Author Archives: Amanda Huang

About Amanda Huang


Posts by Amanda Huang

Virtual Trees: A Timeline

Richard Chan, Amanda Huang

1946 — Spector and Dodge report on the removal of carbon dioxide from ambient air using a packed tower with an alkaline sorbent. (Zeman 2007)

1977 — Steinberg conducts paper study on producing methanol derived from carbon dioxide sorbent towers using nuclear energy. (Zeman 2007)

~Late 1970s — Oil companies began to use the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) method of extraction, which required the pumping of liquefied carbon dioxide into depleted oil wells to recover more oil. The liquefied greenhouse gas could extract oil that may have been missed with conventional extraction methods. (Anderson, et. al 2004)

1989 — Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies Program at MIT, the globally recognized leader in this field, is created. This program researches technologies that capture, utilize, and store CO2 from large stationary sources. (MIT)

1992 — More than 250 scientists and engineers from 23 countries gathered in Amsterdam for the first International Conference on Carbon Dioxide Removal (ICCDR-1). (Herzog 2001)

1996 — The world’s first industrial-scale CCS project, Sleipner natural gas field in the North Sea, is established (CCP)

1998 — Eighth-grader Claire Lackner uses an aquarium pump and sodium hydroxide to capture carbon dioxide in the air for her science fair project. (Lackner 2011)

1999 — Scrubbing ambient air as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is first suggested in the 24th Annual Technical Conference on Coal Utilization. (Zeman 2007)

2000 April — Eight of the world’s leading energy companies + three government organizations partner to research and develop technologies for carbon capture and sequestration as part of the CO2 Capture Project. (US DOE)

2000 July — As part of the Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies Program at MIT, the Carbon Sequestration Initiative, an industrial consortium, was launched. (MIT)

2003 February — The United States Federal government introduces FutureGen. FutureGen is a $1 billion initiative involved with the construction of a near zero-emissions coal-fueled power plant to produce hydrogen and electricity while using carbon capture and storage (FutureGen Alliance)

2003 June — The inaugural meeting of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) was held. The CSLF is an international climate change initiative, which strives to stabilize greenhouse gas levels (Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum)

2003 — The U.S. Department of Energy establishes a budget of $54 million to research carbon capture and sequestration (US DOE)

2003 October 1 — The Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SEACARB), which is comprised of over 100 participants representing Federal and State governments, industry, academia, and non-profit organizations from 13 states is formed. Their primary goal is to develop the necessary framework and infrastructure to conduct field tests of carbon storage technologies and to evaluate options and potential opportunities for the future commercialization of carbon storage in the region (SECARB 2013)

2007 October — The Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas as Austin receives a 10-year, $38 million subcontract to conduct the first intensively monitored long-term project in the United States studying the feasibility of injecting a large volume of CO2 for underground storage (University of Texas 2007)

2008 — Obama outlined plans to develop five commercial-scale coal plants equipped with carbon capture & sequestration technology (White House)

2008 Inspired by his daughter, Klaus Lackner begins to research and develop artificial trees that can extract carbon dioxide from the air (Lackner 2011)

2009 February — President Obama and Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the “stimulus package” (White House)

2009 May — Representative Henry A. Waxman introduced a the House bill “The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009”, which asked to established a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions, as well as setting plans to reduce future emissions and to make current emitting systems more efficient. The bill has yet to be put to a vote. (Waxman 2009)

2009 June — FutureGen project is put on hold because of funding issues (FutureGen Alliance)

2009 October — Norway says they will almost double funding of carbon capture research to $620 million (Fineren 2009)

2009 October — At the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, International Energy Agency chief Nobuo Tanaka calls for 850 carbon capture & sequestration projects by 2030 and 3,400 by 2050, with a total investment of more than $700 billion over the next three decades (Fineren 2009)

2009 — U.S. Department of Energy allocated REcovery Act funds to more than 25 projects that capture and sequester CO2 emissions from industrial sources into underground formations (US DOE)

2010 — U.S. Department of Energy selected an additional 22 projects that will accelerate carbon capture and storage research and development for industrial sources. This is funded with more than $575 million from the Recovery Act (US DOE)

2010 August — US Department of Energy announces retooling of FutureGen, creating FutureGen 2.0 (FutureGen Alliance)

2010 February — Obama sends memorandum to heads of 14 Executive departments and Federal agencies establishing an Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage (White House)

2011 February — Morgan County, Illinois is chosen as the sequestration site for FutureGen 2.0 (FutureGen Alliance)

2013 Spring — Construction on FutureGen 2.0 power plant and carbon dioxide storage site expect to begin (FutureGen Alliance)

2015 — Oil company Shell is projecting to launch Project Quest which will capture more than one million metric tons of CO2 and pump it more than two kilometers underground in a porous sandstone formation (Scientific American 2012)


Thought-Controlled Artificial Limbs – Feasible or Just Another Thought?

