Energy Innovation

News and information from the EMS Energy Institute.

  1. Gareth Mitchell, Contributing Author for Award Winning Book
  2. Faculty, Student Receive Awards at ACS National Meeting
  3. Current DOE Technical Career Internship Program Students Presented Summer Research at DOE Headquarters
  4. EMS Energy Institute Present at BioEnergy Bridge™ Meeting
  5. Middle School Students Learn About Energy at the EMS Energy Institute
  6. Contracts/Grants

Gareth Mitchell, Contributing Author for Award Winning Book

--top

Applied Coal Petrology

Gareth Mitchell, research associate in the EMS Energy Institute, was a contributing author for Applied Coal Petrology: The Role of Petrology in Coal Utilization*, which recently received the 2009 Ralph Gray Award for Outstanding Book in Coal and Organic Petrology. Mitchell, who is also the director of the Coal & Organic Petrology Laboratories at the Institute, wrote the chapter on direct coal liquefaction (chapter 6).

The Ralph Gray Award, given by The Society for Organic Petrology (TSOP), was developed in memory of TSOP founding member, Ralph J. Gray, to recognize excellence in coal and organic petrology publications. While the award was primarily established for refereed papers, outstanding publications in non-refereed venues can be considered and TSOP felt this book warranted recognition.

Applied Coal Petrology, edited by Isabel Suárez-Ruiz and John C. Crelling, is a valuable reference book for coal producers, marketers, industry professionals, researchers, and teachers. It explains the applications of coal petrology, a branch of geology that deals with understanding the origin, occurrence, structure, and history of coal, and petrology’s significance in the coal industry and other coal-related areas. According to the books back cover, “Coal petrology, when employed effectively, is one of the most important tools we have for the management of coal as a producer of energy.” This book will provide readers with “information and solutions to the day-to-day issues of coal management and gives the reader insight in to long-term planning.”

Other contributing authors include: Joan S. Esterle, Robert B. Finkelman, Stephen F. Greb, Jack C. Pashin, Nicola J. Wagner, Colin R. Ward, M. Coertzen, R.H. Matjie, J.C. van Dyk.

*Applied Coal Petrology, The Role of Petrology in Coal Utilization, Multiple authors, Edited by: Isabel Suarez-Ruiz and John C. Crelling, Academic Press, Elsevier, 388 pp.

Faculty, Student Receive Awards at ACS National Meeting

--top

Faculty, researchers and students from the EMS Energy Institute recently traveled to the 238th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The meeting, which attracted over 14,000 attendees, was held from August 16 to 20, 2009, in Washington, D.C. The program theme was Chemistry and Global Security: Challenges and Opportunities.

Ramanathan Sundararaman was presented with the ACS petroleum Chemistry Division Student Award for Best Paper.
Ramanathan Sundararaman ACS 2009

During the meeting, Ramanathan Sundararaman, a Graduate Student in Energy and Mineral Engineering, received the ACS Petroleum Chemistry Division Student Award for Best Paper. Only one paper is selected at each national meeting for this award. The award was based on his paper presented at the Fall 2008 ACS National Meeting, Partial Oxidation Using Air for In Situ Peroxide Generation in Diesel Fuel for Selective Oxidation of Refractory Sulfur Compounds. Co-authors on the paper were Dr. Chunshan Song and Dr. Xiaoliang Ma.

Currently, Ramanathan is working with Dr. Song in the EMS Energy Institute. His PhD thesis research topic is novel oxidation desulfurization using air for ultra clean fuels.

Dr. Harold Schobert and Caroline Burgess Clifford at the Fall 2009 ACS National Meeting.
Harold Schobert and Caroline Clifford ACS 2009

Dr. Harold Schobert, professor of fuel science, was also recognized during the 2009 meeting. Dr. Schobert received a Distinguished Service Award in “appreciation of his outstanding service to the division of fuel chemistry.” This award, limited to members of 10 years or more, is presented to an individual who has had “a significant and continued impact on the advancement of fuel chemistry through research, teaching and/or service.”

Dr. Schobert has held several positions on the executive committee for the ACS Division of Fuel Chemistry. Currently, he is the Director of Long-Range Planning.

Current DOE Technical Career Internship Program Students Presented Summer Research at DOE Headquarters

--top

On August 6, 2009, two DOE Technical Career Internship Program Students presented their summer research at the DOE Headquarters. Dani Petrucci (Sr, Energy Engineering) and Doug Middleton (Jr, Energy Engineering and Energy, Business and Finance Major) are the current participants in the DOE TCI Program at Penn State. The program was initiated in 2004 as a pipeline for employment within The Office of Fossil Fuel. The program is administered by Dr. Sharon Miller, Director of the Office of Student Development at the Earth and Mineral Science Energy Institute.

