News and information from the EMS Energy Institute.

  1. Independent Oil wins Telly Award
  2. Energy Institute authors receive recognition in Elsevier’s top-cited articles
  3. Penn State wins 5th overall in 3rd annual GM Challenge X competition
  4. CT Scan Reveals Ancient Long-Necked Gliding Reptile
  5. Energy Institute to participate in renewable energy exhibit at 2007 Ag Progress Days
  6. Feature Photo: Envirothon 2007
  7. Upcoming Events
  8. Contracts/Grants

Independent Oil wins Telly Award


Independent Oil DVD

"Independent Oil: Rediscovering America's Forgotten Wells,"—a documentary produced with funding from the Department of Energy, the Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) and New York Energy Research and Development Authority—has received a bronze award in the public relations category at the recent 28th Annual Telly Awards.

Produced by Penn State Public Broadcasting, the video “explores the often overlooked potential of the nation's 500,000 small, independent oil and gas wells and their role in reducing our dependence on foreign supplies.”

The Telly Awards recognize the best local, regional and cable television, as well as film and video productions. According to the award’s Web site, the 28th Annual Telly Awards received over 14,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents.

Since the release of “Independent Oil” in the fall 2005, the SWC has distributed over 4,000 DVD copies. The video has also been the recipient of a Communicator Award in Excellence in the Documentary Video Category.

Energy Institute authors receive recognition in Elsevier’s top-cited articles


Elsevier Catalysis JournalsDirector of the Energy Institute Dr. Chunshan Song was recently honored as Elsevier’s “Top-Cited Author 2002-2006” for the publisher’s catalysis journals in a special ceremony held at the 20th North American Catalysis Society Meeting last month.

Four papers published by Energy Institute researchers were also recognized among the “Top 50 Most-Cited Papers” published worldwide in Elsevier’s catalysis journals. The publisher is responsible for what many consider to be the most prestigious journals in the catalysis field. The following four articles were recognized:

1. C. Song, and X. Ma.  New Design Approaches to Ultra-Clean Diesel Fuels by Deep Desulfurization and Deep Dearomatization.  Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 2003, 41 (1-2), 207-238.

2. C.S. Song, An Overview of New Approaches to Deep Desulfurization for Ultra-Clean Gasoline, Diesel Fuel and Jet Fuel.  Catalysis Today, 2003, 86 (1-4), 211-263.

3. C.S. Song,  Fuel Processing for Low-Temperature and High-Temperature Fuel Cells.  Challenges, and Opportunities for Sustainable Development in the 21st Century.  Catalysis Today, 2002, 77, 17-50.

4.  Ma, X., L. Sun and C.S. Song. A New Approach to Deep Desulfurization of Gasoline, Diesel Fuel and Jet Fuel by Selective Adsorption for Ultra-Clean Fuels and for Fuel Cell Applications.  Catalysis Today, 2002, 77, 107-116.

Penn State is one of the few groups that have more than one ranking article. The top 50 most-cited papers are within top 1 percent of the over 8,600 papers published in catalysis journals by Elsevier during 2002-2006.  The authors of the top 50 most-cited papers include many of the leading universities, research institutes and corporate R&D laboratories in America, Europe, and Asia.  

“These awards are external recognitions of the high-quality research on clean fuels and catalysis at the Energy Institute in EMS College at Penn State,” Dr. Song said.

According to the Elsevier, “the Catalysis journals are widely accessible by institutes worldwide. Over 5250 institutes enjoy access to the Catalysis journals via ScienceDirect, and almost 3.4 million full-text articles were downloaded from the journals during the last 12 months.”

Penn State wins 5th overall in 3rd annual GM Challenge X competition


PSU Challenge X vehicle

Penn State took fifth overall in the third annual Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainable Mobility competition, held at the GM Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan from May 30–June 7.

The Energy Institute is proud to congratulate team members Jamie Clark, Greg Lilik and Melanie Fox who contributed to the success of Penn State’s Challenge X entry this year. The three Energy and Mineral Engineering graduate students work in the Energy Institute under the direction of André Boehman.

Challenge X is a three-year competition sponsored by GM and the Department of Energy in which university teams from across the country re-engineer a Chevrolet Equinox crossover sport utility vehicle to address and improve issues of energy efficiency and environmental impact.

Seventeen teams competed this year, using a variety of alternative fuels including biodeisel, ethanol, reformulated gasoline and hydrogen. Dr. Daniel Haworth served as faculty advisor for the Penn State team, which designed a low-emissions vehicle that burns a combination of biodeisel and hydrogen in a GM diesel engine.

“In addition to the fifth-place overall finish, Penn State was one of six teams selected to participate in the Media Day Ride-and-Drive Event based on our innovative power train design and robust vehicle operation,” Haworth said. Penn State was also one of five teams selected for additional post-competition dynamometer testing, he said, based on our strong performance in the regulated emissions event.

The Penn State team’s Web site states that the “Challenge X Equinox is a versatile parallel hybrid; its diesel engine can both turn the wheels directly or turn the electric generator the charges the vehicle's lithium-ion batteries.”

CT Scan Reveals Ancient Long-Necked Gliding Reptile


Composite image of a fossil gliding reptile, Mecistotrachelos apeoros.
Gliding reptile scan

Penn State Live - June 20, 2007
The fossilized bones of a previously unknown, 220 million-year-old long-necked, gliding reptile may remain forever embedded in stone, but thanks to an industrial-size CT scanner at Penn State's Center for Quantitative Imaging, the bone structure and behavior of these small creatures are now known.

