was first here from July 1996 to August 1997 and again for about 10 weeks in 2004. In South Africa she is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Educational Outreach

The CAER was visited by fourth grade students from Russell Cave Elementary School. This is an end of year celebration, which includes a picnic lunch on the lawn. The CAER has maintained a several-year partnership with the school to promote hands-on science to students.

Meetings and Special Presentations

  • The CAER exhibited at the annual Coal Preparation meeting in Lexington. CAER Advisory Board Chair Dr. Frank Burke, gave the keynote address.
  • The semi-annual CAER Advisory Board Meeting was held in May with special attention given to strategic matters and the awards CAER have recently secured.
  • Ari made a Keynote Presentation on June 6 to the 27th Annual DOE Review Conference entitled "Coal: A Neglected Resource. Making the Best of it."
  • Ari also attended the Technical Committee meeting and General Membership meeting of the Coal Utilization Research Council in Atlanta on June 13.
  • Ari Geertsema, Burt Davis and Amitava Sarkar, attended a meeting in Calgary to advise the Alberta Energy Research Institute on Fischer-Tropsch opportunities in the context of upgrading Canadian oil sand products.

Besides the interest in coal to liquids technology expressed by various government officials and politicians, there is growing interest in this area, with emphasis on what is required to commercialize the technology. CAER Director, Ari Geertsema attended a number of conferences concerning this issue as follows:

  • Chaired a Panel Discussion on Polygeneration/Cogeneration approaches for Gasification Projects at the Platts IGCC Symposium in Pittsburgh;
  • Presented a paper "Practicalities and Realities of Coal to Liquids" at the Commercializing Clean Coal Conference in Vancouver, Canada;
  • Co-presented an Executive Briefing Session at the 6th World Gas to Liquids Summit in London, England;
  • Attended the Annual Clearwater conference on Coal Technology;
  • Presented to the National Research Council's Coal Committee on "Coal to Liquid Fuels in the US: Research and Technology."

Outside Interactions

Ari accepted invitations to join the Advisory Planning Boards of the World Gas to Liquids (GTL) Summit and of the Clearwater Coal Conference.

Staff Accolades

The CAER Clean Fuels and Chemicals research group is highlighted in the June 5, 2006 issue of C & E News. Associate Director, Burt Davis, and his group's work is described in an article entitled "Making Fuels Synthetically - Fundamental Advances in Fischer-Tropsch Chemistry May Boost Method's Efficiency and Popularity."

Additional accolades can be found in this issue's "Feature" section.