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General CAER News

Duke Energy Tour

  • Twenty CAER staff members toured Duke Energy's Envision Center in Erlanger, Kentucky. The facility is an interactive exhibit demonstrating smart-grid technologies. Its features include modernized power equipment, a 'smart' home (including an electric vehicle), and an apartment complex with advanced meters, all located on a movie-studio style set. Intermittently during the tour a video plays that uses a high school classroom scenario to dramatize real-life integration of the technologies.
  • Chemist Tonya Morgan organized a technical seminar taught by Agilent Technologies experts on gas chromatography. In addition to the Center's chemists, the training session was attended by faculty from UK's Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and a faculty member and chemistry students from nearby Georgetown College.
  • CAER Sustainability Chairman Bob Rathbone arranged for a representative of Amersco to visit to discuss possible energy saving projects with regard to the facility.

Teachers at CAER

  • A group of K-12 teachers ended a two day energy-education tour by learning about cutting edge energy research at the CAER. For the second consecutive year, Bluegrass PRIDE, a nonprofit environmental education organization, led teachers on a tour of coal towns, mines, and utilities, finishing the program at the CAER.

UK Interactions

  • Dr. Kozo Saito's group from UK's Department of Mechanical Engineering visited the CAER to discuss collaborations on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposal for CO2 reduction.
  • The fall meeting of the CAER's advisory board was held November 11-12th at the UK Faculty Club. The board was honored by the participation of UK President, Dr. Lee Todd who gave an overall perspective of energy research and funding at the university.

Students from the CAER Petology Lab

  • Among the 2008-2009 BA and BS graduates from the University of Kentucky's Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, four of the five cum laude graduates were students in the CAER's Applied Petrology Laboratory and mentored by Jim Hower. They were: Allison Richardson and Dan Hedges (cum laude), Jordan Drew (magna cum laude), and J.D. Stucker (summa cum laude).
  • CAER Faculty Associate, Mark Meier (Dept. of Chemistry) facilitated a tour of CAER with Mark Kornbluh, new Dean of A & S. Both met with Director Rodney Andrews and discussed ongoing and future collaborations.
  • Rodney made a presentation to the Faculty Senate on the CAER.

Outside Interactions

  • Mark Crocker and Rodney Andrews discussed future algae/energy research collaborations with James Tidwell at Kentucky State University's Division of Aquaculture.

Richards Bay Coal Terminal in South Africa

  • CAER Associate Director for Administration, Don Challman, attended a trip to South Africa organized by the Kentucky Coal and Mining Trade Mission, led by the Kentucky World Trade Center. On the 10-day trip, the delegation met with representatives of the Chemical Engineering Department, University of Cape Town; US Department of Commerce (Johannesburg); the South Africa Department of Mineral and Energy and the South Africa Trade and Investment Department (Pretoria); and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (Johannesburg). One of the highlights of the trade mission was a tour of the coal terminal at Richards Bay, one of the largest export coal terminals in the world.
  • Representatives from catalyst company Sud Chemie visited the CAER to discuss future collaborations, as did the Eastman Kodak Chemical Company.
  • The 10 largest cities and counties in the state are beginning energy-efficiency projects funded under stimulus funds from DOE. Greg Copley (CAER regional field officer) is meeting with the local officials on the projects' implementation status from Henderson, Owensboro, Hopkinsville, Bowling Green, Pike Co, Oldham Co, Bullitt Co, Lexington/Fayette, Louisville/Jefferson Oldham, Frankfort, and Pulaski Co. Smaller counties and cities are competing for similar funding. He met with officials on those proposals and also is on the proposal review team representing CAER and the state's Energy and Environment Cabinet. Included were representatives from Danville, Leitchfield, Warsaw, Montgomery Co, Rowan Co, Morgan Co, Whitley Co., Corbin, Wayne, Monticello. He also talked to others including Trigg Co. Nicolas Co., Pikeville, Murray on the competitive grant proposals for smaller jurisdictions, where he is providing technical input on reviewing those proposals.

Teaching and Instruction

Bob Rathbone with students at 4-H Camp

  • CAER has partnered with Russell Cave Elementary for seven years. This year's activities include CAER researcher Bob Rathbone teaching a lesson on watershed pollution with Russ Turpin, an Extension Associate with UK College of Agriculture. At a field trip to a nearby 4-H Camp, they taught the students about watersheds, the different types of pollution impacting the watersheds, and how to reduce the amount of pollution going into them.
  • Mark Crocker gave a seminar entitled "Conversion to Biofuels: Thermochemical Options" as part of a plant science course at UK.
  • The Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and the Environment's Steve Hampson organized a short course that was held on November 9-10.
  • Jack Groppo conducted a webinar entitled "Coal Utilization By-product Beneficiation Technologies" for Electricity Utility Consultants, Inc.
  • CAER exhibited at the annual Kentucky Science Teachers' Association meeting in November. This provided an opportunity to meet K-12 science teachers and familiarize them with CAER educational outreach activities.

Staff/Student Accolades

Burt Davis

  • Burt Davis has co-edited a new book with Mario L. Occelli. It is entitled "Advances in Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis, Catalysts, and Catalysis" and is published by CRC Press (Taylor & Francis Group). The CAER's Davis is a renowned expert in Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis.
  • BK Parekh has been selected by the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers to receive the 2010 Frank F. Alpan Award. The award will be presented before his peers at the annual banquet and awards ceremony in Phoenix, AZ.

Grants and Proposals

Press Conference

  • Governor Steve Beshear and Cabinet for Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes announced the approval of state funding of up to $3.5 million for the Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center in Lexington. The state funds were approved by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority from the Cabinet for Economic Development's High-Tech Pools. (See this issue's feature story for more information on recent funding.)

Meetings and Special Presentations

  • A forum on the negatives and positives of coal in Kentucky was held by the University of Kentucky on November 5th. Keynote speakers represented both sides of the debate. Rodney spoke on coal research in the state. Recently, he also presented on energy research to the Council of State Governments, the state's energy subcommittee, and Lexington and Louisville's IEEE meeting. In addition he was on the panel of the KSTC Regional Climate Change meeting; and attended the CCTR Advisory Panel meeting at Purdue University.
  • Darrell Taulbee met with representatives from the Fertilizer Institute, the institute of Manufacturers of Explosives, and Terra Industries, Inc. in Arlington, VA to discuss the CCB-coating technology used to prevent ammonium nitrate fertilizer from being used to make bombs.
  • Jim Neathery and Kunlei Liu visited West Virginia to attend U.S. China Workshop for Coal Conversion and Carbon Management.