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CAER Connects with Asian Partner

China maintains a ubiquitous place in the news today. Nowhere is this truer than in the energy arena. UK and CAER are in the middle of planning or participating in several partnerships with the Asian superpower. The paragraphs below describe some of these endeavors.

Policy and Planning

CAER Director Rodney Andrews and CAER Associate Director for Research Kunlei Liu joined University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto and six high-level administrators on a trip to China recently to develop new student programs, and explore joint coal research.

"China is making the most investments right now, with respect to coal use and also at the scale in which they're doing it," Andrews said. "They're willing to do large-scale tests that aren't going on anywhere else."

Puzzle pieces of US and China flags.

Andrews and Liu visited the Shenhua Chemical Company in Beijing to discuss its coal-to-liquid technology. They also traveled to the joint U.S.-Chinese Clean Energy Research Center at Tsinghua University, where President Capilouto signed a memorandum-of-understanding regarding a project on carbon capture. In Shanghai, the group met with East China University of Science and Technology representatives.

Last spring CAER Associate Director Don Challman participated in the US-China Intellectual Property Workshop in Hainan, China. The workshop was organized by the US-China Clean Energy Research Center of which the United States and the People's Republic of China are participants. UK-CAER is a charter member of the US-China CERC and a performing research organization in the Advanced Coal Technology thrust area. The IP workshop celebrated the achievement of landmark intellectual property agreements signed between the nations.

This was followed by a June trip in which he was an invited speaker at the 2012 International Advanced Coal Technologies Conference in Xi'an, China. The conference focused on carbon capture and utilization technologies, geological storage and enhanced oil recovery, economics of low-carbon technologies, and coal conversion alternatives for fuels, products and chemicals. The workshop was followed by field tours of coal-to-chemical facilities in northern Shaanxi Province, including the Jingbian and Yu-Heng chemical industry parks, an acetic acid plant of Yanchang Petroleum Group, Beiyuan Chemical Industries, and Guohua Power Plant in Jinjie Industry Park.

CAER Research

The Power Generation Group is performing post-combustion capture research in conjunction with a Chinese team as part of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center project: China Huaneng Group, Tsinghua University, China Power Engineering Consulting Group Corporation and China Power Investment Corporation.

Algae research is also taking place under the same project. The science is being performed under the auspices of the U.S.-Sino Clean Energy Research Center Advanced Coal Technology Collaboration. The objective is to research the use of algae to capture and recycle CO2 emitted by coal fired power plants. From the collaboration data, insights and operational experience will be shared. The main partners are UK, ENN (XinAo Group), Zhejiang University, Jinan University and Duke Energy.

The Coal Ash Group is working with the Longjin division of Longking, Ltd on uses for waste from fluidized bed desulfurization units in coal burning power plants. The group is looking at masonry products and applications as an additive to Portland cement.

Additionally, we are performing collaborative research with East China University of Science and Technology related to coal gasification.

Educational Outreach

Finally, we have other collaborations with around 15 other Chinese universities focusing on the student pipeline. CAER has hosted hundreds of outstanding students and visiting scholars from China in pursuit of excellence.