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Texas Scientists Work to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Air Pollution

时间:2005-05-24 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:chirie   字体: [ ]


By Greg Flakus
Scientists in Texas are trying to find a way of reducing carbon dioxide air pollution by capturing the gas, compressing it and then putting it underground. This technique could also yield some benefits for the oil industry by using the gas to force out previously1 unrecoverable crude.
In a field northeast of Houston, a team of geologists2 from the University of Texas, four national scientific laboratories and a number of private companies are pumping CO2, or carbon dioxide, into sandstone deposits 1,500 meters below ground. Such attempts at what is known as carbon sequestration are not new. In fact, reducing greenhouse gases such as CO2 in the atmosphere has been a major goal of environmentalists for many years. But Susan Hovorka, a researcher in the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin, says this is the first attempt to carefully measure how effective an underground storage strategy might be.
"We are really the first really detailed3 experiment," said Susan Hovorka. "We have four national labs and the U.S. Geological Survey collecting very detailed measurements with a lot of tools. So, it is a first."
Ms. Hovorka, who serves as the lead researcher at the site near Dayton, Texas, says the effectiveness of this project relies on the rock formations deep in the earth below the field where the scientists are working. She says various types of rock can form a cap over the deposit to prevent almost all leakage4.
"There are a lot of things that can hold gas underground," she said. "We are underneath5 the Anahuac shale6, which should be the best seal in the world. So the CO2 should stay underground for thousands of years. No problem."
Ms. Hovorka says carbon dioxide is plentiful7 in nature and a small amount of leakage from the underground storage site will cause no problem. She says it is the large amounts of CO2 put into the atmosphere by nearby petroleum8 refineries9 and factories that cause health problems and contribute to global warming.
In areas like east Texas and Louisiana, which still have many active oil fields, there can be another benefit from pumping carbon dioxide underground. Susan Hovorka says the gas helps move oil out of regions in the porous10 rock that had defied earlier attempts at extraction.
"The oil is stuck in the pore spaces and the CO2 will act as a solvent11 to help move it out," explained Susan Hovorka. "So, you can get several decades more life out of a field ending its life."
This use of gas to produce oil could be especially important for future development of greenhouse gas sequestration plans because of the costs involved. Removing carbon dioxide from fossil fuel fumes12 is an expensive process in itself.
Compressing thousands of tons of that gas into containers and then shipping13 it to the storage sites to pump it into the ground costs even more. But scientists hope the experiment now under way here in Texas will lead to a cost-effective system for reducing air pollution that can be applied14 elsewhere in the world as well.
Greg Flakus, VOA News, Houston

compress 压缩 
underground 地下
Houston 休斯顿
environmentalist 环境论者
Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas美国德克萨斯州立大学经济地质局
Austin 奥斯汀
Dayton 代顿(美国俄亥俄州西南部城市)
deposit 沉淀物, 堆积
leakage 泄漏
porous 能渗透的
sequestration 隔离


1 previously bkzzzC     
  • The bicycle tyre blew out at a previously damaged point.自行车胎在以前损坏过的地方又爆开了。
  • Let me digress for a moment and explain what had happened previously.让我岔开一会儿,解释原先发生了什么。
2 geologists 1261592151f6aa40819f7687883760a2     
地质学家,地质学者( geologist的名词复数 )
  • Geologists uncovered the hidden riches. 地质学家发现了地下的宝藏。
  • Geologists study the structure of the rocks. 地质学家研究岩石结构。
3 detailed xuNzms     
  • He had made a detailed study of the terrain.他对地形作了缜密的研究。
  • A detailed list of our publications is available on request.我们的出版物有一份详细的目录备索。
4 leakage H1dxq     
  • Large areas of land have been contaminated by the leakage from the nuclear reactor.大片地区都被核反应堆的泄漏物污染了。
  • The continuing leakage is the result of the long crack in the pipe.这根管子上的那一条裂缝致使渗漏不断。
5 underneath VKRz2     
  • Working underneath the car is always a messy job.在汽车底下工作是件脏活。
  • She wore a coat with a dress underneath.她穿着一件大衣,里面套着一条连衣裙。
6 shale cEvyj     
  • We can extract oil from shale.我们可以从页岩中提取石油。
  • Most of the rock in this mountain is shale.这座山上大部分的岩石都是页岩。
7 plentiful r2izH     
  • Their family has a plentiful harvest this year.他们家今年又丰收了。
  • Rainfall is plentiful in the area.这个地区雨量充足。
8 petroleum WiUyi     
  • The Government of Iran advanced the price of petroleum last week.上星期伊朗政府提高了石油价格。
  • The purpose of oil refinery is to refine crude petroleum.炼油厂的主要工作是提炼原油。
9 refineries f6f752d4dedfa84ee0eead1d97a27bb2     
精炼厂( refinery的名词复数 )
  • The efforts on closedown and suspension of small sugar refineries, small saccharin refineries and small paper mills are also being carried out in steps. 关停小糖厂、小糖精厂、小造纸厂的工作也已逐步展开。
  • Hence the sitting of refineries is at a distance from population centres. 所以,炼油厂的厂址总在远离人口集中的地方。
10 porous 91szq     
  • He added sand to the soil to make it more porous.他往土里掺沙子以提高渗水性能。
  • The shell has to be slightly porous to enable oxygen to pass in.外壳不得不有些细小的孔以便能使氧气通过。
11 solvent RFqz9     
  • Gasoline is a solvent liquid which removes grease spots.汽油是一种能去掉油污的有溶解力的液体。
  • A bankrupt company is not solvent.一个破产的公司是没有偿还债务的能力的。
12 fumes lsYz3Q     
  • The health of our children is being endangered by exhaust fumes. 我们孩子们的健康正受到排放出的废气的损害。
  • Exhaust fumes are bad for your health. 废气对健康有害。
13 shipping WESyg     
  • We struck a bargain with an American shipping firm.我们和一家美国船运公司谈成了一笔生意。
  • There's a shipping charge of £5 added to the price.价格之外另加五英镑运输费。
14 applied Tz2zXA     
  • She plans to take a course in applied linguistics.她打算学习应用语言学课程。
  • This cream is best applied to the face at night.这种乳霜最好晚上擦脸用。
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