Greenhouse gas implications of using coal for transportation: Life cycle assessment of coal-to-liquids, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen pathways
AbstractUsing coal to produce transportation fuels could improve the energy security of the United States by replacing some of the demand for imported petroleum. Because of concerns regarding climate change and the high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with conventional coal use, policies to encourage pathways that utilize coal for transportation should seek to reduce GHGs compared to petroleum fuels. This paper compares the GHG emissions of coal-to-liquid (CTL) fuels to the emissions of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) powered with coal-based electricity, and to the emissions of a fuel cell vehicle (FCV) that uses coal-based hydrogen. A life cycle approach is used to account for fuel cycle and use-phase emissions, as well as vehicle cycle and battery manufacturing emissions. This analysis allows policymakers to better identify benefits or disadvantages of an energy future that includes coal as a transportation fuel. We find that PHEVs could reduce vehicle life cycle GHG emissions by up to about one-half when coal with carbon capture and sequestration is used to generate the electricity used by the vehicles. On the other hand, CTL fuels and coal-based hydrogen would likely lead to significantly increased emissions compared to PHEVs and conventional vehicles using petroleum-based fuels.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.
Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol
Coal Transportation Greenhouse gases;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bradley, Thomas H. & Frank, Andrew A., 2009. "Design, demonstrations and sustainability impact assessments for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 115-128, January.
- Shiau, Ching-Shin Norman & Samaras, Constantine & Hauffe, Richard & Michalek, Jeremy J., 2009. "Impact of battery weight and charging patterns on the economic and environmental benefits of plug-in hybrid vehicles," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2653-2663, July.
- Yeh, Sonia & Sperling, Daniel, 2010. "Low carbon fuel standards: Implementation scenarios and challenges," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6955-6965, November.
- Ou, Xunmin & Zhang, Xiliang & Chang, Shiyan, 2010. "Scenario analysis on alternative fuel/vehicle for China's future road transport: Life-cycle energy demand and GHG emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 3943-3956, August.
- Weiller, Claire, 2011. "Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle impacts on hourly electricity demand in the United States," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3766-3778, June.
- Anadón, Laura Díaz, 2012. "Missions-oriented RD&D institutions in energy between 2000 and 2010: A comparative analysis of China, the United Kingdom, and the United States," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1742-1756.
- Ou, Xunmin & Zhang, Xiliang & Chang, Shiyan, 2010. "Alternative fuel buses currently in use in China: Life-cycle fossil energy use, GHG emissions and policy recommendations," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 406-418, January.
- Eppstein, Margaret J. & Grover, David K. & Marshall, Jeffrey S. & Rizzo, Donna M., 2011. "An agent-based model to study market penetration of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3789-3802, June.
- Brathwaite, J. & Horst, S. & Iacobucci, J., 2010. "Maximizing efficiency in the transition to a coal-based economy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 6084-6091, October.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.