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芒果皮,椰子壳能创造电能

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小编摘要:肯塔基大学的植物学家赛斯•狄博特和他的同事们想找出一种燃料,以便能让贫穷和落后地区的人们可以用于发电。而在印尼乡间的研究旅行途中,一种随处可见东西启发了他。

 芒果皮,椰子壳能创造电能


University of Kentucky plant scientist Seth DeBolt and colleagues wanted to find a fuel that people in poor, rural areas could use to generate electricity. While on a study trip in rural Indonesia, he was struck by something he saw everywhere he went:

"The incredible efficiency at which agricultural products are used in Indonesia," DeBolt says. "There's very little waste."

Little waste means little left over that could be used for fuel. Farmers grew mangoes and jackfruit above coffee bushes and livestock fodder . Everything they grew was used for something. Even the scraps of fruit were fed to chickens. So growing a separate fuel crop would take land away from food crops, something DeBolt definitely wanted to avoid.

"The people at most risk with respect to energy poverty, typically they're the same people who have food insecurity issues as it is," he says. "And any change in availability would be most detrimental to that group of people."
But there is one promising item DeBolt found in abundance that would not create competition between food and fuel.

"It's the shell of a coconut, or the pit of a mango. And these are generally thrown out."

Though you can't eat it and you can't feed it to livestock, DeBolt says a coconut shell or mango pit has a lot of energy in it.

"It compares roughly to low- to moderate-grade coal in its heating value," he says, "which is excellent."

The same is true for the pit of an olive, peach or cherry, or the shell of an almond or walnut. All that is needed is a way to release the energy.

DeBolt says a company in India called Husk Power is using small generators in local villages to turn rice hulls into electricity. They use a process called gasification: heating plant matter in a low-oxygen chamber releases gases that can be burned in an engine that spins a power-generating turbine.

DeBolt says his team saw the possibilities for coconut shells and mango pits.

"Hey, well these crops are growing here and these are the areas where there is potential for energy poverty to be alleviated at least in part by these small-scale production systems."

In a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DeBolt and his colleagues used some rough calculations of coconut, mango and other fruit production and the efficiency of the gas generators. And they found in a country like Indonesia, for example, these systems could provide as much as 13 percent of the national energy needs.
"If that's concentrated on rural, decentralized facilities - not the big cities, which generally have a sustained energy supply - then it may have a more sustained impact on those communities."

Other tropical countries with significant crops of coconuts, mangoes or other similar fruits could benefit, too.

However, DeBolt cautions that it is not a cure-all. There are technical issues, including how to safely handle the hazardous waste by-products of gasification. And startup funds can be hard to come by in the countries that could most benefit.

Still, he sees potential for coconut power to at least help in alleviating rural poverty.

肯塔基大学的植物学家赛斯•狄博特和他的同事们想找出一种燃料,以便能让贫穷和落后地区的人们可以用于发电。而在印尼乡间的研究旅行途中,一种随处可见东西启发了他。
他说道:“印尼农产品的使用有一种难以置信的效率,”狄博特说道。“几乎没有浪费。”
几乎没有浪费是指剩余残留物可用于燃料。农民用咖啡灌木和牲畜饲料种植芒果和菠萝蜜。他们种植的一切都可以用于一些东西。甚至零碎果皮也可以用于喂鸡。所以种植一种单独的燃料作物将使土地脱离粮食作物,这是狄博特绝对想避免的。
“人们冒着能源贫穷的风险,显然他们对于粮食安全问题也是一样,”他说道。“而现有的任何变化对那群人必然都是不利的。”
但狄博特发现一种大量存在而且很有前途的事物却不会带来食物和燃料之间的竞争。
“这是一个椰子壳,或一片芒果皮。这些通常是被扔掉的。”
虽然你不能吃,你不能拿来喂牲畜,但狄博特表示椰子壳或芒果皮里有很多的能量。
“大约是低中等级别煤的热价值,”他说道“真是绝了。”
这同样适用于橄榄树、桃树或樱桃树,杏仁壳及核桃壳。所需要的只是一个释放能量的方式。
狄博特表示印度的哈斯克动力这家公司在当地村庄使用小型发电机把米壳变成电能。他们用一种被称为气化的过程:在低氧舱室里加热后会释放气体,再经燃烧后可以带动发电涡轮机。
狄博特说他的队伍看到了椰子壳,芒果皮的可能性。
“嘿,这些作物生长在这里,这些地区有潜在的能源,通过这些小规模生产系统可以至少减轻部分贫困。
在《国家科学研究院学报》发表的一项新的研究中,狄博特和他的同事们使用粗略的估算椰子、芒果及其他水果的生产效率及气体发生器的效率。他们的发现,对于像印尼这样的国家为例,这些系统可以提供高达13%的国家能源需求。
“假如那是集中在农村分散的设施中,而不是大城市里,通常一个持续的能量供应就可以更加稳定的影响这些社区。”
其他热带国家的农作物有显著的椰子,芒果和其他类似的水果也能从中受益。
然而,狄博特警告道这也不是万能的。存在技术问题,包括如何安全处理危险的气化废物副产品。而且启动资金可能会让最受益的国家囊中羞涩。
然而,他看到的这种椰子的能量潜能至少能够帮助缓解农村贫困。

标签:voa standard
1
2012-02-23 20:19 编辑:pliny
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