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8-25 科学家研究在污染场地种植作物生产生物燃料(附图)

日期:2006-08-25  访问次数:3481


目前,密歇根州立大学正与戴姆勒克莱斯勒公司合作研究将工业棕色场地变绿的方法。

密歇根州立大学的作物和土壤科学教授Kurt Thelen正在带领一个研究小组研究是否能够在废弃的工业场地上种植一些含油作物来生产乙醇或生物柴油燃料,例如大豆、向日葵和油菜,以及其他的如玉米和柳枝稷等。另外一个合作者是下一代能源——支持能源技术发展的一个非营利性组织。

目前的实验地是一块两英亩的场地,是奥克兰县罗斯镇的前工业垃圾堆放点。Thelen的研究小组正在研究在这块棕色场地上种植作物其产量是否能够满足生产生物燃料的需求,另外作物的种子油也要充足。第二个目的是确定是否种植植物能够真正达到生物修复的目的,即植物是否能够从土壤中吸收污染物而不影响自身的生物燃料质量。

为了减少对石油燃料的依赖,生物燃料的使用逐渐增加,但是仍然面临许多问题。作物科学家正在研究哪种作物最适合用于生产生物燃料。同时,工程师们也在探索更有效的生物燃料生产系统。目前对于B20(20%生物燃料和80%柴油混合)还没有规范国家标准。工程师和政府工作人员正在研究建立一套相关标准。Thelen希望在标准公布之后能够推荐出满足标准的最好农作物品种。

Thelen表示:目前他们正在将学校实验室的研究复制到优良农田中,以对比农田和污染场地的农作物产量和生产的生物燃料质量,以确定是否两者之间存在差异。

该项研究的结果可能会导致在全国范围内一些无意用于商业或居民的地区萌生出类似的种植场地,也可能促进生物燃料的生产,有助于清理受污染土壤。

这项为期三年的研究得到了戴姆勒克莱斯勒公司、下一代能源、GREEEN项目(生产研究和延伸以满足经济和环境需求项目)以及密歇根州立大学密歇根农业实验站的支持。


英文原文:

Growing crops for biofuels summons images of fuel alternatives springing from the rural heartland. But a Michigan State University partnership with DaimlerChrysler is looking at turning industrial brownfields green.

Kurt Thelen, MSU professor of crop and soil sciences, is leading the investigation to examine the possibility that some oilseed crops like soybeans, sunflower and canola, and other crops such as corn and switchgrass, can be grown on abandoned industrial sites for use in ethanol or biodiesel fuel production. Another partner is NextEnergy, a nonprofit organization that supports energy technology development.

The results of the work conducted here might sprout similar sites across the state and nation in areas that aren't desirable for commercial or residential uses. The results also will contribute crops for biofuel production and may help clean up contaminated soils.

"Right now, brownfields don't grow anything," Thelen said. "This may seem like a drop in the bucket, but we're looking at the possibilities of taking land that isn't productive and using it to both learn and produce."

The project now is a two-acre parcel that is part of a former industrial dump site in Oakland County's Rose Township. Thelen's group is looking to determine if crops grown on brownfield sites can produce adequate yields to make them viable for use in biofuel production. The crops also need to produce adequate quantities of seed oil.

A secondary objective is to examine whether the growing plants actually contribute to bioremediation, meaning they take up contaminants from the soils, without affecting their quality for use in biofuels. This might make them especially useful to grow on contaminated brownfields.

As interest increases in the use of biofuels to offset dependence on fossil fuels, there are challenges on many fronts. Crop researchers are looking at which crops and crop varieties possess the best qualities for this use, and farmers are contemplating new marketing options.

At the same time, engineers are exploring more efficient and effective biofuel production systems. There currently is no national standardized specification for what constitutes B20, a blend of 20 percent biofuel and 80 percent petroleum diesel that is commonly used in diesel engines. Engineers and the government are working to set a standard. When it's established, Thelen hopes to have recommendations ready on the best crop varieties that meet the standards.

"As the chemical engineers work on developing a national spec for B20, we'll grow the crops in the marginal areas and see if they can meet it," Thelen said. "We're replicating our study on campus on good agricultural land to compare yields and the quality of biofuel produced from an agricultural land base versus a marginal brownfield land base and see if there's a difference in yield and quality of biofuel."

DaimlerChrysler has been selling the Jeep Liberty SUV with a diesel engine, and beginning in early 2007 it will offer a diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV. In both cases, the vehicles are fueled with B5 (5 percent biodiesel fuel) at the factory. This fall, the company will approve use of B20 in the Dodge Ram diesel pickup for fleet customers who use fuel that meets the current military fuel quality specification.

"Renewable fuels such as biodiesel can be a home-grown solution to our nation's environmental, energy and economic challenges," said Deborah Morrissett, vice president of regulatory affairs for DaimlerChrysler. "This research project with Michigan State can make an important contribution toward reducing our nation's reliance on oil."

The three-year study is supported by DaimlerChrysler, NextEnergy and Project GREEEN (Generating Research and Extension to meet Economic and Environmental Needs), the state's plant industry initiative at MSU. The study also is supported by the MSU Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station.

"Biofuel production is going to require a significant land base to meet future production expectations," Thelen said. "Use of marginal lands or sites not preferable for food crops is a good idea. We'll be looking at whether it is something that might offer multiple benefits."



摘自:教育部科技发展中心