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科学美国人60秒双语科学新闻地球篇:生物燃料改变运输业

Lily85 于2013-04-06发布 l 已有人浏览
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如果你在旧金山湾区驾驶柴油车,也许你会注意到 Propel 燃料站与以往有所不同。Propel 公司首次开始售卖以藻类为部分原材料加工而成的混合生物柴油。
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If you drive a diesel vehicle in the Bay Area, you may have noticed something a little different at your Propel Fuels station. For the first time, Propel has started selling a biodiesel blend partially made from algae.
如果你在旧金山湾区驾驶柴油车,也许你会注意到 Propel 燃料站与以往有所不同。Propel 公司首次开始售卖以藻类为部分原材料加工而成的混合生物柴油。

That's right. A photosynthetic microorganism was turned into fuel without having to die, be buried in sediment and cooked by eons of geologic processes into petroleum. Instead, the company Solazyme simply grows its algae in the dark, on a sugar diet. Starved of light, the algae digest sugar and produce oil, which the company harvests.
你说对了。活着的光合微生物群能转变为燃料,并不需要将它们埋藏在沉积物里,经历上百万年的地质进程,然后转变为石油。作为替代,Solazyme 公司在黑暗,以糖为养分的环境里培育藻类植物。因为极度缺乏光照,所以藻类吸收糖分,生产出石油,Solazyme 公司以此盈利。

It's all part of an ongoing effort to make low-carbon fuels to replace diesel, gasoline and jet fuel. The idea is simple: the algae or other plants suck up CO2 when they grow, the same CO2 that is released when the fuel made from the algae is burned. So there's no net addition of the greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.
用低碳燃料代替柴油、汽油和航空煤油的研究仍在继续。道理其实很简单:藻类或其他植物生长时吸收的二氧化碳,其实与藻类燃烧变成石油释放的二氧化碳等量。因此不会向大气释放额外的温室气体。

Solazyme is hardly alone. Companies like Kior and Ineos are using chemical and biological methods to turn wood into fuel. And experimental algae farms are springing up in San Diego and the deserts of New Mexico. The fuel of the future might not need epochs worth of fossilized sunshine, fulfilling some of the promise of advanced biofuels.
Solazyme 公司并不是唯一这样做的公司。像 Kior 和 Ineos 这样的公司也在应用化学和生物方法将木材转化为燃料。在圣地亚哥和新墨西哥州的沙漠里,海藻实验农场如雨后春笋般涌现。未来可能是不以“石化”阳光为贵的石油时代,先进的生物燃料的兴起也会得以实现。

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