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General CAER News

Kentucky Logo

  • In addition to exhibiting at the 2009 Kentucky Governor's Conference on the Environment, CAER made funding possible for three UK students to attend. Director Rodney Andrews participated in panel discussions on "New Directions and Opportunities for Energy and the Environment" and "Fossil Energy, Coal to Liquid, and Coal to Gas." Associate Director for Biofuels, Mark Crocker participated in a technical session on "Carbon Management."
  • A delegation from seven European countries visited the CAER on October 26th. The World Affairs Council is hosting the delegates. The individuals were journalists from Italy, Armenia, Slovenia, Ireland, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. The delegates were accompanied by the US Department of State English Language Officer and a representative from the World Affairs Council of Kentucky/Southern Indiana. They were specifically interested in the power generation and coal combustion by-products research.
  • The Kentucky Farm Bureau's Economic and Market Development Advisory Committee heard a presentation by the director and toured the lab on September 29th. Their interest and connection to the CAER was based mostly on the lab's renewable energy research.
  • 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, ending the program at the CAER.

Bluegrass Pride

UK Interactions

  • Fifteen UK sophomores in business and engineering toured the CAER recently. They are part of a 'Scholars in Engineering and Management' (SEAM) program, which provides an opportunity for engineering and business majors to come together. The course, taught by Dr. Bruce Walcott, Associate Dean, College of Engineering, presents the information from both an engineering and business perspective in various sectors (transportation, consumer electronics, biotechnology, and energy). They wanted to see the research taking place at CAER as well as discuss business opportunities for this research.
  • Jim Hower presented a seminar at UK's Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences on Studies of Coal Fires in Kentucky, Wyoming and Alabama.
  • Continuing last spring's initial endeavor to incorporate ash into their furniture, UK College of Design students, and teacher Rives Rash, met with researchers from CAER's Environmental and Coal Technologies group to learn about the properties of ash and how to use it successfully in furniture.
  • Student Ash Furniture project

  • The UK algae research program and Renewable Fuels Laboratory, involving CAER and the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, has a new, prominent web page. Learn more about the program.
  • As part of the university's push to make students, staff and faculty aware of the greening of UK, the university held a two-week series of lectures, tours, and online educational events with the goal of advertising its entities' sustainability initiatives. At the CAER, the group toured the algae green house, the emissions control lab, briquetted fuels lab, electrochemistry lab and the coal combustion by-products/low-energy cements area. KGS representatives also explained their work on carbon sequestration.
  • UK sustainability tour at CAER

Outside Interactions

  • David Jacques and Rodney Andrews visited Zeton, Inc. in Burlington, Ontario to review process diagram plans for the new Fischer-Tropsch process development unit.
  • Rodney Andrews attended the Appalachian Wind Energy Summit in Roanoke, VA.
  • Greg Copley exhibited and participated in the Wood Expo Sept 17-19 in London, KY.
  • Representatives of the U.S. Army: Aviation Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) visited researchers at CAER to review progress on several projects they fund within the Carbon Materials Group. Also in attendance were Materials Sciences Corporation representatives, the prime contractor and collaborator with these projects. Researchers Matt Weisenberger and John Craddock reviewed the latest results pertaining to carbon nanotube-based materials for thermal management and electromagnetic interference shielding applications. The team has developed an extremely productive working relationship over the past five years, remaining on the cutting edge of carbon nanotube materials applications.
  • Greg Copley exhibited and made a presentation on the CAER and its research activities at the Small Business Forum in Flatwoods, KY on October 8th.

Meetings and Special Presentations

  • Rodney Andrews spoke to the Commerce Lexington group concerning the implications of potential cap and trade legislation and testified on carbon dioxide management technologies and their impact for Kentucky before the Natural Resources and Environment Cabinet.
  • The annual review meeting of the Carbon Management Research Group (CMRG) took place on October 27th. The group is made of up a government / university / industry consortium, which anticipates carrying out a $24M ten-year research and development program. Funding comes from utilities (Duke Energy, E.ON, East Kentucky Power Cooperative, Kentucky Power Cooperative), along with EPRI, the industry's national research arm, and the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence. The purpose of this meeting was to update the parties involved on research progress toward the goal of CO2 reduction.

Teaching and Instruction

  • CAER Researchers participated in a webinar held by EUCI on the Mountaineer CCS Project's Beginning Operations. Alstom Power AEP updated the progress on carbon capture using its Chilled Ammonia CO2 capture process and briefed the group on AEP's effort on CO2 injection and sequestration at the Mountaineer site.

Staff/Student Accolades

  • Jack Groppo and co-author Rick Honaker won the 2009 Stefanko Best Paper Award from the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) for a paper titled, "Recovery and Utilization of Bottom Ash Magnetics for Coal Cleaning Medium." The award will be presented at the Coal & Energy Division Luncheon of the SME Annual Meeting in Arizona next March.

Jack Groppo

  • The first article of the new Coal Combustion and Gasification Products journal has now been published. This is a unique peer-reviewed journal designed to communicate coal ash research and emerging new technologies. CCGP is a joint venture between CAER and the American Coal Ash Association (ACAA). The organizations' primary goal is to bring together research that currently is published in disparate sources. This article is entitled "Optical Properties of Coal Combustion Byproducts for Particle-Size Analysis by Laser Diffraction" and is authored by Robert B. Jewell, Robert F. Rathbone, University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research. Jim Hower is the Editor-in-chief. CAER web manager, Alice Marksberry, assists with the journal.
  • CCGP Journal Logo

  • Jim Hower chaired six sessions at Pittsburgh Coal Conference and received honorable mention for best paper: Kolker, Allan, Engle, M.A., Román-Colón, Yomayra, and Olea, Ricardo, Stracher, G.B., Hower, J.C., Prakash, Anupma, O'Keefe, J.M.K, Heffern, E.L., Radke, L.F, ter Schure, Arnout, "Measuring CO2 emissions from coal fires in the U.S." He has co-authored a USGS publication on coal fires entitled, Emissions from Coal Fires and Their Impact on the Environment.

USGS Factsheet 2009-3084

  • Darrell Taulbee was elected as Second Vice President of the Institute for Briquetting and Agglomeration Association at the organization's September meeting. He will become president of the association in 2013.

Darrell Taulbee

Grants and Proposals

  • Total funding of $2.5 million has been received from the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Vehicle Technologies Program for a project entitled Development of Optimal Catalyst Designs and Operating Strategies for Lean NOx Reduction in Coupled LNT-SCR Systems. The project is collaboration between the University of Houston, University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research, Ford Motor Company, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and BASF, and involves the research and development of coupled NOx storage-reduction and selective catalytic reduction that enables efficient conversion of NOx under the lean conditions typical of a diesel or lean burn gasoline vehicle. The project goal is to identify the mechanisms responsible for the synergy of coupled lean NOx trap (LNT) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalysts, and to use this knowledge to design optimized LNT-SCR systems in terms of catalyst architecture and operating strategies. Dr. Michael Harold of the University of Houston will serve as the project PI, while Dr. Mark Crocker (co-PI) will direct research activities at UK, whose portion of the grant is around $850K.

Mark Crocker