Dani Petrucci was selected in 2008 to participate in a DOE Intern Program. Dani conducted her first summer internship at DOE Headquarters in Washington, DC and recently completed her second summer internship in Germantown. Dani’s second summer internship research was titled Coal-to-SNG (synthetic natural gas) and Coal-to-Chemicals and presents a review of domestic and international gasification projects producing SNG and feedstock for the chemical industry. Dani has elected to continue in the program and will be conducting research at The EMS Energy Institute this year and report to DOE as a full-time employee in the Summer of 2010.

Doug Middleton was selected to participate in the program in 2009. Doug completed his first summer internship at DOE Headquarters in Washington, DC under the supervision of Robert Kane. Doug's presentation was titled Carbon Capture and Grow on the use of algae as a CO2 capture strategy. Doug is continuing in the program and will be conducting research at Penn State this year on the relationship of algae grow as a function of CO2 concentration.

Next year’s internship is slated for an undergraduate student in the Office of Oil and Natural Gas. An announcement will be released shortly after the start of Fall 2009 classes.

EMS Energy Institute Present at BioEnergy Bridge™ Meeting

--top

EMS Energy Institute Present at BioEnergy Bridge™ Meeting
Caroline Clifford Bioenergy Bridge

Caroline Burgess-Clifford (right) talks about her research with lignin during the BioEnergy Bridge™ meeting poster session.

Sharon Miller Bioenergy Bridge

Sharon Miller (right) talks to an attendee about biomass gasification at the BioEnergy Bridge™ meeting poster session.

The EMS Energy Institute took part in the recent 2009 kick-off meeting for Penn State’s BioEnergy Bridge™ on July 15 and 16. BioEnergy Bridge™ is a consortium with members from Penn State, private industry and the public sector. The consortium’s focus is on the critical issues related to creating a sustainable bioenergy industry.

Prior to the meeting, attendees toured various areas of Penn State, including the Engine Research Lab and the combustion facilities in the EMS Energy Institute.

Researchers from the EMS Energy Institute then participated in a poster session from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel. Steve Kirby, Caroline Burgess-Clifford, Sharon Falcone Miller and Bruce Miller answered questions related to their various research areas.

The event also included small group breakout sessions, with discussions related to overcoming the technical, market, and sustainability barriers that the bioenergy industry faces. Bruce Miller and Steve Kirby participated in a biomass conversion breakout session during the meeting. Steve Kirby session was titled Fuels and Engine Testing and Optimization and Bruce Miller covered Biomass Conversion to Heat and Power.

For more information on the BioEnergy Bridge™, please contact Robert Wallace, Director of the BioEnergy Bridge™ at (412) 242-9322 ext. 4# or rtw103@psu.edu.

EMS Energy Institute Present at BioEnergy Bridge™ Meeting
Bruce Miller Bioenergy Bridge Steve Kirby Bioenergy Bridge

Bruce Miller (left) explains biomass gasification applications in the beef industry to an attendee at the BioEnergy Bridge™ meeting poster session.

Steve Kirby (right) talks to an attendee at the BioEnergy Bridge™ meeting poster session about his engine research.

Middle School Students Learn About Energy at the EMS Energy Institute

--top

The EMS Energy Institute in conjunction with the Eberly College of Science recently held an energy camp for kids in grades five through eight to explore energy topics. About 30 students participated in the camp, which the EMS Energy Institute held for the first time.

Jen Clemmons, a graduate student in the EMS Energy Institute, coordinated the weeklong camp, in which students conducted fun energy experiments and toured various sites around campus. With the help of several students and researchers, students learned about coal and other fossil fuels, electricity, renewable energy, fuel cells, nuclear power and more.

Middle School Students Learn About Energy at the EMS Energy Institute
Energy Camp Coal

Gary Mitchell, a research associate in the EMS Energy Institute,
talks about the formation of coal.

Energy Camp Electricity

Jen Clemmons helps students turn a potato into a battery.

Energy Camp Solar Power

Students learn about solar power.

Energy Camp Solar Cars

Students built solar power cars.

Energy Camp Solar Car Race

Students raced their solar power cars.

Contracts/Grants

--top

The Energy Institute received over $1.9 million in contracts and grants during the first quarter of the 2009-2010 fiscal year (July 2009 - September 2009).

Boehman, André; Characterization of Fuel Samples; Industry

Elsworth, Derek; Acquisition of a High-Temperature Load and Flow-Through System for Research and Teaching; National Science Foundation

Lueking, Angela; Hydrogen Caged in Carbon-Exploration of Novel Carbon-Hydrogen Interactions; U.S. Department of Energy

Pisupati, Sarma; Effect of Catalysts on Coal Combustion and Emission Performance; Industry

Saffer, Demian; Mechanics and Seismogenic Potential of Low Angle Normal Faults; National Science Foundation

Song, Chunshan; CO apture with NO2/SO2 Removal from Flue Gas Using Solid Molecular Basket Sorbents; U.S. Department of Energy

Vander Wal, Randy; Soot Formation, Burnout & Evolving Soot Structure; Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Ryan, Tim; CT Scans of Coal and Sandstone Samples; Industry

Ryan, Tim; CT Scans of Carbonate Rock Samples; Industry

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer