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General CAER News

    US-China puzzle pieces

  • Two groups of CAER researchers had very productive forays into China this fall. Tom Robl, Anne Oberlink, Brock Marrs, and Bob Jewell (Environmental and Coal Technologies Group), travelled to China for an extensive tour of conferences, universities, businesses, and coal-related sites. Every two years CAER hosts the largest coal by-products conference in the world (WOCA). On the other side of the globe, our staff exhibited and presented papers at the counterpart - Asian Ash Conference. They toured and met with Milton Wu and his research team in Longyan and Xiamen, China. The company is Longking, and their research branch is Lonjing Environment Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Meanwhile, Kunlei Liu, Mike Wilson and Don Challman attended the International Pittsburgh Coal Conference in Beijing, China, on behalf of the US-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC). Liu and Wilson presented CERC papers entitled "Catalyst Development for Rate Enhanced Acid Gas (CO2) Scrubbing", and "From Flue Gas to Fungible Fuels: Demonstration of an Algae Based System for CO2 Mitigation from Coal Fired Power Plants", respectively. Follow up visits were made to the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Dalian; Zhengzhou University and Zhengshou Coal & Electric Company, Zhengzhou; and ENN Corporation, Langfang to explore cooperative research opportunities.

UK Connections

  • CAER Director Rodney Andrews presented to the UK Board of Trustees on research impacts on Kentucky.
  • Mark Crocker who is a CAER Associate Director for Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Dept. of Chemistry, participated in the Chemistry Dept. faculty poster session.
  • Staff attended College of Design Review regarding the "virtual" museum they are creating for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. The end product will be an online repository of history and activity of the PDGP.

    UK CAER Algae Tubes

  • Mechanical engineering senior design students came to the CAER to learn about the algae/CO2 mitigation process currently installed at Duke's East Bend Power Station. Their project is on a low cost support frame for the photobioreactor design. Electrical engineering senior design students also visited to learn about the process. They are working on developing a low cost control system for photobioreactors.

Meetings and Special Presentations

  • Mark Crocker, Rodney Andrews, Czarena Crofcheck, Mike Wilson, and Jack Groppo presented a technical review of the East Bend algae demonstration project to the KY Dept. of Energy Development & Independence (project sponsor). UK's research communications group created two great videos on CAER's algae research for CO2 capture:
  • Kunlei Liu, James Landon, Mark Crocker and Don Challman attended the bilateral meeting of the US-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC), in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This was the 3rd annual meeting of CERC's Advanced Coal Technology Consortium, alternating between China and the USA. The meeting/workshop brought together 60+ US and Chinese researchers for a week of intense examination of current research results and future plans for the ACTC. Liu and Landon participated in the Theme 4 research area for Post-combustion Capture, for which Dr. Liu serves as the US Technical Lead; Crocker in the Theme 7 for CO2 Utilization, for which Dr. Crocker serves as the US Technical Lead; and Challman in Theme 9, Intellectual Property, for which he serves on the IP Experts Working Group and the US CERC Steering Committee.
  • UK Chemistry Professor John Anthony, a longtime CAER collaborator whose labs are located at the Center, presented a tutorial on organic semiconductors at the International School and Symposium on Molecular and Magnetic Materials in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Rodney was an invited speaker at Michigan State University's Bioeconomy Institute where he presented on biofuels and materials.

Outside Interactions

  • Chris Swartz and Steve Lipka toured the battery facilities of EaglePicher Technologies.
  • Rodney attended the CURC meeting in Washington DC. CURC is the Coal Utilization Research Council, an energy advocacy group.
  • Two LG&E KU staffers toured the CAER in preparation of a larger tour for the utility's stakeholders this spring.
  • Drs. Dominick Mendola and Josefine Van der Meer from University of California San Diego (UCSD) visited the CAER and East Bend Power Plant to learn about the algae/CO2 capture and utilization project. They are working on a project with Southern California Gas Company and wanted to see the potential for collaboration.
  • Manual Miranda, David Castano, and Jose Ramon Campello from Parque Tecnologico de Asturias in Spain visited the Center to discuss potential collaborations and materials research.
  • Rodney, Jeff Mossey, and Courtney Fisk attended, and Rodney presented, at the statewide EPSCoR committee meeting.
  • John Allen of Crimson Hill, LLC discussed potential collaborations with Rodney. The director also held discussions with Siemens Corp. on joint areas of interest.
  • John Anthony   John Anthony was a panelist at the joint DOE/NSF workshop to determine the "grand challenges" in the area of soft materials for the Materials Genome Initiative. He also hosted and presented the annual program review for the Office of Naval Research, Basic Research Challenge: Carbon Molecular Electronics project. The theme was the development of routes to well-defined and tunable graphene nanoriibbons for high-speed computing applications. This basic research challenge offers no specific application, but a goal of determining if these ribbons can be made, and if so, what their properties are.
  • Potential joint collaboration discussions were held with Western Kentucky University VP for Research Gordon C. Baylis, followed by a tour of CAER Lab 2/Renewals Energy Building.



    Jeanne H. at EPSCoR conference

  • CAER exhibited at three environmental conferences this fall. Alice Marksberry and Jeanne Hartinger represented the CAER at the 2013 Annual statewide EPSCoR Research Innovation Education conference, October 17th. It was hosted by the University of Louisville, Shelby Campus. In addition, Rodney spoke on NSF opportunities.

    Logos of Big Blue Goes Green

  • Showcasing our environmental and energy research, CAER participated in the Governor's Conference on the Environment and the UK Big Blue Goes Green Event. At BBGG researcher Mike Wilson displayed a mini-photobioreactor demonstrating algae use in mitigating CO2 from power plants and using the algae afterwards.
  • Cameron Lippert visited the Georgia Institute of Technology to recruit Co-Ops, summer REU's, Post-Doctoral students, and full time scientists/engineers. Staff also participated in co-op recruitment events at UK and U of L.

    Old time photo of Paduah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

  • CAER staff are working with the KRCEE (Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and the Environment) on an outreach program with a Marshall County AP Environmental Sciences teacher, which will educate students and the community on the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
  • Greg Copley exhibited with UK Forestry Dept. at the KY Forest Industry Association Wood Expo.

Our People - Accolades

    Matt W. and Rodney A.

  • Matt Weisenberger is the current Secretary-Treasurer for the American Carbon Society. Rodney Andrews is on the Executive Board of Directors for the Society.
  • Dr. Steve Lipka, CAER Associate Director for Electrochemical Power Sources, was awarded a two-year, $389,000 grant from The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to evaluate the safety of Lithium-ion batteries in portable electronics used in underground mines.