Navigation Links
More than just the tailpipe
Date:6/7/2009

Trains, planes, buses and automobiles do not only effect the environment via their exhaust pipes. There is a full life-cycle of processes associated with getting from a to b that we rarely acknowledge.

Published today in IOP Publishing's Environmental Research Letters, Monday, June 8, 2009, researchers from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, have created a framework to help us calculate the true environmental cost of travel.

The new framework incorporates less-considered environmental impacts including the damage done by the power plants generating electricity for train travel and upkeep of train stations to the intensive energy costs of airport runway construction and ore extraction undertaken to build a car.

The catalogue of emissions that the researchers have compiled are taken from their own American context but the concept and framework is applicable universally looking at the full range of vehicles, from hatchbacks and pick-ups to light and heavy railways, small aircrafts and jumbo jets.

From cataloguing the varied environmental costs the researchers come to some surprising conclusions. A comparison between light railways in both Boston and San Franciso show that despite Boston boasting a light railway with low operational energy use, their LRT is a far larger greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter because 82 per cent of the energy generated in Boston is fossil-fuel based, compared to only 49 per cent in San Francisco.

Total life-cycle energy inputs and GHG emissions contribute an additional 155 per cent for rail, 63 per cent for cars and buses, and 32 per cent for air systems over vehicle exhaust pipe operation.

The researchers also touch on the effect of low passenger occupancy and show that we are nave to automatically assume one form of transport is more environmentally friendly than another. They conclude from their calculations that a half-full Boston light railway is only as environmentally friendly, per kilometre traveled, as a midsize aircraft at 38 per cent occupancy.

Mikhail Chester, researcher at Berkeley, said, "This study creates a framework for comprehensive environmental inventorying of several modes and future assessment of non-conventional fuels and vehicles can follow this methodology in creating technology-specific results.

"Through the use of life-cycle environmental assessments, energy and emission reduction decision-making can benefit from the identified interdependencies among processes, services and products."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joe Winters
joseph.winters@iop.org
44-207-470-4815
Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/14/2017)... -- Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center today announced Julie Ann Freischlag, ... (CEO). Freischlag joins the medical center on May 1 ... who last year announced that he would transition to ... it since 2008.   As CEO, Freischlag ... academic health system, which includes Wake Forest School of ...
(Date:2/10/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... and Commercial Aspects" to their offering. ... Biomarkers play an ... for selection of treatment as well for monitoring the results. ... in modern medicine. Biochip/microarray technologies and next generation sequencing are ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a leading supplier of ... quarter and year ended December 31, 2016. ... compared to $6.9 million in the same quarter last year. ... million compared to $2.6 million in the fourth quarter of ... $0.5 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, which compares to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... China Cord Blood Corporation (NYSE: CO ) ... blood collection, laboratory testing, hematopoietic stem cell processing and ... results for the third quarter and first nine months ... Third Quarter of Fiscal 2017 Highlights ... increased by 18.6% to RMB200.9 million ($28.9 million). ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... -- China Biologic Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBPO) ("China Biologic" or ... China, today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter ... 2016 Financial Highlights Total sales in ... terms, or increased by 13.6% in USD terms to $77.6 ... Gross profit increased by 13.3% to $46.8 ...
(Date:2/24/2017)...  OncoSec Medical Incorporated ("OncoSec") (NASDAQ: ONCS), a company ... Opinion Leader event to highlight new clinical data that ... at the upcoming 2017 ASCO-SITC Immuno-Oncology Symposium and the ... held in-person and via live webcast on Tuesday, February ... at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel in ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Financial ... data, unaudited)Three Months Ended December 31,Twelve Months Ended December ... $           300$ ... Net Product Revenue 3539(10)%9498(4)%Kuvan Net ... Revenue  756025%297303(2)%Vimizim Net Product Revenue ...
Breaking Biology Technology: