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从大气层中去除二氧化碳的新方法 – 译学馆
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从大气层中去除二氧化碳的新方法

A new way to remove CO2 from the atmosphere | Jennifer Wilcox

百万分之四百
Four hundred parts per million:
那是现今空气中二氧化碳的近似浓度
that’s the approximate concentrationof CO2 in the air today.
这意味着什么?
What does this even mean?
每400个二氧化碳分子
For every 400 molecules of carbon dioxide,
就会有另外一百万个氧和氮分子
we have another million moleculesof oxygen and nitrogen.
今天在座的有近1800人
In this room today,there are about 1,800 of us.
想象一下 我们中只一个人穿了绿衬衫
Imagine just one of uswas wearing a green shirt,
而你被要求去找到那个人
and you’re asked to findthat single person.
那就是现今我们想要直接捕获空气中的二氧化碳时
That’s the challenge we’re facingwhen capturing CO2
所面临的挑战
directly out of the air.
听上去挺简单的 把二氧化碳于空气中去除
Sounds pretty easy, pulling CO2 out of the air.
实际上真的很难
It’s actually really difficult.
但告诉各位什么是容易的:
But I’ll tell you what is easy:
一开始就避免排放二氧化碳
avoiding CO2 emissions to begin with.
但我们没有这样做
But we’re not doing that.
所以现在我们必须回过头去
So now what we have to thinkabout is going back;
从空气中抽出二氧化碳
pulling CO2 back out of the air.
即使很困难 还是有可能做到的
Even though it’s difficult,it’s actually possible to do this.
接下来我将
And I’m going to share
和大家分享这项技术的现况
with you today where this technology is at
以及它在不久的将来 可能的发展方向
and where it just may be headingin the near future. Now,
地球能通过海水 泥土 植物甚至是岩石
the earth naturally removes CO2 from the air
天然地去除空气中的二氧化碳
by seawater, soils, plants and even rocks.
虽然工程师和科学家们为加速这自然过程
And although engineers and scientistsare doing the invaluable work
做着极为有价值的工作
to accelerate these natural processes,
但这远远不够
it simply won’t be enough.
好消息是 我们还有其他方法
The good news is, we have more.
靠着人类的聪明才智 我们现在有技术
Thanks to human ingenuity,we have the technology today
可以把空气中的二氧化碳除去
to remove CO2 out of the air
利用化学反应的方法
using a chemically manufactured approach.
我喜欢把它想成是一个人造森林
I like to think of this as a synthetic forest.
要种出或建造这样的森林 有两种基本的方式
There are two basic approaches to growing or building such a forest.
第一个 使用溶解在水中且能够抓取二氧化碳的化学物质
One is using CO2-grabbing chemicalsdissolved in water.
另一个 使用内里含有抓取二氧化碳的化学物质的固态材料
Another is using solid materialswith CO2-grabbing chemicals.
不论采取哪种方法 看上去基本是一样的
No matter which approach you choose,they basically look the same.
我接着要给大家看
So what I’m showing you
做这件事的方法
here is what a system might look like
是什么样子的
to do just this.
这叫做空气接触器
This is called an air contactor.
它必须要非常非常宽
You can see it has to bereally, really wide
这样才能有足够大的表面积
in order to havea high enough surface area
来处理所有必要的空气
to process all of the air required,
因为 别忘了 我们正试图从百万个分子中抓取
because remember, we’re trying to capture just 400 molecules
区区400个分子
out of a million.
要是用液体的方式来捕集
Using the liquid-basedapproach to do this,
你就要用这大面积的包装材料
you take this high surface areapacking material,
把接触器用包装材料装满
you fill the contactorwith the packing material,
利用泵把液体分散于包装材料的各处
you use pumps to distribute liquidacross the packing material,
还可以用风扇
and you can use fans,
如图的前方所示
as you can see in the front,
让空气通过液体产生泡泡
to bubble the air through the liquid.
