Track: B

Date: 30.08.2018

Time: 11:00 – 12:00pm

Room: Checkpoint Charlie

Session 14: Sustainable Innovation in the Transport Sector

Presenter: Mudit Chordia, Kungliga Tekniska högskolan (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

Co-Authors: Felix Creutzig

Emissions from the transport sector account for nearly a quarter of the global GHG emissions globally. For many countries including Germany there exists a strong correlation between the overall emissions and the growth in the transport sector. While the technological efficiency improvements and emission norms have played a role in offsetting the emissions, the broader context of the recent diesel gate scandal, involving also legally sanctioned ‘cheating’ of carbon fuel efficiency standards, challenge the efficacy of such measures. In the present day scenario of accelerating climate change and resource scarcity there is a need to question and assess the intrinsic aspects of human behavior and choices that have led us to this moment.

In the last few decades the solutions to climate mitigation within the transport sector have addressed both supply side and demand side perspectives. Broadly these can be categorized as technological (or efficiency) improvements, economic instruments, transport infrastructure development, social and behavioral aspects and policy based incentives. While, some of these broad categories intersect there is lack of research combining social and behavioral aspects with technological improvements. It is this gap that the present work aims to address. Specifically, we are performing a lifecycle emissions analysis on private cars in Germany that are redesigned to a lower performance envelop that is aligned with the legal street limits in the country.

Typically, private cars irrespective of the segment type, are designed to operate at speeds (~ 250 to 300 km/ h) exceeding the permitted street limits (~80 km/ h). This overdesign has consequences on material and energy used in manufacturing, operational emissions and added investments in transport infrastructure to maintain and support these overdesigned cars or cars with higher performance envelop. While there is research in the direction of lighter materials for manufacturing car bodies and reducing engine sizes by compensating with turbochargers, there isn’t enough research addressing the demand for the “need for speed” that comes from the overdesign of private cars. We aim to address this gap in research by means of a lifecycle assessment of private cars in Germany that are redesigned to operate at lower performing envelop that not only complies with the legal street limits but is also representative of real on-street conditions in Germany.

André, M., 2004. The ARTEMIS European driving cycles for measuring car pollutant emissions. Science of the total Environment, 334, pp.73-84.

Creutzig, F., Jochem, P., Edelenbosch, O. Y., Mattauch, L., van Vuuren, D. P., McCollum, D. & Minx, J. 2015. Transport: A roadblock to climate change mitigation? Science, 350(6263), pp 911-912.

Geels, F.W., 2012. A socio-technical analysis of low-carbon transitions: introducing the multi-level perspective into transport studies. Journal of transport geography, 24, pp.471-482.

Schwanen, T., Banister, D. and Anable, J., 2011. Scientific research about climate change mitigation in transport: A critical review. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 45(10), pp.993-1006.

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Presenter: Teruyuki Shimizu, Presidential Endowed Chair for “Platinum Socity”, Organization for Interdisciplinary Research Project, The University of Tokyo

Co-Authors: Kei Hasegawa, Manabu Ihara, Yasunori Kikuchi

Energy carriers are needed for filling gaps between energy supply and demand. Especially for renewable-derived energy sources, decentralized energy systems should be carefully designed with technology options covering production (e.g., generator and electrolyzer), transportation (e.g., pipeline, liquefaction), and utilization (e.g., fuel cell vehicle and stationary fuel cell) due to their lower energy density rather than fossil-based ones. The availability of renewable resources should be taken into account in such design to dispatch the energy sources with local demands. In this study, we are tackling with region-specific scenario planning to maximize the utilization of renewable resources. A region-specific analysis was conducted for revealing the regional specificities of the effects induced by hydrogen energy technologies in Japan. An existing simulation model [1] was employed in the simulation of the changes in energy flows at the implementation phases of hydrogen as an energy carrier (e.g., emerging, expanding, and saturating phases). Prefectures and urban employment areas (UEA) were adopted for dividing Japan into regions to examine appropriate division for hydrogen-related technology implementation. Our analysis results demonstrated that some of the dominant regional characteristics were annual travel distance, the number of cars, cumulative life cycle emission from grid power, power and heat demand per family, and the number of families. Some UEAs showed emission reduction effects rather than prefectures because their local resources could be effectively used for their energy demand. As the impact categories in life cycle assessment, urban air pollution should be considered in the fuel change, for example, SO2 and NOx can be reduced by substituting hydrogen for fossil fuels. As well as such environmental aspects, regional socioeconomic aspects can become a factor in technology implementation. Towards practical scenario planning of implementing novel energy technologies, region-specific analysis can achieve the clarification of multiple aspects associated with the changes in local energy systems. A part of this study is based on the results obtained from a project commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

Shimizu, T. et al. A region-specific analysis of technology implementation of hydrogen energy in Japan. Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, in press, 1–18 (2017)

