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General CAER News

There is an $85M federal legislative initiative to fund Purdue, Southern Illinois University and the CAER to investigate coal-to-liquids processes. A Memorandum of Understanding is being agreed upon by the three institutions and each group is requesting $100K from their states to provide funds for a 'proof of principle' endeavor and present a way to get the program started.

The CAER Advisory Board had its fall meeting which included a tour of the CAER facilities, technical presentations and a discussion of the five year unit review report, which was recently submitted to Dr Baldwin. Plans were discussed to draw up a specific strategic plan to cover the various activities for the center. Particular attention was given to promoting the results of the CAER research in the context of their benefit to Kentucky. As part of that plan, we will attempt to get legislators and members of the executive branch to visit CAER.

Meetings and Special Presentations

Ari visited Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA and made a presentation by invitation on "Coal-to-Liquid Fuels: Technology Status, Economics and Development Needs." Afterwards, he attended the annual Coal Gasification Technologies Conference in San Francisco where he chaired a session on Coal-to-Liquids and Chemicals.

By invitation of the US DOE, Ari presented a paper entitled "Indirect Liquefaction for the Next Ten Years - USA Perspective" at the Third US-China Clean Fuels from Coal Energy Conference in Beijing.

Ari attended the Ecology and Environment Workshop held at the Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing, NY.

The CAER was once again well-represented at the annual Pittsburgh Coal Conference. BK Parekh chaired and judged the poster session.

Outside Interactions

There was a WOCA (World of Coal Ash 2007) planning meeting on October 25th at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. Representatives from both CAER and ACAA attended. Many details were decided and plans to move forward toward the May 7-10 meeting continue.


The CAER began the fourth year of educational outreach at Russell Cave Elementary.

On September 21st, Mr. Kenneth Krupinski taught a course organized by the CAER entitled "Coal and Petroleum Coke-Making." The 33 participants learned from Mr. Krupinski's 30 plus years in the industry. The half-day short course provided a fundamental knowledge of coke and coke making. Topics covered included production methods, uses, and properties of the two major coke types (metallurgical and petroleum cokes). Other topics included: a history of coking; types of coke ovens' recovery, non-recovery, pre-heat, and jumbo; coal-tar production and collection; and coal-tar pitch production.

Proposals and Awards

Various new projects which were submitted to the recently established Kentucky Office of Energy Policy were awarded to CAER. These are:

$98K - BK Parekh, "Novel Process for Disposal of Fine Coal"

$98K - Gary Jacobs & Burt Davis, "Ceria-Based Catalysts for the Water Gas Shift Reaction"

$100K - Ari Geertsema, Seed money for the "Coal Fuel Alliance Proposal in Response to the Energy Bill for FT Fuels"

$128K - Mark Crocker & C. Crofcheck, "Development of Heterogenous Catalysts for Improved Biodiesel Production"

... and from the Kentucky Science Engineering Foundation,
$48K - Steve Lipka & Dali Qian, "Power Sources for Micro-electromechanical Systems"

A current DOE-funded project that investigates advanced coal by-product processing has been selected as a UK Commonwealth Collaborative project. The CAER investigators are: Drs. Tom Robl and Jack Groppo. The project was selected based on the application of research in addressing Kentucky's ongoing challenges and advancing its future. The investigators and project will be publicly recognized by UK President, Dr. Lee Todd, for distinguished scholarship, leadership, and commitment to university engagement.

Staff Accolades

Dr. Darrell Taulbee

Darrell Taulbee is serving on the Board of Directors of the Institute of Briquetting and Agglomeration (IBA)

Dr. Jim Hower

Jim Hower was presented with The Society of Organic Petrology's Distinguished Service Award at the TSOP 22nd annual meeting in Louisville, KY. The award honors his role as Vice-President (1988-89), President-elect (1992-93) and President of the Society (1993-1994), as well as "behind the scenes" contributions.

Jen O'Keefe passed her oral qualifying exam for a PhD in the UK Department of Geological Sciences. She has also been appointed student representative to The Society for Organic Petrology's Council.