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 乙醇:可替代的汽油燃料
 Ethanol: Alternative Gasoline Fuel
Time:2009-10-11

乙醇高效汽油燃料
    乙醇是一种以能量和酒精为基础的可以替代传统燃料的汽油燃料。它是用含淀粉的粮食或者其他农产品,比如谷物,通过发酵以及蒸馏的手段生产出来的。乙醇同样也可以产自树木以及草本植物(细胞膜的生物量),我们通常称之为生物乙醇。在生产过程中,这些原料被转化成为糖类,比如淀粉或者纤维二糖。这些糖就成为了那些可以生产乙醇和二氧化碳的微生物的食物。在这个过程中,释放的二氧化碳可以被庄稼循环利用,从而乙醇也被不断的生产。这样一来就形成了一个循环。这个循环很好的利用了温室气体,而不是将其排放到外界环境中。能源部门预言,到2030年乙醇(可替代燃料)能够降低30%的美国汽油燃料的销量。在巴西,大多数新汽车(四分之三)使用乙醇或者汽油中较便宜的一个。美国乙醇联盟专注于研究乙醇的生产和使用。据该联盟说,美国的乙醇产量将会增长,从而提供5千万加仑的清洁并且可再生燃料的供给。
    乙醇含氧量很高。氧气可以提供一种与传统的可再生工艺相比更加清洁无害,更加燃烧高效的可替代燃料。根据美国环保局资料,高含氧量可以减少25%-30%一氧化碳生成量。当非传统的乙醇燃料用于大客车或者小轿车时,二氧化碳——全球变暖的罪魁祸首——的生成量将会减少。将乙醇加入到汽油中去可以提高在寒冷环境下点燃发动机的效率,以及白天火焰的能见度。除此之外,乙醇还可以增加燃料的辛烷值,从而可以减少50%以上的由于燃烧不完全而产生的有害物质的排放。初次航空公司的理查德.布莱森在过去的两到三年内为初次燃料公司投资了3-4亿美元。资金将被用于醋酸和乙醇燃料工厂的科研技术当中。预计利用大约2年的时间建成一个传统的乙醇工厂,利用3年半的时间建成一个醋酸工厂。
    乙醇燃料可以以任意比例与汽油燃料混合。将10%的乙醇加入到无铅汽油中是可以的,这样就形成了我们常说的E10。所有自二十世纪七十年代开始生产的摩托车都可以使用E10的可替代燃料。许多地方加油站都提供E10——一种非传统汽油燃料。85%的乙醇与15%的无铅汽油混合就形成了另一种非传统性汽油燃料(E85)。600万辆以上的在生产的以及已经投入使用的汽车是混合燃油型的或者是非传统燃油型的(可以使用E85)。然而大多数汽车并没有这种兼容性。根据Ford Taurus和General Motors截至2006年的报告可知,混合燃油型的汽车包括小轿车、小型货车、运动型跑车、敞篷货车。除此之外,克莱斯勒汽车公司的老总汤姆.拉索达在2006年4月说,汽车制造公司希望在接下来的几年中销售掉大约250,000辆的混合燃油型汽车,到2008达到50万辆。2005年春天,印迪赛车联盟——印迪安娜普利斯500的出生地——宣称截至2007年,赛车将使用100%的乙醇燃料。动力设备、摩托车、慢速移动工具以及外置马达的生产商们允许在他们的生产产品中使用混合乙醇燃料。
    在使用E85型非传统汽油燃料的汽车中,乙醇降低了30%的一氧化碳生成量,以及27%的二氧化碳排放量,这样以来就降低了有害物质的排放。同样,E95型的燃料 也是可以生产的。它有更高的乙醇含量。1992年的能源政策行动,授权了一些汽车有权使用至少E85型号的燃油。这样,从而减弱了对进口石油的依赖。2006年初,在美国的17000所服务站中,有587所(大部分在中西部)销售E85型的燃油。与此同时,有33个乙醇工厂正在美国境内修建。有100个以上的乙醇工厂已经生产了大量的非传统燃油。美国的顶尖乙醇生产商之一是VeraSun Energy。联邦政府会给乙醇生产商每加仑51分的补贴,从而刺激乙醇的生产。目前(2006年5月),乙醇非传统燃料的平均成本是1.2美元/加仑。然而,税额回扣减低提炼厂商实际的生产成本至大约0.7分/加仑。消费者可以联系国家乙醇汽车联合会找到最近的一家服务站。爱荷华州是使用乙醇混合型燃油的领头羊。在2006年前半年,预期的乙醇燃料产量将增加到382,000,000加仑。随着更多的工厂投入生产,到2006年底,乙醇产量又会增加672,000,000加仑。根据布什总统2005年签署的能源政策行动,燃油提炼商必须每年使用4,000,000的乙醇于可替代的汽油燃料中。到2012年将增加到7,500,000加仑。
    乙醇并不是最好的可替代能源的原材料。当乙醇与汽油混合后,乙醇燃料会腐蚀管道。目前运输乙醇燃料的可行方法只能通过卡车、火车以及驳船。这些运输方式都增加了运输成本,并且在运达目的地后形成瓶颈。与此同时,由于目前的钢罐会被乙醇腐蚀,汽油站的拥有者们需要投资资金来重新设计他们的汽油罐,从而用来装灌乙醇(E85)。一些评论家或许会评论,用来生产可替代能源——乙醇的成本比储蓄的资金还要多。当乙醇燃料供不应求时,乙醇可以从巴西(世界上顶尖糖类乙醇生产商,从1939年就开始使用乙醇混合物)进口。然而,必须交纳54分/加仑的关税,这样以来又增加了消费者们必须要支付的费用。由于消费者们对乙醇燃料的需求,许多州已经停止使用MTBE添加剂。因为这种添加剂会污染地下水,并会造成烟雾。每加仑汽油中含有10%的MTBE添加剂。研究表明,当汽车使用乙醇混合型燃料时,需要注射燃料的汽车将在燃料节约上有大约2%的损失。2005年4月报道,燃料工厂的代表告诉美国参议院环境和公共建设工程委员会,史无前例的乙醇燃料的高需求在即将到来的这个夏天将引起汽油价格的增长。盖,卡鲁索,美国能源部门数据统计部部长,估计到2006年5月5日将会有额外130000桶乙醇被需求。这已经达到了目前这种可替代能源产量的50%。
    2006年4月25日,布什总统在可再生燃料协会的讲话中提到,环保协会应当向当地的燃料标准提供暂时的放弃权。这样通过提供更多的时间来增加产量以及解决供给分配问题,从而帮助了乙醇生产商。最重要的问题是乙醇燃料运输的问题。为了迎合需求,对燃料提炼厂自愿从他们的汽油中移除添加剂MTBE,并且用乙醇替代。提炼厂和汽油站所有者都喜欢选择使用乙醇燃料,因为他们不会有对MTBE污染的保护负担。


