Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Propulsion Systems for Heavy-Duty Transport Applications

Simons, Sam and Azimov, Ulugbek (2021) Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Propulsion Systems for Heavy-Duty Transport Applications. Energies, 14 (11). p. 3079. ISSN 1996-1073

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To meet climate change challenges, the UK government is aiming to reach zero emissions by 2050. The heavy-duty transportation sector contributes 17% to the UKs total emissions, so to combat this, alternative power units to traditional fossil fuel-reliant internal combustion engines (ICEs) are being utilized and investigated. Hydrogen fuel cells are a key area of interest to try and reduce these transportation emissions. To gain a true view of the impact that hydrogen fuel cells can have, this study looks at the impact the manufacturing of a fuel cell has upon the environment, from material extraction through to the usage phase. This was done through the use of a lifecycle assessment following ISO 14040 standards, with hydrogen systems being compared to alternative systems. This study has found that whilst fuel cells depend upon energy intensive materials for their construction, it is possible to reduce emissions by 34–87% compared to ICE systems, depending upon the source of hydrogen used. This study shows that hydrogen fuel cells are a viable option for heavy-duty transport that can be utilized to meet the target emissions reduction level by 2050.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate change; global warming potential; heavy-duty transport; hydrogen; fuel cell; life cycle analysis; greenhouse gas emissions
Subjects: H300 Mechanical Engineering
H600 Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 26 May 2021 15:26
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 16:31

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