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Driving Change Towards a Sustainable Future

Director's Welcome

Our journey started in 2005. Based on our rich experience and knowledge in fossil fuel conversion, the research group was established in 2006 at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) to tackle the technological and economic challenges associated with power plant carbon management.

After almost two decades, this group has grown to be one of the nation’s most impactful research entities in the fields of carbon capture, conversion, hydrogen production and water treatment. We employ more than 30 full-time research staff who work on overcoming key obstacles to the decarbonization of energy and industrial sectors.

Read Kunlei's full message

Kunlei Liu
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Director, IDEA

Our Mission

Advance sustainable energy decarbonizing solutions and dynamically address practical challenges

Train the next generation of scientists and engineers in energy supply chain

Collaborate and engage with our community

Our Vision

Carbon Neutrality in Every Industry

Enhancing Sustainability

Improving efficiency and reducing carbon capture cost.

We currently focus on 5 major areas of research including carbon capture, carbon dioxide conversion and utilization, hydrogen production and direct air capture, water treatment and material recovery.

Learn about our current research



of grants awarded



Spin off company



Technologies Licensed/Transferred

Exceeding Expectations

We have stellar records with 15 returning partners! Including 10+ years with 7 of our partners.

We are currently engaged with over 50 partners and work on a variety of projects.

Discover our partner collaborations

Experts in Our Field
Top 1% in Carbon Capture. 142 Peer-reviewed publications.

Review our publications

Pioneering Innovations
Making an impact in key areas of decarbonization with 21 U.S. patents issued.

Read about IDEA patents

Global Recognition

Learn about our involvement in international carbon capture groups and consortium.

Carbon Management Research Group

A Collaborative Industrial-State-Federal Partnership

Learn more about CMRG

International Test Center Network

ITCN is a global coalition of facilities working to accelerate the research and development (R&D) of carbon capture technologies.

Visit the ITCN website

International Conference on Energy and Environment

The 3rd International Conference on Energy and Environment will be held on July 15-19, 2024 (US time).

Register for the ICEE

Trailblazing project will evaluate the feasibility and cost of deploying the University of Kentucky’s carbon-capture technology at LG&E and KU’s natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) facility located at Cane Run Generating Station in Louisville, Kentucky

New Research to Explore Potential for Utility-Scale Carbon Capture from Natural Gas Power Plants

New Research to Explore Potential for Utility-Scale Carbon Capture from Natural Gas Power Plants, A new research project aimed at developing carbon capture technology for natural gas power plants has begun in Kentucky. The project is a joint effort