Scientists at Duke University are on track to link the brain with artificial limbs. If things go according to plan, a full exoskeleton on a paralyze teen will debut at the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janiero. For this to work, electrodes will need to be implanted in the brain. Signals from the brain will then be sent to recording systems that broadcast brain waves to a remote receiver, allowing the user to move the prosthetic limbs. The user will not only be able to move, but also be able to feel said movement.

This type of technology is extremely exciting and could potentially change the lives of millions of people around the world. However, it is uncertain and requires a high amount of risk.

What are your thoughts on this technology? Do you think it’s ethical to plant electrodes in someone’s brain and record this information? Do you think the technology and distribution to the public is feasible? What potential obstacles can you see arising?

Risked-Based Approach in a (World) Risk Society

The New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) is focused on adapting to climate change to protect New York’s present and future infrastructure. Yohe and Leichenko, however, argues that both mitigation and adaptation strategies are necessary.

Keeping in mind the ideas that Beck outlines, what do you think is the best approach (for the world, and namely New York City) to react to risks and climate change?

Comments by Amanda Huang

"I believe that a combination of forecasting and backcasting is necessary. The both work in tandem together, much like mitigation and adaptation. I personally think that, to the extent possible, newly constructed buildings, especially those near the waterfront (like Lightstone), need to be built so that they adapt to the changing conditions yet are elastic enough to change more if necessary. The only thing we know for certain is that the future is uncertain and anything can happen. New York City is too dense and important to take any risks. The government should offer subsidies for architects who takes steps to build more effective buildings. This will give architects and planners a necessary incentive. It will also be more cost-effective for the city in the long-run versus, say, waterproofing plant structures. This will also in turn gain more public attention and hopefully, create a trend in the future."
--( posted on Mar 11, 2013, commenting on the post Approaches to Planning )
"I believe that as long as the Lightstone group does proper planning and analyzation that it is feasible and not "setting themselves up for failure". As mentioned in the article, people love the waterfront for various reasons, whether aesthetic or spiritual. Lightstone architects are taking precautionary measures and it is up to buyers whether or not they want to purchase the properties. If Lightstone's project were to go through, it could set a precedent for erecting properties that adapt to the changing climate, rather than just mitigating, which is much of what we've seen. However, Lightstone does need to be weary of the extent to the precautions they make. Sea levels are consistently rising which poses a huge problem that Lightstone that address. In addition to adapting now and forecasting the future, there must also be room to mitigate in a worst case scenario. So while I'm not opposed to Lightstone's waterfront property, I agree they have to be very careful in their planning and precautions."
--( posted on Mar 11, 2013, commenting on the post Lightstone: Smart planning or ignorant planning? )
"Same problem, but you only have to respond to 3 posts."
--( posted on Feb 4, 2013, commenting on the post Week 2: Engage )
"Sanderson's Mannahatta reflects of Jacobs' organized complexity vision in that "quantities are all varying simultaneously and in subtly interconnected ways." Jacobs consistently reiterates the relationship between cities and life sciences; they "do not exhibit one problem...which if understood explains all," instead, "they can be analyzed into many such problems or segments which...also [relate] with one another." In other words, countless factors are at play to determine a given observable outcome. Just as an otherwise seemingly beautiful park may be unpopular due to neighborhood safety, to name one factor. Unfolding Mannahatta coincides with the lessons that Jacobs lists. For example, Sanderson had to "seek for 'unaverage' clues involving very small quantities" to figure out Mannahatta's diversity. I believe that pre-colonial Mannahatta opposes this idea of organized complexity in that the Lenape were able to live on the island for thousands of generations without disturbing wildlife radically."
--( posted on Feb 4, 2013, commenting on the post Week 2: Engage )
"I don't believe that Mayor Bloomberg's programs are just a "temporary patch". First and foremost, PlaNYC 2013 and the Climate Change Adaptation Task Froce are long-term initiatives. Yes, some problems of city planning do deal with the components of cities that Jacobs mentions. However, I see it as a bit unrealistic for the city to change cars, buildings, waste, and other physical objects because of the scope of the task and resources required. What the city has tried to do instead is focus their efforts on what they do have control over. For example, by giving more neighborhoods and residents access and options to transportation, they are lowering the need for cars in the city. In another example, the city is trying to make existing buildings and infrastructure more energy efficient. The Task Force is focused on adapting infrastructure and transit to climate changes that are happening now and through the future."
--( posted on Feb 4, 2013, commenting on the post Week 2: Engage )
"I think that Jane Jacobs would have been an important advocate for PlaNYC, as many of the initiatives seem to align with Jacobs' own beliefs. Jacobs was a firm believer in strong local communities that were self-sustaining. PlaNYC builds on these ideas by creating a stronger economy, starting at the neighborhood level. PlaNYC has added and improved hundreds of parks and created new housing for neighborhoods, all while creating a "greener" community that fights climate change. Jacobs believed in dense neighborhoods that relied on traffic and PlaNYC has echoed these same beliefs by creating greater access to transit for some neighborhoods."
--( posted on Feb 4, 2013, commenting on the post week 2 – Engage )