空气中的二氧化碳和液体分离
The CO2 in the air is separated from the liquid
因为它会和溶液中结合力极强的二氧化碳分子发生作用
by reacting with the really strong-bindingCO2 molecules in solution.
为了捕捉很多二氧化碳
And in order to capture a lot of CO2,
这个接触器必须要做得更深
you have to make this contactor deeper.
但有个最佳化的深度 因为接触器越深
But there’s an optimization, because the deeperyou make that contactor,
所有通过的空气 产生泡泡 就要用更多能量
the more energy you’re spendingon bubbling all that air through.
所以 空气接触器
So air contactors
直接捕集空气 在设计上有这项独特的特征
for direct air capture have this unique characteristic design,
有很大的表面积 相对来说 厚度就很薄
where they have this huge surface area, but a relatively thin thickness.
一旦你捕集到了二氧化碳
And now once you’ve captured the CO2,
你要能够反复回收那些
you have to be able to recycle that material
用来捕集它的材料
that you used to capture it, over and over again.
碳捕集工作规模巨大
The scale of carbon capture is so enormous
捕集过程必须是可持续的
that the capture processmust be sustainable,
材料不能只用一次
and you can’t use a material just once.
而且回收那些材料就需要很大的热量
And so recycling the material requiresan enormous amount of heat,
因为 你想想看 在空气中二氧化碳会被稀释
because think about it:CO2 is so dilute in the air,
和它结合的材料非常强而有力
that material is binding it really strong,
因此会需要大量热力 才能回收那些材料
and so you need a lot of heat in order to recycle the material.
如果要用这样的热力回收材料
And to recycle the materialwith that heat,
会发生的结果是
what happens is that concentrated CO2
从空气中稀释的二氧化碳所取得的浓缩的二氧化碳
that you got from dilute CO2 in the air
现在被释放出来了 产生了高纯度的二氧化碳
is now released, and you produce high-purity CO2.
那很重要 因为高纯度的二氧化碳比较容易液化
And that’s really important, because high-purity CO2is easier to liquify,
无论用管道还是卡车 都比较容易运输
easier to transport, whetherit’s in a pipeline or a truck,
更容易直接使用
or even easier to use directly, say,
比如 用来当燃料或化学物质
as a fuel or a chemical.
所以 关于那能源 我想要再多谈一点
So I want to talk a little bit more about that energy.
重新产生或回收这些材料所需要的热能
The heat required to regenerateor recycle these materials
会直接影响到能源和做这件事的后续成本
absolutely dictates the energyand the subsequent cost of doing this.
所以我要问一个问题
So I ask a question:
你们认为要用多少能源
How much energy do you think it takes
才能在一年内把空气中的100万吨
to remove a million tonsof CO2 from the air
二氧化碳去除?
in a given year?
答案是一座电厂的能量
The answer is: a power plant.
需要用一座电厂才能直接捕集空气中的二氧化碳
It takes a power plant to capture CO2 directly from the air.
看你选的方法是哪一种
Depending on which approach you choose,
用的可能是300到500百万瓦特的电厂
the power plant could be on the order of 300 to 500 megawatts.
要选哪一种电厂 也要十分谨慎
And you have to be careful about what kind of power plant you choose.
如果选择燃煤电厂 二氧化碳排放会多于捕集到的
If you choose coal, you end up emitting more CO2 than you capture.
现在来谈谈成本
Now let’s talk about costs.
这种技术 如果用的是高能源的版本
An energy-intensive versionof this technology
每吨可能要花上1000美金
could cost you as muchas $1,000 a ton
还仅仅只是捕集样本
just to capture it.
让我们来解释一下
Let’s translate that.
如果你要把非常昂贵的
If you were to take that very expensive
二氧化碳转化为液体燃料
CO2 and convert it to a liquid fuel,
每加仑需要花费50美元
that comes out to 50 dollars a gallon.
这种方法太贵了 并不可行
That’s way too expensive;it’s not feasible.
那么 我们如何降低成本呢?
So how could we bring these costs down?
