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General CAER News

PEIK Short Course Classroom

  • The Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) offered its first short course entitled "Introduction to Renewable Energy" this fall. It was taught by Dr. Paul Dolloff of EKPC and Adjunct Faculty member in the UK Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The course, co-organized by the CAER, provided an overview of renewable energy technologies and their application in Kentucky.
  • Last summer key staff members of the state's Energy and the Environment Cabinet spent the day at CAER touring, attending mini-tutorials, and familiarizing themselves with what the center could do for them. This fall the EEC's staff gave brief descriptions of their departments for the CAER during an all-day meeting.
  • Tom Robl, Jack Groppo, and Brock Marrs gave testimony on fly ash applications and beneficial use at the U.S. EPA public hearing in Louisville September 28th.
  • The CAER is dealing with sustainability issues by creating a committee to review energy use, conservation, etc. in the 1970s era building.
  • The CAER Advisory Board held its annual meeting on October 26 - 27. Vice President Jim Tracy participated.

UK Interactions

  • The CAER's Steve Lipka's work in electrochemistry was highlighted during UK President Todd's State of the University on September 16th.
  • Rodney Andrews is on the College of Design Review Committee. The CAER has worked closely with several departments in the college during the last few years on projects including: furniture from fly ash, building energy efficient modular homes by former houseboat builders, and other sustainability/materials issues.

Odyssey Magazine

  • The final print issue of Odyssey Magazine featured the CAER in several spots. It included an article on the new renewable energy laboratory and research geared at controlling carbon emissions.

Mike and Andy at the Big Blue Goes Green event

  • Biofuels researchers Mike Wilson and Andy Placido exhibited at the annual Big Blue Goes Green event at the UK Student Center Grand Ballroom. They taught students, faculty, staff, and the public about the CAER's research using algae to capture CO2 at power plants and were included in the Kentucky Kernel student newspaper article.

Outside Interactions

  • CAER Biofuels researchers Sam Morton and Andy Placido participated in Eastern Kentucky University's annual Madison County Extension Field Day at EKU's Meadowbrook Farm. Their picture, along with a photo bioreactor, appeared in a Richmond Register newspaper story about the event.

Mette Dyrskjot

  • On October 29th, Greg Copley (regional field representative) and Jim Hower (senior petrologist) accompanied Mette Dyrskjot, business journalist for Borsen, Denmark's equivalent of the Wall Street Journal, to the Licking River Resources coal mines in Magoffin County. Chris Lacy, Licking River Resources, conducted the tour of the surface and underground coal mines and the coal preparation plant.
  • Rodney Andrews met with Envires on September 20th to discuss potential mutual research interests.
  • Representatives from Duke Energy visited the CAER's PowerGen Group to discuss carbon sequestration.
  • Rodney is on the Kentucky Climate Change Advisory Group (KCAPC) and attended a meeting in Frankfort. The Commonwealth of Kentucky established the Kentucky Climate Action Plan Council (KCAPC) process to identify opportunities for Kentucky to respond to the challenge of global climate change while becoming more energy efficient, more energy independent, and spurring economic growth.
  • Director Rodney Andrews made a presentation to the state Energy Interim Subcommittee on the Kentucky-Argonne Battery Research Center at Spindletop Hall. Mahendra Sunkara from U of L also presented information on the Conn Center.

Teaching and Instruction

  • Students from the Scholars in Engineering and Management class toured the CAER.

Staff/Student Accolades

Dr. Darrell Taulbee

  • CAER chemist, Darrell Taulbee is the author of U.S. Patent 7,785,553 entitled, "Reducing Explosive Potential of Ammonium Nitrate." The patent looks at a way to reduce the explosive potential of a nitrogen-based fertilizer. It includes coating the product with a composition including a coal combustion by-product.

Dr. Mark Crocker

  • Mark Crocker, CAER Associate Director of the Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis group, recently had a book published titled, "Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass to Liquid Fuels and Chemicals." In addition to editing the publication, he also co-authored a chapter with Rodney Andrews. Other chapters were written by CAER's Jim Neathery; Gary Jacobs and Burt Davis, and Sam Morton (along with Laurel Morton EKU's Dept. of Chemistry); and Czarena Crofcheck and Mike Montross of UK's Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering.

Dr. Matt Weisenberger

  • Matt Weisenberger is the American Carbon Society's new secretary-treasurer. Matt is a researcher in the CAER's Carbon Materials Group.

Meetings and Special Presentations

Dr. Jim Hower and Judy Hower

  • Jim Hower gave a series of invited lectures at the China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing in September.
  • Representatives from Argonne National Lab visited Steve Lipka on September 16th to discuss progress of the new Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research & Development Center.
  • Rodney spoke at the state's Chamber of Commerce Meeting in Pikeville at a panel on the future of coal and energy in eastern Kentucky.
  • Steve Lipka and the Electrochemistry Group have made presentations this fall including: E.ON Research Initiative Project at EIRI Launch event in Berlin; 218th Electrochemical Society Meeting, Las Vegas; and an International Conference on Advanced Capacitors, Kyoto, Japan.
  • Rodney, David Jacques, and Burt Davis traveled to Morgantown, WVA to a U.S. Dept. of Energy Peer Review meeting. It is the program review for the Fisher-Tropsch process development unit planned for the CAER.
  • On September 21st, the Carbon Materials Group hosted a meeting and spinline demonstration for representatives from Oak Ridge National Lab.
  • Rodney and Courtney Fisk described the energy efficiency features of the CAER's new lab building to the state Department of Energy Development and Independence, which funded this portion of the facility.

Outreach

Greg Copley

  • CAER Regional Energy Officer, Greg Copley, made a presentation at the Kentucky Wood Expo event Sept 17th in Madisonville. He gave a talk entitled "Current Research and State Activities Related to Forest Biomass" at the Master Logger Continuing Education Program. Attendees included logging companies, misc. businesses, and private citizens. His discussion centered on biomass for energy production.

Grants and Proposals

  • The Carbon Materials research group has been funded by MSC - AMRDEC on Multifunctional Polymers for Composite Structures: Phase III Small Business Innovation Research Program awarded. Total $344,257.00 over 12 months.

Darrell Taulbee has made CAER history by receiving four grant awards concurrently - from three funding agencies. They are:

  • Dewatering of Fine Coal Pellets, Center for Separation Technology, $189K
  • Development of Biomass-Infused Coal Briquettes for Co-Gasification, U.S. DOE (through Coaltek), UK share, $400K
  • Development of Advanced Systems for Preprocessing and Characterizing Coal-Biomass Mixtures as Next-Generation Fuels and Feedstocks, U.S. DOE (through Virginia Tech), CAER share, $309K
  • Reducing the Explosion Potential of Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer (Phase III), National Inst of Hometown Security, $410K