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September-October, 2003 - VOLUME 2, NUMBER 5

General CAER News

Major meetings were organized by CAER in September and October. See this issue's Feature Article.

Proposals and Awards

The CAER was informed that it was pre-selected to submit a full proposal on water-gas-shift catalysis to the US DOE. If successful, this would be a $1.5 M contract over four years, which could be very significant for the Clean Fuels and Chemicals Group.

The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant of $99,945 to Mark A. Keane (UK Dept. of Chemical and Materials Engineering), Patricia M. Patterson, Jim K. Neathery, and Burtron H. Davis, entitled: "Catalytic Conversion of PVC Waste into Fuel Oil (TSE03-O)." This award is effective November 1, 2003 and expires October 31, 2005.

Meetings and Special Presentations

Ari made a presentation to the Community Transportation Academy of the Kentucky Transportation Center on "Global Energy Use." This was part of an annual continuing education course aimed at technical people in the transportation industry.

At the 20th Annual International Pittsburgh Coal Conference held on September 15-19, Jim Hower chaired all three Coal Geoscience oral sessions and the Coal Geoscience poster session. He also judged the poster papers. B. K. Parekh chaired three Coal Productions and Preparation sessions.

Ari attended the Gasification Technologies Council Conference. This is the annual highlight event where progress in this industry is reported and discussed. It is clear that although continuing technological improvements are being made in coal gasification, and although gasification does offer environmental benefits as compared with combustion, the economic competitiveness still holds commercialization back.

Uschi Graham gave the keynote address at the Painting Technology Workshop, October 1-2, in Lexington. Her talk was entitled "Nanotechnology: Towards Smart Coatings."

Buchang Shi gave an invited talk at South Central University for Nationalities, China on October 12 entitled "New Concepts in Studying in Fischer-Tropsch Reactions."

Ari Geertsema gave testimony to the Energy Subcommittee in Frankfort in which an overview was given of the Energy R&D currently performed at Kentucky universities. From this overview, it is clear that UK is by far the dominant university in this area. A case was made that better coordination in the state could lead to more federal dollars being made available for energy-related research, especially in the biomass and renewable energy-related fields, where Kentucky is currently not winning meaningful awards.

Staff/Student Accolades

Jim Hower was named to the scientific committee for the 56th meeting of the International Committee for Coal and Organic Petrology to be held in Budapest, Hungary, in 2004.

Dr. David Devillers from Sasol in South Africa joins the Catalysis Group for three months to study kinetic isotopes.

A new graduate student, Adam Crawford, has joined CAER. He is in the process of converting his field of study from Chemistry to Chemical Engineering and will be taking up Ph.D. studies under Ari Geertsema.

Outside Organization Interactions

Progress is being made to firm up a memorandum of understanding with the American Coal Ash Association (ACAA) to have a joint world-wide ash conference in Lexington in April, 2005.

Several discussions were held with companies to strengthen collaboration in the areas of catalysis and the utilization of ash from a gasification process. A delegation from China visited CAER to discuss catalysis for indirect coal liquefaction.

UK Connections

Mark Crocker gave a seminar at the UK Chemistry Department entitled "Soluble Models for the Active Site in Titanium Silicate Epoxidation Catalysts" on September 19th.