Ethanol Efficient Gasoline Fuel

Ethanol is alternative gasoline fuel source of energy and alcohol based, produced by fermenting and distilling starch crops or agricultural products such as corn. Also, ethanol fuel can be produced from trees and grass (cellulosid biomass), referred to as bio-ethanol. During the production process these materials are converted into sugar such as starch or celllose. The sugar is feed to microorganisms, which produce ethanol and carbon dioxide. During the process, release of carbon dioxide is recycled by crops and ethanol produced. This creates a cycle, which greenhouse gases are used instead of being emitted into the environment. Department of Energy predicts ethanol (alternative fuel) could reduce America's gasoline fuel consumption, by thirty percent in 2030. In Brazil, most new cars (three-quarters) use either ethanol or gasoline, which ever is cheaper to purchase. American Coalition of Ethanol is dedicated to use and production of ethanol. According to the coalition, United States ethanol industry will grow to provide more than five billion gallons of clean burning, and renewable fuel supply.

Ethanol contains high oxygen, which provides a cleaner and more efficient burning alternative fuel, besides renewable and domestically produced. The high oxygen content reduces carbon monoxide levels by 25 - 30 percent, according to United State Environment Protection Agency. When ethanol alternative fuel is used in vehicles or automobiles, will reduce carbon dioxide, a major component to global warming. Adding, ethanol to gasoline improves the engine starts in cold weather, and improves flame visibility in daylight. Also, ethanol is an octane enhancer, which can reduce emissions of cancer causing benzene and butadiene, by more than fifty percent. Richard Branson of Virgin Airways and Virgin Records investing $300 - $400 million in Virgin Fuels, over the next two to three years. The money will be invested into cellulosic and ethanol fuel plant technology. Takes approximately two years to build a conventional ethanol plant and 3 half years to build a cellosic plant.