那就是我工作的一部分
That’s in part, the work that I do.
现在有一间商业公司 商业规模的公司
There’s a company today,a commercial-scale company,
可以降低到每吨600美元的价格
that can do this as lowas 600 dollars a ton.
还有好几间其他公司在开发技术
There are several other companiesthat are developing technologies
想要把价格降到比那更低
that can do this even cheaper than that.
我要跟各位谈谈
I’m going to talk to you a little bit
这当中的少数几间公司
about a few of these different companies.
其一是碳工程公司
One is called Carbon Engineering.
该公司位于加拿大
They’re based out of Canada.
他们用液态的方式来做分离
They use a liquid-basedapproach for separation
结合燃烧超丰富且便宜的天然气
combined with burningsuper-abundant, cheap natural gas
来供应必要的热
to supply the heat required.
他们有个很聪明的方法
They have a clever approach that
可以同时捕集空气中的二氧化碳
allows them to co-capture the CO2 from the air
以及燃烧天然气所产生的二氧化碳
and the CO2 that they generatefrom burning the natural gas.
这样做 可以抵消过多污染并降低成本
And so by doing this, they offset excess pollution and they reduce costs.
瑞士的Climeworks公司及美国的全球恒温公司
Switzerland-based Climeworksand US-based Global Thermostat
采用不同的方式
use a different approach.
它们用的是固态的捕集法
They use solid materials for capture.
气候工程公司用的是来自地球的热
Climeworks uses heat from the earth,
或地热 或甚至是工业过程中过量的蒸汽
or geothermal, or even excess steamfrom other industrial processes
以减少污染及成本
to cut down on pollution and costs.
全球恒温公司用的方式不同
Global Thermostattakes a different approach.
他们把焦点放在必要的热
They focus on the heat required
以及热通过材料的速度
and the speed in which it movesthrough the material
这样可以非常快速地释放和产生
so that they’re able to release and produce that CO2
那些二氧化碳
at a really fast rate,
让他们的设计可以变得更小巧
which allows them to have a more compact design
整体的成本也比较便宜
and overall cheaper costs.
还有更多其他的
And there’s more still.
人造森林较之真正的森林有一个显著的优势:大小
A synthetic forest has a significantadvantage over a real forest: size.
我接下来给大家看的图
This next image that I’m showing you is a map
是亚马逊雨林的地图
of the Amazon rainforest.
亚马逊每年可以捕集16亿吨的二氧化碳
The Amazon is capable of capturing 1.6 billion tons of CO2 each year.
这大约等同于美国每年
This is the equivalentof roughly 25 percent
碳排放量的25%
of our annual emissions in the US.
换成 “人工森林”
The land area requiredfor a synthetic forest
或专门用来捕集空气的电厂
or a manufactured direct air capture plant
若要捕集相同分量的二氧化碳
to capture the same is 500 times smaller.
所需要用的面积小了500倍
In addition, for a synthetic forest,
此外 人工森林无需建在适于耕种的土地上
you don’t have to build it on arable land,
所以不必占农作物用地
so there’s no competitionwith farmland or food,
也不需要砍伐
and there’s also no reason
任何真正的树木
to have to cut down any real trees
就可以做到
to do this.
我想要先退一步
I want to step back,
我想要再提一下负排放的概念
and I want to bring up the concept of negative emissions again.
负排放 是要把分离出的二氧化碳
Negative emissions requirethat the CO2 separated
永远从大气中除去
be permanently removedfrom the atmosphere forever,
也就是 把它放回地底
which means putting it back underground,
因为它最初是从地底来的
where it came from in the first place.
但要面对现实
But let’s face it,
现今没有人能靠做这个赚钱
nobody gets paid to do that today —
至少赚不了多少钱
at least not enough.
所以 在开发出这些技术的公司
So the companies that are developingthese technologies
其实是想要把二氧化碳拿来
are actually interested in taking the CO2
做成有用的物品 有市场价值的产品
and making something usefulout of it, a marketable product.
