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Forbes: China’s anti-pollution efforts could be offset by petcoke

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China's efforts to reduce air pollution could be negated by its unregulated and unmonitored burning of petcoke, a fuel dirtier than coal, an expert on Chinese climate and energy policy said Tuesday in Washington D.C.

一名中国气候和能源政策专家14日在华盛顿表示,中国为减少空气污染所付出的努力可能因不受监管的石油焦而功亏一篑。石油焦是一种比煤还脏的燃料。

 

Petroleum coke is a cheap byproduct of oil refining that China has increasingly consumed in the last decade, as runaway demand for industrial fuel has driven up coal prices. Most of the 33 million metric tons of petcoke burned in China in 2013 came from Chinese refineries, said Wang Tao, a resident scholar with the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing, but 7 million tons came from the U.S.

石油焦是炼油产生的一种廉价副产品,过去10年,中国越来越多地使用这种燃料,因为工业燃料需求疯长推高了煤价。清华-卡内基全球政策中心常驻学者王涛表示,2013年中国消耗了3300万公吨石油焦,其中大部分来自中国炼油厂,但也有700万吨源自美国。

 

"When the U.S. imported more of the oil from the tar sands in Canada, the U.S. ended up with a huge pile of petcoke in your own backyard," Wang said Tuesday in an appearance at the Dirksen Senate Office Building. "And there’s no way to use them, so they actually export them to different countries including China."

王涛14日在德克森参议院办公楼说:“美国增加进口利用加拿大油砂提炼的石油,最后在你们自己的后院出现了大量石油焦库存。这些石油焦没法利用,于是就出口到不同国家,包括中国。”

 

In an industrial furnace, Petcoke behaves like coal, but in the atmosphere its emissions behave worse than coal’s. Petcoke emits 11 percent more greenhouse gases than coal, Wang writes in a paper he published May 31, with "a higher sulfur content… and various heavy-metal contaminants, including mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel, and cadmium, as well as dioxins, hydrogen chloride, and hydrogen fluoride that are emitted when it is combusted."

在工业熔炉中,石油焦和煤相似,但在大气中,它的排放比煤更差。与煤相比,石油焦排放的温室气体要多出11%,王涛在5月31日发表的一篇文章中写道,“硫含量更高……多种重金属污染物,包括汞、砷、铬、镍和镉的含量更高,以及燃烧过程中排放的二恶英、氯化氢和氟化氢含量也更高”。

 

"If burned in a regular furnace or pulverized-coal-fired power plant, the toxic metal and sulfur dioxide emissions of petcoke are higher than those of coal."

“如果在常规的熔炉或发电站煤粉炉中燃烧,石油焦的有毒金属和二氧化硫排放量比煤更高。”

 

Sulfur dioxide offsets the warming effect of greenhouse gases, but the offset is relatively shortlived before sulfur dioxide drops out of the atmosphere and creates health problems in China's cities, while Petcoke’s higher greenhouse gas content lingers.

二氧化硫抵消了温室气体的增温效应,但这种抵消相对短暂,最终二氧化硫会从大气层中消失,并在中国城市制造健康问题,而石油焦产生的较高浓度温室气体会继续存留。

 

Chinese government officials have not caught on to the problem yet, Wang said. "Chinese policymakers are not yet fully aware of petcoke’s rapid proliferation, and data on petcoke consumption in China is lacking and far from transparent," Wang writes in the paper.

王涛说,中国政府官员尚未注意到这一问题。王涛在文章中写道:“中国决策者们尚未充分意识到石油焦的快速扩散,中国石油焦消耗数据不足,而且远远不够透明。”

 

"This has not been recognized by the Chinese government as a major source,"  he added Tuesday at the D.C. forum sponsored by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute and the World Resources Institute.

王涛在华盛顿出席由环境与能源研究所和世界资源研究所赞助的论坛时补充道:“中国政府还没有把它当作一种主要源头。”

 

China burns about 4 billion tons of coal annually, but petcoke contains 3 to 7 times more sulfur.

中国每年消耗约40亿吨煤,但石油焦的硫含量是煤的3到7倍。

 

"When you compare the consumption of petcoke to the consumption of coal you realize that the contribution of petcoke could offset all the efforts China has made in terms of reducing the air pollution sources of sulfur dioxide."

“如果把石油焦消耗量和煤消耗量进行比较,你会发现,石油焦的排放能抵消中国为减少空气污染源二氧化硫所付出的所有努力。”

 

The Chinese are not the only ones overlooking petcoke, Wang said: "These additional carbon emissions from petcoke have not historically been figured fully into calculations of the climate impacts of extra-heavy oils, such as those from Canadian oil sands and Venezuela, from which more petcoke is produced."

并不是只有中国人忽视石油焦,王涛说:“历史上在评估超重原油对气候影响的时候,没有充分考虑石油焦产生的额外碳排放,例如产自加拿大油砂和委内瑞拉的超重原油——委内瑞拉的石油焦产量更大。”

 

Wang sees the problem not only as a threat to China's progress, but as an opportunity for international cooperation.

王涛认为,这一问题不仅是对中国发展的威胁,同时也是国际合作的一个机会。

 

"This requires our governments to work together to make certain that we find the best way to address the sulfur dioxide contribution from petcoke, not simply export it from one country to another country and burn it."

“这就要求各国政府开展合作,确保我们找到解决石油焦排放二氧化硫问题的最佳方法,而不仅仅是从一个国家出口到另一个国家,任其燃烧。”

2016-06-24

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