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水力压裂法的原理 – 译学馆
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水力压裂法的原理

How does fracking work? - Mia Nacamulli

地下深处贮藏着曾经难以接近的天然气
Deep underground lies stores of once inaccessible natural gas.
这些天然气大致形成于百万年之前
This gas was likely formed over millions of years
由处于地壳下的腐败有机体
as layers of decaying organisms were exposed to intense heat and pressure
在高温高压下逐渐形成
under the Earth’s crust.
有一种称为水力压裂法的技术
There’s a technology called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking,
可以提取出天然气
that can extract this natural gas,
供我们在接下来的数十年使用
potentially powering us for decades to come.
那么水力压裂法如何运作
So how does fracking work,
以及为何是一种极具争议的能源呢
and why it is a source of such heated controversy?
水力压裂站可建在任何有天然气的地方
A fracking site can be anywhere with natural gas,
从偏远的沙漠
from a remote desert
到你家后院几百尺的地方
to several hundred feet from your backyard.
首先打一个长而垂直的洞 称为钻井孔
It starts out with a long vertical hole known as a wellbore
向下钻过沉积岩
drilled down through layers of sediment.
钻井在2500-3000米时到达造斜点
When the well reaches 2500 – 3000 meters, it’s at its kickoff point
此时开始水平钻孔作业
where it can begin the process of horizontal drilling.
转过90度 沿水平方向延伸约1.5公里
It turns 90 degrees and extends horizontally for about 1.5 kilometers
穿过被压缩的 称为页岩形成层的黑色岩层
through a compressed black layer called the shale rock formation.
而后专门的射孔枪会降下来并点火
A specialized perforating gun is then lowered and fired,
形成一系列寸许长的小洞
creating a series of small, inch-long holes
冲开井壁进入岩层
that burst through the well’s casing into the rock layer.
最初钻孔的三到四个月之后
About three to four months after the initial drilling,
井已经可以开始压裂了
the well is ready for fracking to begin.
高压下 将压裂流体泵送至井下
Fracking fluid is pumped down into the well at a pressure so high,
使页岩破裂
it cracks the shale rock,
收集到的油气可从产生的裂缝逸出
creating fractures through which the trapped gas and oil can escape.
流体超过90%是水
The fluid itself is more than 90% water.
剩余的是浓缩的化学添加剂
The rest is made up of concentrated chemical additives.
添加剂对水力压裂站特性的依赖性很高
These vary depending on the specific characteristics of the fracking site,
但大致可分为三类:
but usually fall into three categories:
酸 用来清理残骸 溶解矿物质
acids for clearing debris and dissolving minerals,
降低水流体阻力的化合物
friction-reducing compounds to create
即熟知的压裂液
a slippery form of water known as slickwater,
以及防止细菌滋生的消毒液
and disinfectant to prevent bacteria growth.
还需混入砂子或黏土来扩张裂纹
Sand or clay is also mixed into the water to prop open the fissures
使得减压后 油气仍能持续漏出
so the gas and oil can keep leaking out, even after the pressure is released.
据估算水力压裂法泵送冲洗的总用水量
It’s estimated that all of fracking’s intense pumping and flushing
平均每口井为3-6百万加仑
uses an average of 3-6 million gallons of water per well.
这当然无法和农业用水
That’s actually not a lot compared to agriculture,
电厂用水
power plants,
或高尔夫球场维护用水相比
or even golf course maintenance,
但它会显著影响当地供水
but it can have a notable impact on local water supply.
而且水力压裂的废水处理也是个问题
And disposing of used fracking water is also an issue.
上百万加仑的逆流液体
Along with the trapped gas that’s pumped up to the surface,
会随着收集到的天然气涌出地表
millions of gallons of flow-back liquid come gushing up.
这类液体含有放射性矿物
This liquid containing contaminants like radioactive material,
盐 重金属
salts, heavy metals,
及烃等污染物
and hydrocarbons,
需要单独储存和处理
