Cradle-to-gate greenhouse gas (GHG) burdens for aluminum and steel production and cradle-to-grave GHG benefits of vehicle lightweighting in China

CSS Publication Number: 
CSS19-36
Abstract: 

Greenhouse gas (GHG) burdens of steel and aluminum production and life cycle benefits of vehicle lightweighting in China were evaluated. Production of advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) and wrought aluminum (Al) have average cradle-to-gate GHG emissions of 3.9 and 17.5 kg CO2eq/kg. Lightweighting benefits for eleven passenger car models over five driving cycles (including real-world and regulatory cycles) were determined. Lightweighting using AHSS to replace conventional steel has cradle-to-grave GHG savings in all cases, mainly attributed to savings in material use. Wrought Al has a much higher GHG production burden than AHSS and requires greater fuel savings in the use phase to achieve net cradle-to-grave GHG savings. Maximum GHG savings occur with Al versus AHSS in cases where the powertrain is resized, travel is congested, or lifetime travel distance is long. A typical Beijing peak-hour driving cycle with low speed and frequent stop-and-go has higher fuel reduction values (FRVs) and GHG savings than other cycles. Congested travel conditions make lightweighting a particularly effective emissions reduction strategy in China.

Research Areas: 
Keyword: 
Life cycle assessment
Advanced high-strength steel
Aluminum
Vehicle lightweighting
Greenhouse gas emissions
Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Resources, Conservation and Recycling
Date Published: 
January 2020
Persistent URL: 
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104497
Full Citation: 
He, Xiaoyi, Hyung Chul Kim, Tim Wallington, Shaojun Zhang, Wei Shen, Robert De Kleine, Gregory A. Keoleian, Ruoyun Ma, Yali Zheng, Boya Zhou, and Ye Wu. (2020) “Cradle-to-gate greenhouse gas (GHG) burdens for aluminum and steel production and cradle-to-grave GHG benefits of vehicle lightweighting in China.” Resources, Conservation and Recycling 152:104497.
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Publication Status: 
Published