可能是液态燃料 塑料
It could be liquid fuels, plastics
甚或是人工碎石
or even synthetic gravel.
别误会我的意思 这些碳市场是很棒的
And don’t get me wrong –these carbon markets are great.
但我也不希望各位的幻想破灭
But I also don’t want youto be disillusioned.
刚谈的这些都还不足以解决我们的气候危机
These are not large enoughto solve our climate crisis,
我们需要做的是
and so what we need to
要真正去思考
do is we need to actually think about
要花什么代价
what it could take.
对于碳市场 有一个优点我一定会说
One thing I’ll absolutely sayis positive about the carbon markets
那就是 因为它们新的捕集厂得以建立起来
is that they allow for newcapture plants to be built,
而每建立一座捕集厂 我们就会学到更多
and with every capture plant built, we learn more.
当我们学到更多 我们就有机会把成本降低
And when we learn more, we have an opportunity to bring costs down.
但我们这个全球共同体也得要
But we also need to be willing to invest
愿意去投资
as a global society.
我们或许有各种
We could have all
聪明的想法和技术
of the clever thinking and technology in the world,
但那还不够让
but it’s not going to be enough
这项技术对于气候产生足够显著的影响
in order for this technology to have a significant impact on climate.
我们真的需要监管
We really need regulation,
我们需要辅助 碳相关的税
we need subsidies, taxes on carbon.
很少
There are a few
有人会愿意付更多
of us that would absolutely be willing to pay more,
但需要做的是
but what will be required
要让碳中和与负碳的途径
is for carbon-neutral,carbon-negative paths
便宜到社会上大部分人都能负担
to be affordable forthe majority of society
这样才能对气候有所影响
in order to impact climate.
除了那些投资之外
In addition to those kinds of investments,
我们也需要在研究和开发上做投资
we also need investmentsin research and development.
所以看起来会是什么样子?
So what might that look like?
1966年 美国将
In 1966, the US invested
大约一半的国内生产总值投资在
about a half a percent of gross domestic product
阿波罗计划上
in the Apollo program.
该计划让人类安全登录月球
It got people safely to the moon
并返回地球
and back to the earth.
当年国内生产总值的一半 约等于现在的一千亿美元
Half a percent of GDP todayis about 100 billion dollars.
已经知道直接捕集空气
So knowing that direct air capture
是我们对抗气候变化之战的前线
is one front in our fightagainst climate change,
想象一下 若我们能投资20% 即200亿美元 会如何 此外
imagine that we could invest20 percent, 20 billion dollars. Further,
也想象一下 我们能把成本降低
let’s imaginethat we could get the costs down
降到每吨100美元
to a 100 dollars a ton.
那会很困难
That’s going to be hard,
但这也是让我的工作很有趣的原因之一
but it’s part of what makes my job fun.
所以 200亿美元 每吨100美元
And so what does that look like,
会是什么样子?
20 billion dollars,100 dollars a ton?
那会需要建造200座人工森林
That requires us to build200 synthetic forests,
每一座每一年都能捕集100吨的二氧化碳
each capable of capturinga million tons of CO2 per year.
加起来总共约是美国每年排放量的5%
That adds up to about five percentof US annual emissions.
听起来不是很多
It doesn’t sound like much.
结果发现 其实是很重大的
Turns out, it’s actually significant.
如果看看长途货运以及商业航班
If you look at the emissionsassociated with long-haul trucking
相关的排放 他们加起来大约是5%
and commercial aircraft, they add up to about five percent.
我们对于液态燃料的依赖
Our dependence on liquid fuelsmakes these emissions
让这些排放非常难避免
really difficult to avoid.
所以这项投资绝对是重要的 现在
So this investmentcould absolutely be significant. Now,
要用多少
what would it take
土地面积 才能做到
in terms of land area to do this,
200座捕集厂?
200 plants?
结果算出来是大约
It turns out that they would take up
温哥华土地面积的一半左右
about half the land area of Vancouver.
