WorldAutoSteel has released a 2nd iteration of the automotive materials parametric Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) model, which allows for broader evaluations of automotive materials, powertrains, fuels, and vehicle total energy consumed. The study showed that celluosic E85 is the best fuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as compared to all other alternatives, including hybrid technology and fuel cells. This phase 2 LCA model is a successor to the Phase 1 model and was released under the expertise of Dr. Roland Geyer of the University of California’s Bren School for Environmental Science.
“This report reinforces the promise of ethanol as the cleanest, greenest fuel for our cars even when compared to hybrid and fuel cell technology,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.” Today’s ethanol plants are 60 percent better than gasoline and cellulosic ethanol can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by even more – as much as 86 percent. Unfortunately, an arbitrary government cap on the amount of ethanol that can be blended with gasoline is stifling the development and commercialization of second-generation biofuels and needs to be increased. Further, we need automakers to manufacture more flex-fuel vehicles so they can utilize higher blends of ethanol. These common sense solutions can speed up the introduction of cellulosic ethanol to the marketplace, making America’s homegrown fuel even cleaner and greener, while creating green collar jobs and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”
The Phase 2 model incorporated several new features including adding magnesium and several composites to the materials that may now be evaluated for their emissions from manufacturing through use and end-of-life; advanced powertrains including diesel and fuel cells; the ability to evaluate the impact of biofuels and other ag sources for the production of these fuels; and the capability to produce an analysis of total energy consumed over a car’s life cycle to compliment the total greenhouse gas emission analysis.
You can download the model here.