The new gliding reptile is named Mecistrotrachelos apeoros meaning "soaring, long-necked" and was found at the Solite Quarry that straddles the Virginia-North Carolina border. The researchers report in the June 12 issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology that the "new specimens are embedded in a hard dolomitized dark gray, silty mudstone, and only faint impressions of the bones can be seen at the surface. Repeated attempts to remove the matrix using both mechanical and chemical techniques have been unsuccessful."

"The fossils sit on sheets of stone less than a quarter inch thick," says Tim M Ryan, research associate in anthropology and member of Penn State's Center for Quantitative Imaging. "The color of the bones is the same as the color of the surrounding matrix which makes preparation difficult." Read the rest of the story at Penn State Live.

Read the story at The Why

Energy Institute to participate in renewable energy exhibit at 2007 Ag Progress Days

--topCorn at Ag Progress Day event grounds

A renewable energy exhibit first introduced at last year’s Ag Progress Days will make its return again for the 2007 event. Researchers from the Energy Institute will be at the Ag Renewable Energy Tent at Ag Progress Days covering topics such as biomass, gasification, biofuels combustion and emission impacts.

The College of Ag Sciences, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, will host Ag Progress Days on August 14-16, 2007 at Rock Springs on the Ag Progress Days grounds.

Feature Photo: Envirothon 2007

--topEnvirothon exhibit

Sharon Falcone Miller, research associate at the Energy Institute, talks to high school students about the heating value of various fuels at the 24th Pennsylvania Envirothon's poster session. The Envirothon is an annual competition in which high school students from across the state are tested in topics of soils/land use, forestry, aquatic ecology and wildlife.

Upcoming Events


February 6: The EMS Film Series presents Coal Wars: The Battle in Rum Creek at 12:15 p.m. in 105 Deike.

February 13: The EMS Film Series presents N is for Nanotechnology at 12:15 p.m. in 105 Deike.

February 16: EMEX 2008 Open House will be held at University Park from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

March 18-19: PA Home Energy 2008 will be held at the Penn Stater Conference Center.

April 2: GSTC request for proposals is currently open and due at 4:00pm EST

April 10: SWC request for proposals is currently open and due at 4:00pm EST

April 6-10: 2008 ACS Spring Meeting in New Orleans

April 17-18: 2008 GSTC Spring Meeting will be held in Chicago, IL

April 23-25: SWC 2008 Spring Meeting will be held in Washington, D.C.



The Energy Institute received roughly $669,000 in contracts and grants in the first quarter of the 2007-2008 fiscal year.

Burgess Clifford, Caroline; Alcoa Coker Runs; Alcoa  

Burgess Clifford, Caroline; OptiFuel® Coker Runs; OptiFuel      

Grader. A.S.; Shell International E&P

Haight, J.M.; Intervention Effectiveness Research — Analysis of a Complete and Interactive Safety and Health Program; ChevronTexaco Corporation

Lvov, Serguei; Electric Power Research Institute  

Lvov, Serguei; Fedkin, Mark; National Science Foundation  

Lvov, Serguei; Advanced Instrumentation and Control Methods for Small and Medium Export Reactors with IRIS Demonstration; Cladding and Structural Materials for Advanced Nuclear Systems; U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy

Song, Chunshan; Selective Adsorption for Sulfur Removal from Waste Oils; Conserve Oil Corporation  

The Energy Institute received more than $1.18 million in contracts and grants in the last half of the 2006-2007 fiscal year.

Burgess Clifford, Caroline; Refinery Integration of By-Products from Coal-Derived Jet Fuels; U.S. Department of Energy 

Burgess Clifford, Caroline; Lignin Conversion to Value-Added Materials; U.S. Department of Agriculture   

Burgess Clifford, Caroline; OptiFuel® Coker Runs; OptiFuel

Eser, Semih; Hydrotreatment of Decant Oil and Effects of Hydrotreatment on Optical Texture Development; Seadrift Coke, LP 

Falcone-Miller, Sharon; Sulfur Capture Tests in a Scrubber Simulator; Barrick Gold Corporation

Haight, J.M.; System Improvements, Inc.

Halleck, Phillip; Feasibility of Micro-porosity mapping; investigation of structure of failed refractory brick; Millennium Organic Chemicals

Halleck, Phillip; Master Foods Roasting-Effects Projects; Masterfoods USA

Lvov, Serguei; Balashov, Victor; Development of a Conductivity/Corrosion Probe for Using in Boiler Water at Temperatures up to 360 °C, Electric Power Research Institute

Miller, Bruce; Formulation, Production, and Combustion Testing of a Coal Water Mixture Prepared from Fine Coal; Teck Cominco Metals Ltd. 

Song, Chunshan; CORE 10 kWe Reformer for TACOM Applications; Altex Technologies Corporation; U.S. DOD

Song, Chunshan; Desulfurization of Logistic JP-5 Jet Fuel For Enhanced Fuel Cell Operations; Altex Technologies Corporation; U.S. DOD

Song, Chunshan; Person Portable JP-8 Fueled Fuel Cell Power Generator (PJF-GEN); Altex Technologies Corporation; U.S. DOD 

Ryan, Tim; High Resolution CT Fossil Scans; State University of New York at Stony Brook