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)

Works Cited

Anderson, Soren, and Richard Newell. “Prospects for Carbon Capture and Storage Technologies.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 29.1 (2004): 109–142. Annual Reviews. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.

“Bureau of Economic Geology Receives $38 Million for First Large-Scale U.S. Test Storing Carbon Dioxide Underground | News.” Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

“Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum.” Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

“CCST @ MIT.” Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

“Chemistry and Life; The UNESCO Courier; Vol.:Jan.-Mar. 2011; 2011 – 190645e.pdf.” Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

“Critical Carbon-Capture Technology Stalled: Scientific American.” Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

Fineren, Daniel. “World Needs Big Drive for Carbon Capture: IEA.” Reuters 13 Oct. 2009. Reuters. Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

“FutureGen Alliance » News.” Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

Herzog, Howard J. “Peer Reviewed: What Future for Carbon Capture and Sequestration?” Environmental Science & Technology 35.7 (2001): 148A–153A. ACS Publications. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.

“Interagency Carbon Capture and Storage Task Force | The White House.” Web. 17 Mar. 2013.

“Klaus Lackner.” New York. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.

“Microsoft Word – SECARB-March2013.docx – Secarb-fact-sheet.pdf.” Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

Rep Waxman, Henry A. “H.R.2454 – American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.” Legislation. 15 May 2009. Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

“SECARB | Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership.” Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

Zeman, Frank. “Energy and Material Balance of CO2 Capture from Ambient Air.” Environmental Science & Technology 41.21 (2007): 7558–7563. ACS Publications. Web. 18 Mar. 2013.

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