Ethanol fuel can be blended with gasoline fuel in various amounts. Ten percent ethanol added to unleaded gasoline is available (E10) and all motor vehicles manufactured since 1970s, can run on E10 alternative fuel. Many local gas stations offer E10, as an alternative gasoline fuel. An alternative ethanol fuel blend consists of 85 percent ethanol, and 15 percent unleaded gasoline (E85). More than six million vehicles manufactured and on the road today are Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV) or alternative fuel vehicles, able to run on E85. However, most cars do not have this compatibility. Flexible Fuel Vehicles include sedans, mini-vans, sport utilities, pickup trucks, Ford Taurus and General Motors announced by 2006, the Chevy Avalanche production. Also, Chrysler Group President Tom LaSorda said in April 2006, carmaker expected to sell about 250,000 flexible vehicles following year, and half a million by 2008. In spring of 2005, the Indy Racing League - home of the Indianapolis 500, announced by the year 2007, race - cars will be fueled with 100% ethanol fuel. Manufacturers of power equipment, motorcycles, snowmobiles and outboard motor, permit the use of ethanol blends in their products.


In E85 alternative gasoline fuel vehicles, ethanol lowers carbon monoxide by thirty percent and carbon dioxide by twenty-seven percent, thus lowering unhealthy emissions. Also, available is E95 fuel, which contains a higher concentration of ethanol. The Energy Policy Act of 1992, mandates certain fleets of vehicles have the capability to operate using at least E85 fuel, thus reducing the dependence on imported petroleum. Beginning of 2006, in the United States 17,000 service stations of which 587 stations (mostly in the Midwest) sell E85 fuel. Beginning of 2006, 33 ethanol plants are being built in the United States, and more than 100 ethanol plants have provided an alternative fuel production. One of the nation's top ethanol producers is VeraSun Energy. There is a federal subsidy of 51 cents per gallon to provide incentive for ethanol producers. Currently (May 2006) ethanol average alternative fuel costs $1.20 a gallon, however tax rebate reduces refiner's actual cost to approximately .70 cents per gallon. Consumers can contact the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition for the nearest station. Iowa is the leader in the use of ethanol-blended gasoline. In the first half 2006, expected ethanol fuel output will increase by 382 million gallons, and additional 672 million gallons before the end of the year, as more plants come online. According to President Bush Energy Policy Act, signed in 2005, oil refiners must use four billion gallons of ethanol a year and by 2012, increases to 7.5 billion gallons, as an alternative gasoline fuel.

Ethanol is not a perfect source for alternative energy. Ethanol fuel does corrode existing pipelines when mixed with gasoline. Currently, only viable method to transport ethanol fuel by trucks, trains, and barges, which adds to the cost of transportation, and creates a bottleneck situation, when arriving at terminals. Also, gasoline station owners will need to invest money to redesign their gas tanks to hold ethanol (E85), since current steel tanks would corrode containing ethanol. Some critics may argue, cost for producing corn - based (alternative fuel) ethanol is more than the savings incurred. When production of ethanol fuel is not sufficient for the demand, ethanol can be imported from Brazil (The world's top producer of sugar based ethanol fuel), has used ethanol blends since 1939. However, having to pay 54 cents per gallon tariff, which adds to the cost, consumers must pay. Attributing to the demand of ethanol fuel, many states have stopped allowing methyl teritiary-butylether (MTBE) as an additive in gasoline, because it can contaminate ground water, and causes smog. Alternatively, replacing the additive with ethanol. MTBE additive composed about ten percent of every gallon of gasoline. Studies have shown, fuel-injected cars will have an approximate two percent decrease in fuel economy, when the vehicle operates on ethanol - blended fuel. Reported in April 2005, representatives of the energy industry told United States Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, unprecedented high demand for ethanol fuel, will cause the price of gasoline to increase coming summer. Guy Caruso, head of the US Energy Department's of statistical division, estimates 130,000 barrels of extra ethanol will be needed by May 5, 2006, which is equal to almost 50 percent of current output, for this alternative source of gasoline.

During President Bush speech to the Renewable Fuels Association, on April 25, 2006, he recommended to the Environmental Protection Agency, offer temporary waivers to local fuel standards. This should help ethanol producers, by providing more time to increase production and resolve supply distribution problems. Major concerns is ethanol fuel transportation issues, keeping up with the demand, in response to oil refiners voluntarily removing the additive MTBE (methyl teritary-butyl ether) from their gasoline (linked to groundwater pollution), and replacing with ethanol. Refiners and gas station owners favor the changeover to ethanol fuel, because they don't have the liability protection for MTBE pollution
cleanups.

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