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BBC随身英语 第325讲 The Power of Pig Poo 本站原创 更新时间: 2011-07-14         

With revenue from pig products getting smaller every year, some farmers from rural England have decided to make some extra money by turning poo into profit.

James Hart, who runs a pig farm, came up with a simple solution of using the huge amount of pig faeces, cow dung and chicken droppings on his farm to generate electricity.

It may look unremarkable from the outside, but inside Glebe Farm there is a state-of-the-art biogas station. It's one of only a few in the UK, which has been slower than many of its European neighbours in developing renewable energies such as wind turbines and solar panels.

So how does it work? Large quantities of animal waste are mixed with lots of grass in a tower. Bacteria then break it all down, producing methane, which is siphoned off, cleaned and filtered.

The gas is then used to power an engine which in turn powers a generator. The electricity from this is then fed into the National Grid. Mr Hart thinks he'll be able to sell 2.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity every year.

The heat generated by the process is also captured and used for central heating at the farmhouse.

But it's not only Glebe Farm which benefits. Methane is one of the most powerful greenhouse gases - 20 times worse than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the atmosphere. By capturing so much of it, Mr Hart expects to reduce his carbon footprint by about 10,000 tonnes a year.

James Hart says he's pleased because he's managed to find another source of income and improve his environmental impact.

Quiz 小测验

1. Are farmers making big profits from their pig products?
No. "With revenue from pig products getting smaller every year..."

2. Find four words in the article which mean animal waste.
Poo, faeces, dung, droppings.

3. Is the UK leading Europe in developing renewable energies?
No. "It's one of only a few in the UK, which has been slower than many of its European neighbours in developing renewable energies."

4. Which is worse for the environment: methane or carbon dioxide?
Methane. "Methane is one of the most powerful greenhouse gases - 20 times worse than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the atmosphere."

5. Why is James Hart pleased?
"James Hart says he's pleased because he's managed to find another source of income and improve his environmental impact."

Glossary 词汇表

poo 屎,粪便
faeces (猪)粪
dung (牛)粪
droppings (鸡)屎
biogas 生物气体
renewable energies 再生能源
wind turbines 风力涡轮发电机
solar panels 太阳能电池板
animal waste 动物粪便
methane 沼气,甲烷
siphoned off 吸走
generator 发动机
National Grid 全国高压输电线网
kilowatt hours 千瓦小时
greenhouse gases 温室气体
environmental impact 对环境的冲击