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二氧化碳是气候变化的元凶,除了生活中的碳排放,空气中的二氧化碳也是个棘手的问题。冰岛一家工厂采用了新除碳技术,捕获空气中的二氧化碳并将其转化为石头,这样二氧化碳就“无处可逃”了!

 

冰岛工厂将二氧化碳变成石头 让温室气体无处可逃 Climeworks factory with its fans in front of the collector, drawing in ambient air and release it, as largely purified CO2 through ventilators at the back is seen at the Hellisheidi power plant near Reykjavik on October 11, 2021. Photo/AFP

 

At the foot of an Icelandic volcano, a newly-opened plant is sucking carbon dioxide from the air and turning it to rock, locking away the main culprit behind global warming.

在冰岛的一座火山脚下,一家新开的工厂正在吸收空气中的二氧化碳并将其转化为石头,把全球变暖的元凶囚禁起来。

 

Orca, based on the Icelandic word for "energy," does its cutting-edge work at the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant in southwest Iceland.

这家名为Orca(源自冰岛语,意思是“能源”)的工厂在冰岛西南部的赫利舍迪地热发电站开展这一尖端工作。

 

It is the world's largest plant using the direct air capture technology (DAC), which is the least developed of the carbon removal technologies. Climeworks, a Swiss start-up that has just built the plant, is not deterred.

该工厂是全世界使用直接空气捕集技术的最大工厂,直接空气捕集技术是各种除碳技术中最不成熟的一种。尽管如此,开办这一工厂的瑞士初创企业Climeworks并没有被吓退。

 

By pulling CO2 from ambient air, the plant is different from more traditional types of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects at highly-polluting industrial smokestacks.

这家吸收周围空气中二氧化碳的工厂和比较传统的碳捕获与存储项目不同,后者被用于捕获高度污染的工业烟囱废气。

 

Fans in front of the collector draw in ambient air and release it, largely purified of CO2, through ventilators at the back.

该工厂的收集器在通过前端的风扇吸入周围空气后,会去除空气中的大部分二氧化碳,然后通过尾端的排气扇将净化后的空气排出。

 

Project manager Lukas Kaufmann said "very selective filter material inside our collector containers" catch carbon dioxide.

项目经理卢卡斯·考夫曼说,“收集器内部容器中精度很高的过滤物质”会捕获二氧化碳。

 

"As soon as the filter is full, we close it off, and then we heat it up to around 100 degrees Celsius" to separate the pure gas, Kaufmann added.

考夫曼说:“一旦过滤器满了,我们就会关闭入口,然后将其加热到100摄氏度”以分离出二氧化碳。

 

Dissolved in fresh water, the gas is then injected under high pressure into the basalt rock between 800 and 2,000 metres underground.

二氧化碳在淡水中溶解后就会通过高压注入地下800米到2000米深的玄武岩中。

 

The solution fills the rock's cavities and the solidification process begins -- a chemical reaction turning it to calcified white crystals that occurs when the gas comes in contact with the calcium, magnesium and iron in the basalt.

溶液填满岩石的缝隙,凝固过程就开始了。当二氧化碳接触到玄武岩中的钙、镁和铁,就会产生化学反应,转变成钙化白色晶体。

 

It takes up to two years for the CO2 to petrify.

让二氧化碳石化需要两年时间。

 

冰岛工厂将二氧化碳变成石头 让温室气体无处可逃 Climeworks factory with its fans in front of the collector, drawing in ambient air and release it, as largely purified CO2 through ventilators at the back is seen at the Hellisheidi power plant near Reykjavik on October 11, 2021. Photo/AFP

 

The carbon dioxide would only be re-released into the air if the rock were to heat up to very high temperatures, as in a volcanic eruption, Didier Dalmazzone, head of the chemistry laboratory at French engineering school ENSTA Paris, told AFP.

法国国立高等先进科技学校(法国的一家工程学院)的化学实验室主任迪迪尔·达尔马佐内告诉法新社说,只有在岩石被加热到温度极高的时候(比如在火山喷发的情况下),二氧化碳才有可能被重新释放到空气中。

 

The volcanic activity level here is considered low, with the last eruption 1,900 years ago.

据认为,这里的火山活动水平很低,上一次火山喷发是1900年前。

 

The Orca plant, which cost $10-15 million to build, can suck up around 4,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

耗资1000万至1500万美元(约合人民币6400万到9600万元)建造的Orca工厂每年可吸收约4000吨二氧化碳。

 

The amount is tiny by global standards. Climate modelling suggests the world needs to eliminate several billion tonnes per year by 2050.

按照全球标准来看,这个数量是微不足道的。气候模型显示,2050年前,全球每年需要去除几十亿吨二氧化碳。

 

CCS is one of the methods advocated by experts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C from pre-industrial levels by 2100. That is the bar seen as the only way to prevent catastrophic global warming.

为了防止灾难性的全球变暖,专家认为唯一的途径就是在2100年前将全球升温幅度控制在比工业化前水平高1.5摄氏度以内。碳捕获与存储技术是专家提倡的除碳方式之一。

 

CCS methods capture CO2 before it enters the atmosphere, pulling it immediately from highly-concentrated industrial pollution zones.

碳捕获与存储技术是在二氧化碳进入大气前捕获二氧化碳,将其立即抽离工业集中污染区。

 

But the direct air capture (DAC) process, like the one in Iceland, aims to capture past emissions already in the atmosphere.

但是冰岛的这种直接空气捕集方法旨在捕获过去排放到大气中的二氧化碳。

 

However, the DAC method is in its early days and is hampered by the small concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

但是,直接空气捕集技术还不成熟,而且还面临大气中二氧化碳浓度太低等障碍。

 

Orca has to process two million cubic metres of air to capture just one tonne of CO2 -- a costly process that requires large amounts of energy, though Climeworks would not divulge any details.

Orca工厂要处理200万立方米的空气才能捕获1吨二氧化碳,这一过程要耗费大量能源,不过Climeworks公司没有透露关于成本的任何细节。

 

英文来源:法新社

翻译&编辑:丹妮

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