Presenter: Torsten Müller, Fraunhofer-Institut für Chemische Technologie ICT

Co-Authors: Nathália F. Monteiro, Ana Salles

Bio-based polyol could replace fossil-based polyol in the production of polyurethane (PUR) seat cushions for aircraft, with environmental advantages. Aircraft seat cushions are currently made of PUR which uses a mixture of 100% fossil-based polyol (a non-renewable resource), isocyanate, water and catalyst, stabilizer and flame retardant chemicals.
As leader of the Eco-Design Transverse Activity (ECO-TA) of the Clean Sky programme (the largest European research programme for the development of the aeronautics industry), Fraunhofer Institute worked, among other activities, in the development of a new aircraft seat design within the framework of the eco-design activities. The new seat should make use of renewable resources while reducing the consumption of fossil-based materials and avoiding the use of harmful substances, through the development of a new flame resistant (halogen-free) and bio-based polyurethane.
In this process, materials were selected using sustainable design thinking. Seven environmental impact categories were analyzed for each material in dedicated Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs). The LCAs were conducted based on internationally recognized databases. The analyzed bio-oils were: linseed, soybean, sunflower, canola, corn, palm, and coconut. They were selected according to their properties and were assessed following a cradle-to-gate approach. Their specificities were considered for each of the stages in the production process, from the cultivation and harvest of the raw material to the oil production and its transportation to Europe.
The comparison of the bio-oils showed significant differences in the environmental impact values for each of them, which were mainly influenced by the specifically necessities of each of the type of seeds during cultivation and also by the technologies and land-use change (LUC) methods from the country where the crops are grown.
The results showed that the LUC emissions (due to deforestation) and the cultivation emissions (e.g. use of fertilizers) were the stages that most influenced the impact categories values. Furthermore, the analysis showed that the sunflower oil produced in France was the most promising vegetable oil among those considered due to its low global environmental impact.
Moreover, it was also analyzed a scenario with the consideration that an oil production has an “Eco-Label”. In this case, the corn oil and the palm oil could also be potential “environmental-friendly” options to take part in the bio-based polyurethane for the aircraft seats production.

Presenter: Lindita Bushi, LCA Consulting

Co-Authors: Tim Skszek, Tim Reaburn

North American automakers are making significant strides and continue serious ongoing efforts to reduce the mass of passenger vehicles as a cost-effective means to achieve local and global fuel economy and environmental regulations. As “bolt-on” sub-assemblies, closure panels provide a unique opportunity to tailor the vehicle mass to achieve local environmental compliance relative to a global vehicle platform while maintaining equivalent functionality and safety performance.
Magna International Inc., in cooperation with the United States Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) and partners FCA US and Grupo Antolin, developed a state of the art Ultralight door design in 2017 that achieved a 40% overall mass reduction compared to the baseline door. The holistic design approach included the development and functional integration of an aluminum door structure with fiber reinforced composite door module and interior trim, chemically toughened glass, while maintaining functionality and safety performance of the 2016 baseline door. Overall, the mixed material combination resulted in a mass reduction associated with the driver’s side door of 15.2 kg, which results to a full vehicle mass reduction of mass of 49.5 kg for a 4-door vehicle versus its Baseline 4-door.
Increasingly policy makers are relying on LCA practitioners to provide science-based ISO conformance life cycle assessment (LCA) results and findings for best decision making regarding the corporate-average fuel economy regulations, greenhouse gas emissions standards and clean energy policies in North America. This presentation is aimed at communicating the results of a LCA study which compares the lightweight auto parts of the new Magna’s Ultralight Door design to the conventional auto parts of the baseline 2016 MY Chrysler 200C built and driven for 250,000 km in North America, to support the information for environmental sustainability decision making in North America [1]. The cradle-to-grave comparative LCA study of the Ultralight door auto parts is conducted in accordance with ISO standards 14040/44 and follow the specific rules and guidance provided in the CSA Group 2014 LCA Guidance document for auto parts [2,3,4]. Magna’s cutting-edge door design architecture applies to approximately 70 per cent of the C, D, E and F light-vehicle market and the potential environmental benefits of the new design are expected to be significant for the NA automotive market.

  1. Bushi, L., Skszek, T. & Reaburn, New ultralight automotive door life cycle assessment, T. Int J Life Cycle Assess (2018).
  2. International Organization for Standardization, “Environmental Management – Life Cycle Assessment – Principles and Framework”, ISO 14040:2006.
  3. International Organization for Standardization, “Environmental Management – Life Cycle Assessment – Requirements and guidelines”, ISO 14044:2006.
  4. CSA Group, “SPE-14040-14- Life Cycle Assessment of Auto Parts- Guidelines and Requirements for Conducting LCA of Auto Parts Incorporating Weight Changes Due to Material Composition, Manufacturing Technology, or Part Geometry”, 2014.


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