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Ground broken for UK green energy research building

The University of Kentucky has broken ground on a new multi-million dollar green research facility.

The goal of the new facility will be to create cleaner energy resources using coal.

On Tuesday, UK President Dr. Eli Capilouto, along with UK researchers and state lawmakers gathered to break ground on the facility, on Research Park Drive, off Iron Works Pike in Lexington.

The facility, which is part of the UK Center for Applied Energy Research, will utilize groundbreaking technologies to create new and environmentally sound ways of converting coal and coal biomass into liquid fuel.

Of utmost concern is how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The research could produce transportation fuels, helping both the state and the nation make strides to greater energy independence.

"This could provide us ultimately with a lot of the fuel we currently import," Dr. Rodney Andrews, UK Center for Applied Energy Research director, said. "Another reason we're doing it here is to train students who might potentially work in this field in the future. There is currently nowhere else in the U.S. doing this kind of work."

The facility's research findings will be shared with the public and researchers nationwide.

We're told the technologies are capable of producing one barrel of fuel per day.

The $5.7 million facility is jointly funded by federal and state money, along with money from the University of Kentucky.

It's scheduled to be complete late next year.

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