needs to be stored and disposed of.
通常是在现场注入深井
That’s usually done in pits on-site in deep wells
或在厂区外注入水处理设置
or off-site at water treatment facilities.
另一种方法是循环逆流液体
Another option is to recycle the flow-back liquid,
但循环过程会增加污染物含量
but the recycling process can actually increase levels of contamination
水的毒性会随使用次数增加
since the water is more toxic with each use.
井通常用钢筋混凝土封起
Wells are typically encased in steel and cement
防止污染物渗入地下水
to prevent contaminants from leaking into groundwater.
但任何疏忽或是与水力压裂法相关的事故
But any negligence or fracking-related accidents
都会造成毁灭性的影响
can have devastating effects.
水力压裂可能经地下渗透或泄漏
Fracturing directly into underground water
直接进入地下水
hazardous underground seepage and leakage,
而对剧毒废水的不当处理
and inadequate treatment and disposal of highly-toxic waste water
可能会污染水力压裂站周围的饮用水
can potentially contaminate drinking water around a fracking site.
还要考虑地震以及
There’s also concern about the threat of earthquakes
由于压力和污水注入
and damaged infrastructure
导致基础设施破坏所带来的威胁
from pressure and waste water injection.
水力压裂法与增长的地震活动之间的联系
Links between fracking and increased seismic activity
产生长期压力不平衡等无法解决的问题
leave unresolved questions about long-term pressure imbalances
可能正在我们脚下发生
that might be happening deep beneath our feet.
然而水力压裂法最大的争议还在地面上
Fracking’s biggest controversy, though, is happening above the ground.
普遍认为与燃煤相比
The general consensus is that burning natural gas is better for the environment
燃烧天然气有利于环境
than burning coal
虽是由水力压裂法收集
since the gas collected from fracking
但每单位能量 天然气放出的二氧化碳
emits only half the carbon dioxide as coal
仅为煤的一半
per unit of energy.
而水力压裂法导致的污染
The pollution caused by the fracking itself, though,
可以忽略
isn’t negligible.
钻孔和泵输送过程中泄漏的甲烷
Methane that leaks out during the drilling and pumping process
是比二氧化碳强数倍的
is many times more potent than carbon dioxide
温室气体
as a greenhouse gas.
一些科学家宣称 甲烷终究会消散
Some scientists argue that methane eventually dissipates,
因而 从长远来看 其影响较低
so has a relatively low long-term impact.
但一个更大问题却悬而未决
But a greater question hangs in the air.
水力压裂法占用了清洁可再生能源
Does fracking take time, money, and research
发展所需的时间 资金和研究了吗
away from the development of cleaner renewable energy sources?
天然气是不可再生的
Natural gas is non-renewable,
支持水力压裂法带来的短期经济效益
and the short-run economic interests supporting fracking
与全球气候变化的事实相抵触
may fall short in the face of global climate change.
专家仍在考查水力压裂法的全部影响
Experts are still examining fracking’s overarching effects.
现代水力压裂法于20世纪40年代出现
Although modern fracking has been around since the 1940s,
但在过去的数十年才井喷式的发展
it’s boomed in the last few decades.
随着其它天然气资源的减少
As other sources of natural gas decrease,
不可再生能源的成本不断上升
the costs of non-renewable energies rise,
并且尖端技术使其(开采)成为可能
and cutting-edge technologies make it so accessible.
但许多国家和地区为响应环境问题
But many countries and regions have already banned fracking
早已禁止水力压裂法
in response to environmental concerns.
毫无疑问水力压裂法重塑了世界能源结构
It’s undeniable that fracking has reshaped the energy landscape around the world,
但有何长远利益 代价又是什么
but for what long-term benefit and at what cost?

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视频概述

带来大量经济效益的水力压裂法究竟有何利弊?我们应当如何评价这类技术?未来能源技术的方向又在哪里?

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tudal_4x4F0

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