前提是要用天然气来当燃料
That’s if they were fueled by natural gas.
但别忘了 天然气也有不利的一面 它也会排放二氧化碳
But remember the downside of natural gas — it also emits CO2.
所以 如果用天然气来直接做空气捕集
So if you use natural gasto do direct air capture,
最后只能捕集到预期量的三分之一左右
you only end up capturingabout a third of what’s intended,
除非你有聪明的同时捕集方法
unless you have thatclever approach of co-capture
就像碳工程公司用的方法
that Carbon Engineering does.
如果我们有替代的方法
And so if we had an alternative approach
用风力或太阳能来取代
and used wind or solar to do this,
土地面积会变成约15倍大
the land area would beabout 15 times larger,
相当于现在的新泽西州那么大
looking at the state of New Jersey now.
我们在工作和研究时
One of the things that I think
会思考的其中一件事情
about in my work and my research
是要想出把这些捕集厂 放在哪里最好
is optimizing and figuring outwhere we should put these plants
并考量可得的当地资源
and think aboutthe local resources available —
不论是土地 水资源 便宜且干净的电力 因为
whether it’s land, water,cheap and clean electricity — because,
比如 可以用干净的电力
for instance,you can use clean electricity
来分解水 产生氢气
to split water to produce hydrogen,
氢能是很好的天然气替代品 不会产生碳排放
which is an excellent, carbon-freereplacement for natural gas,
用来提供所需的热能
to supply the heat required.
但我希望大家能再想一下负排放
But I want us to reflect a little bit again on negative emissions.
“负排放”不该被视为神奇的解决方案
Negative emissions should not beconsidered a silver bullet,
但我们在减少全球二氧化碳时一直遇到瓶颈
but they may help usif we continue to stall
负排放也许可以帮助我们
at cutting down on CO2pollution worldwide.
但也因此 我们得要小心
But that’s also why we have to be careful.
这种方法非常诱人 甚至可能有风险
This approach is so alluringthat it can even be risky,
因为有些人可能会太依赖它
as some may cling onto it as some kind
把它视为是气候危机的完全解决方案
of total solution to our climate crisis.
它可能会诱使大家继续
It may tempt people to continue
燃烧化石燃料 一年365天
to burn fossil fuels 24 hours a day,
一天24小时不断燃烧
365 days a year.
我主张不要把负排放
I argue that we should notsee negative emissions
视为阻止污染的替代品
as a replacement for stopping pollution,
而是在既有组合的基础上做为外加部分 全包括在内
but rather as an addition to an existing portfolio that includes everything,
内容从增加能源效能 到低能碳源 到改善农业
from increased energy efficiency to low-energy carbon to improved farming —
会一起让我们有朝一日能走上净碳排放为零的路途
will all collectively get us on a path to net-zero emissions one day.
一点点自我反思:我丈夫是急诊室医生
A little bit of self-reflection: my husband is an emergency physician.
他和他的同事们每天的工作就是拯救生命
And I find myself amazed by the lifesaving work
我觉得很了不起
that he and his colleagues do each and every day.
然而 当我和他们谈到 我的碳捕集工作时
Yet when I talk to them about my work on carbon capture,
他们也同样觉得很了不起
I find that they’re equally amazed,
那是因为用捕集碳来对抗气候变迁
and that’s because combattingclimate change by capturing carbon
并不只是要拯救北极熊
isn’t just about saving a polar bear
或是冰河
or a glacier.
而是在拯救人类的生命
It’s about saving human lives.
人工森林可能没有
A synthetic forest may not ever
真实森林那么漂亮
be as pretty as a real one,
但有了它 我们就不止能
but it could just enable us
保护亚马逊
to preserve not only the Amazon,
还能保护所有我们爱与珍惜的人
but all of the people that we love and cherish,
以及我们未来的子孙后代
as well as all of our future generations
和现代文明
and modern civilization.
谢谢大家
Thank you.
(掌声)
[Applause]

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审核员@XG

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY_lzonfE3I

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