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General CAER News

  • Kentucky Energy Secretary Len Peters and Asst. Secretary Hank List made a recent visit to the CAER, where they listened to descriptions of program areas and toured the research facilities.
  • On May 1st, the CAER held a breakfast, where 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 year UK employees were recognized.

UK Interactions

  • CAER Director, Rodney Andrews made an invited presentation at the KGS 48th Annual Seminar, where he spoke on carbon capture research.
  • Rodney was interviewed on two UK radio programs in May, first discussing the Energizing Kentucky event and energy research relating to the E.ON renewable energy research project in the second.

Meetings and Special Presentations

Energizing Kentucky Logo

  • Several CAER staff attended and helped to organize the Energizing Kentucky Conference in early June. The conference, which took place in Louisville, is a joint project of UK, U of L, Berea College and Centre College of Danville. The keynote speaker was Sandra Meyer, president of the Kentucky and Ohio units of Duke Power. This was the first of three conferences scheduled to highlight Kentucky's role in energy and the environment.
  • Rodney attended the Kentucky Rural Energy Cooperative ( KREC) meeting in May, where U.S. Senator Jim Bunning spoke.
  • Rodney spoke at the Natural Resources Council meeting on June 11th.
  • Tom Robl, Rodney Andrews, and Darrell Taulbee attended the Dept. of Homeland Security's commercialization boot camp.

Outside Interactions

  • On June 9th, a large group of Chinese visitors toured the CAER and listened to presentations. They represented a Chinese coal company and university.
  • Rodney Andrews, Bob Rathbone, and Tammy McIntosh were on hand at Massey Energy's Black Castle Coal Mine on Arbor Day for tree-planting activities. This event was organized by Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative.
  • A group from E-ON U.S., as well as their International Research Board, met at the CAER for presentations and a tour of appropriate research areas in early May.
  • Rodney met with a representative from Kentucky State University to discuss algae research for pollution control.
  • Rodney attended the CCTR Advisory Panel on June 5th.
  • Paul Yeary is a Chemistry Professor at Alice Lloyd College located in Pippa Passes, who is at the CAER for the second summer working with the Carbon Materials Group.
  • Members of the carbon group discussed specialty materials incorporating CAER's multiwall carbon nanotubes with representatives of Ticona, which is part of the Celenese Corporation.
  • Rodney Andrews and Darrell Taulbee met with state legislator John Will Stacy in West Liberty to discuss an upcoming demonstration project at the EKCC.
  • Shiela Medina attended the board meeting of the Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation to assist in the expansion of the economic welfare of Kentucky.
  • Two representatives from Petrobras Energy Company, Brazil visited CAER in June and delivered seminars.
  • Three Georgetown College students are working in the Biofuels Group this summer.

Educational Outreach

University of Alicante

  • As part of a recent student exchange program, UK students Kelby Cassidy and Daniel Bortz are currently studying at the University of Alicante in Spain. They will be part of the Department of Chemical Engineering for four months. The CAER will host two students from Alicante later in the summer.

Russell Cave Scientist

  • Another year of the CAER-Russell Cave Elementary 'Scientists in the Classroom' program was completed in May. The class visited CAER where they participated in liquid nitrogen, fluidized bed, carbon material, and fly ash experiments. This year, for the first time, the students worked on a long-term project with researchers where they created, and periodically measured, the strength of concrete with -- and without -- fly ash. In addition to learning about coal combustion by-products, this project included graphing and mathematical components.

Russell Cave Scientist - Bob

  • The CAER hosted an E.ON co-op this semester from the University of Louisville. James Smith was a chemical engineering undergraduate, who worked with several CAER research groups.
  • Kleoniki Wilson, a local girl scout, spent time 'shadowing' the publications Dept. staff as part of her Gold Award requirements.

Teaching and Instruction

  • Gary Jacobs, of the Clean Fuels Group, gave a CAER seminar on 'Applications of catalyst characterization in alternative fuels research.'
  • The CAER and UK's Dept. of Biosystems & Ag. Engineering will host a "Biomass to Biofuels" short course August 14-15. For details, contact Teresa Epperson at 859-257-0200 or email

Staff/Student Accolades

  • Steve Lipka, Rodney Andrews, and Don Challman travelled to Germany, where Steve accepted an award from the utility giant, E.ON International. (Details are found in this issue's feature story.)
  • The CAER Clean Fuels Research Group's work has been recognized as one of the "Top 50 most cited articles" as published in Elsevier's Catalysis journals 2003 - 2007. The article is: Low temperature water-gas shift: In situ DRIFTS-reaction study of ceria surface area on the evolution of formates on Pt/CeO2 fuel processing catalysts for fuel cell applications - authored by G. Jacobs, L. Williams, U. Graham, G.A. Thomas, D.E. Sparks, B.H. Davis. To congratulate the authors on this accomplishment, they will be honored during a reception at the 14th International Congress on Catalysis (ICC 2008) in Seoul, S. Korea.
  • Jim Hower (CAER) and Maria Mastalerz (Indiana Geological Survey) wrote an article on coal petrology for SCIRUS's Topic Pages, a free wiki-like internet service that publishes authoritative topic summaries written by scientific experts. This new form of educational outreach facilitates knowledge sharing and provides the latest and most relevant journal and web results.
  • Darrell Taulbee's work to make the U.S. a safer place is highlighted in the , current issue of Odyssey Magazine (the UK research sector's award-winning publication that features exceptional and interesting research). Darrell is researching a method of coating potential volatile ammonium nitrate, which can be used to make bombs, with coal ash to lessen the impact of potential explosions.

Darrell Taulbee in Odyssey Magazine
Photo courtesy of UK Odyssey Magazine

  • An excerpt from the January/March 2008 issue of "SasolNews" -- Burt Davis speaks at Sasol's Golden Anniversary: "It was then Professor Burt Davis's turn to captivate the room. Hailing from the University of Kentucky, Prof. Davis is an international Fischer-Tropsch expert and associate director of the Center for Applied Energy Research at the University of Kentucky. The prof transported everybody into a new era with his vision for the future Sasol R&D."
  • Longtime CAER Petrologist, Jim Hower, has received the Society of Organic Petrology's highest honor based on his significant and lasting contributions to the field of coal geology in research, service to the community, educational outreach, and teaching. The group says his work in almost every aspect of coal geology, including organic and inorganic petrology, coal quality, coal utilization, combustion by-products, and environmental aspects of coal utilization is the benchmark in the coal research community.

Jim Hower

        Dr. Jim Hower