研究:生質柴油廢氣 也會誘發呼吸疾病 | 台灣環境資訊協會-環境資訊中心

研究:生質柴油廢氣 也會誘發呼吸疾病

2012年10月30日
摘譯自2012年10月19日ENS澳洲,布里斯本報導;陳雅琦編譯;蔡麗伶審校

位於西澳卡爾古利的生物柴油幫浦(Photo by Darren Anderson)澳洲昆士蘭科技大學發表一項研究,證實燃燒生質柴油產生的複合物質會導致人體呼吸疾病。

生質柴油是化石柴油的替代能源,然而,科學家表示,此次研究發現可能為此帶來限制。

「隨著石化燃料存量的減少,可再生能源的發展變得極為重要。」博士後研究員蘇拉斯基(Nicholas Surawski)表示:「然而在採用新運輸能源的同時,我們應該格外小心,避面導致不被樂見的呼吸疾病。」

研究團隊檢視了不同種類的生質柴油,包括由大豆、菜籽油、牛油和羊油製成的。科學家們使用昆士蘭科技大學研發的專業分析監測儀器,他們發現:燃燒帶有高比例生質柴油的柴油燃料,會產生較多與呼吸疾病相關的氣體成分。這些生物活性化合物稱作「活性氧自由基」,它們在排放氣體的微小煤煙顆粒表面形成。

活性氧自由基可以導致一種叫作「氧化壓力」的細胞傷害,長期下來,這會進一步導致嚴重的呼吸疾病。

研究團隊現在正著手找出淨化生質燃料排放物的方法。蘇拉斯基說,「這是一項非常重要的發現,現在,我們必須辨別氣體中導致疾病問題的成分,然後能進一步找出解決之道。」

佐蘭列斯托夫斯基帶領的研究團隊現在正聚焦於了解「活性氧自由基」如何在排放氣體中產生,並了解如何去除它們。

這項研究在去年發表於《環境科學與科技》(Environmental Science and Technology)期刊。

生質柴油可以單純的形式用作車輛的燃料,然而大多時候,生質柴油以混合物的形式被使用,以減少微粒狀物質、一氧化碳以及柴油車所排放出的碳氫化合物。

生質柴油的消費者包括了城市的大眾運輸車輛、生太敏感區的港口船務營運商、地下煤礦、發電站,以及侷限或封閉空間裡的車輛或機械使用者。

為求減少溫室氣體所帶來的效益,澳洲越來越多採礦業和運輸公司正試著使用生質柴油和石化柴油所組成的混合柴油,其中生質柴油的濃度為20%到100%。在澳洲,越來越多的供應站提供含有生質柴油的混合柴油。

昆士蘭科技大學的科學家們表示,他們的研究目標不只是提供運輸產業對環境有正面影響的燃料,同時也要降低燃料對呼吸健康所帶來的負擔。

Marine Experts Implore Governments to Slash Carbon Emissions
NICE, France, January 30, 2009 (ENS)

Burning biodiesel produces compounds that can cause respiratory disease, researchers from Queensland University of Technology have found.

The scientists say the discovery could lead to restrictions on the use of biodiesel as an alternative to petroleum diesel.

“With fossil fuel reserves dwindling, developing renewable alternative fuels is important,” said postdoctoral fellow Dr. Nicholas Surawski. “But we should be particularly careful to protect against unwanted respiratory illness when we adopt new transport fuels.”

The team looked at a range of biodiesels made from soy, canola and tallow, a rendered form of beef or mutton fat.

Using specialized analytical monitoring equipment developed at Queensland University of Technology, they discovered that burning diesel fuels with a high percentage of biodiesel produced higher emissions of compounds linked to respiratory disease.

These biologically active compounds are called “reactive oxygen species” and form on the surface of small soot particles in the exhaust emissions, Surawski explained.

Reactive oxygen species can lead to the type of cell damage called oxidative stress which, over long periods of time, can progress to serious respiratory disease.

The team is now looking at ways of cleaning up biofuel exhausts.

“This is a very important discovery,” Surawski said. “Now we’ve identified a component of the emissions that causes the problem we can start to look for solutions.”

Led by Professor Zoran Ristovski, the research team is now focusing on understanding the way reactive oxygen species in the emissions are generated, and on how to remove them.

The research was published last year in the journal “Environmental Science and Technology.”

Biodiesel can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form, but it is usually used as a blend to reduce levels of particulates, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons from diesel-powered vehicles.

Key consumers of biodiesel include urban and public transport fleets, harbor and marine operators in ecologically sensitive locations, underground mines, power stations, and users of machinery or vehicles in confined or closed areas.

An increasing number of Australian mining and transport companies are trying B20 to B100 blends of biodiesel and petroleum diesel because of the greenhouse reduction benefits. Biodiesel blends are available at an increasing number of service stations in all Australian states. 

The Queensland University of Technology scientists say their work is aimed at providing the transport industry with fuels that not only have a favorable environmental impact, but also place a lower burden on respiratory health.

※ 全文及圖片詳見:ENS