Social Lifecycle Assessment Case Study: Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Vehicles

Main Presenter:    Ashrakat Hamed 

Co-Authors:   Andreas Ciroth                                               

With plans to phase out fossil fuels as the main source of energy, hydrogen, as an energy source, is a promising alternative when produced from non-fossil fuel sources. However, it is also interesting to look into social aspects of hydrogen use, in order to understand its sustainability in a more comprehensive way. Social lifecycle assessment (S-LCA) is, meanwhile, an established assessment, for the investigation of the social impacts in the lifecycle of any product.
In the presentation, we will show a case study for social LCA of a hydrogen system, performed in the context of the SH2E H2020 project [1]. In this study, the S-LCA behind the use of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell vehicles (PEMFCEVs) is investigated. The data collected in this study is based on real-life industry practices and is able to show the implications behind the manufacturing of fuel cells and their dismantling to see their end-of-life. The study also provides a direct comparison with battery vehicles, which are also known to be direct competitors to hydrogen cars. The study is also a demonstration of the application of the recently developed lifecycle sustainability assessment guidelines by the SH2E project [1], which is part of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership [2]. It further showcases the use of the specifically tailored tool extension to the opensource software openLCA with new features adapted to further enhance the interpretation of the social impact assessment.

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