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Life-cycle assessment of diesel, natural gas and hydrogen fuel cell bus transportation systems

Ally, J. and Pryor, T. (2007) Life-cycle assessment of diesel, natural gas and hydrogen fuel cell bus transportation systems. Journal of Power Sources, 170 (2). pp. 401-411.

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The Sustainable Transport Energy Programme (STEP) is an initiative of the Government of Western Australia, to explore hydrogen fuel cell technology as an alternative to the existing diesel and natural gas public transit infrastructure in Perth. This project includes three buses manufactured by DaimlerChrysler with Ballard fuel cell power sources operating in regular service alongside the existing natural gas and diesel bus fleets. The life-cycle assessment (LCA) of the fuel cell bus trial in Perth determines the overall environmental footprint and energy demand by studying all phases of the complete transportation system, including the hydrogen infrastructure, bus manufacturing, operation, and end-of-life disposal. The LCAs of the existing diesel and natural gas transportation systems are developed in parallel. The findings show that the trial is competitive with the diesel and natural gas bus systems in terms of global warming potential and eutrophication. Emissions that contribute to acidification and photochemical ozone are greater for the fuel cell buses. Scenario analysis quantifies the improvements that can be expected in future generations of fuel cell vehicles and shows that a reduction of greater than 50% is achievable in the greenhouse gas, photochemical ozone creation and primary energy demand impact categories.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2007 Elsevier B.V.
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