Comparative LCA of Electrification Alternatives for Long Haul Trucks: The Case of Iron Ore Powder Transportation from the Pajala Mine

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Title: Comparative LCA of Electrification Alternatives for Long Haul Trucks: The Case of Iron Ore Powder Transportation from the Pajala Mine
Authors: Björkman, Anna
Abstract: The transport sector is facing a major challenge in meeting future demands for increased energy efficiency. In the future, most likely new technologies such as hybridization, electrification and use of alternative fuels will play an increasing role. The main purpose for carrying out this study has been to investigate how the environmental load of the road bound trucks transporting iron ore powder from the mine in Kaunisvaara, Pajala, to Svappavaara would be altered by a possible electrification. This has been done through an attributional comparative LCA study of three different drivetrain alternatives for heavy duty trucks, during 16 years of mining operation. The first alternative is a conventional truck with an internal combustion engine, constituting the reference alternative which the other two are compared with. The second alternative is a parallel hybrid electric version of the same truck without external charging and the third is a parallel hybrid electric version of the same truck receiving electricity from an overhead conductive catenary. A handful of components in the parallel hybrid and catenary hybrid drivetrain have been identified, including a lithium-ion battery and an electric motor of different sizes. These components were studied throughout their life cycle: raw material extraction, production of components, drivetrain assembly, use phase, recycling and disposal. For the catenary hybrid alternative also the production of the extra needed infrastructure has been taken into account. In order to quantitatively assess the environmental impact of these different phases, five different environmental impact categories have been used: global warming potential, abiotic depletion, and emissions of hydrocarbon, emissions of particles and emissions of nitrogen oxides. The results show that both the parallel hybrid and catenary hybrid are better solutions than the conventional truck in general. However, the catenary hybrid is the more favorable choice in both impact categories as well as for the studied emissions. The use of electricity instead of diesel provides enormous savings in environmental impact. Furthermore, it is shown that the largest contribution to the environmental load for the parallel hybrid clearly comes from the Li-ion battery. This is due to the amount of advanced materials included in the battery and that raw material extraction of these materials is very energy consuming. For the catenary hybrid it is the infrastructure which has the largest environmental impact. This is due to the large amount of material that is used and, again, the environmental impact comes mainly from the raw material extraction. The life cycle phase that has the largest environmental impact is clearly the use phase with its enormous savings in fuel and thus also in environmental impact. However, even large changes in energy consumption do not change the final choice of the most favorable solution. Also when changing the electricity mix to a lot dirtier production the catenary hybrid is still outperforming both the reference vehicle and parallel hybrid. This life cycle assessment does not provide values with exact precision for the final results. However, more important is that the final results and conclusions are very robust.
Keywords: Energi;Transportteknik och logistik;Hållbar utveckling;Miljöanalys och bygginformationsteknik;Elektroteknik;Elkraftteknik;Farkostteknik;Miljöteknik;Energy;Transport Systems and Logistics;Sustainable Development;Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology;Electrical engineering;Electric power engineering;Vehicle Engineering;Environmental engineering
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för energi och miljö
Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Energy and Environment
Series/Report no.: Report - Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology : 2013:4
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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