Review of life cycle assessments (LCA) for mobility powertrains

Continued economic growth is accelerating the demand for transport energy in the road, aviation, and marine sectors. The environmental impacts of technologies across these sectors need significant attention if society is to meet its climate change mitigation targets. Current policies focusing entirely on electrification are shown to be insufficient in mitigating environmental impacts. This is because powertrains equipped with combustion engines will still be operational 2040 onwards, especially in the developing countries and currently underdeveloped countries. In addition, the environmental impacts of electrified systems are not negligible, and lifecycle environmental impacts need attention. This paper presents a detailed summary of fuel-powertrain options that society will be dependent on, for next several decades. Environmental impacts using lifecycle assessment (LCA) are presented for various technologies. This review highlights the current inadequacies in application of LCA methods for transport systems, and the need to improve LCA methodologies to drive effective policy and decision making.

Sarathy, S. M., Nagaraja, S. S., Singh, E., Cenker, E., & Amer, A. (2022). Review of life cycle assessments (LCA) for mobility powertrains. Transportation Engineering, 100148.

This work was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) with funds given to the Clean Combustion Research Center (CCRC). We acknowledge support from the KAUST Clean Fuels Consortium and its member companies.

Elsevier BV

Transportation Engineering


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