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The Value of Remanufactured Engines: Life Cycle Environmental and Economic Perspectives

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
January 2004

Remanufacturing restores used automotive engines to likenew condition, providing engines that are functionally equivalent to a new engine at much lower environmental and economic costs than the manufacture of a new engine. A life-cycle assessment (LCA) model was developed to investigate the energy savings and pollution prevention that are achieved in the United States through remanufacturing a midsized automotive gasoline engine compared to an original equipment manufacturer manufacturing a new one. A typical full-service machine shop, which is representative of 55% of the engine remanufacturers in the United States, was inventoried, and three scenarios for part replacement were analyzed. The lifecycle model showed that the remanufactured engine could be produced with 68% to 83% less energy and 73% to 87% fewer carbon dioxide emissions. The life-cycle model showed signifi- cant savings for other air emissions as well, with 48% to 88% carbon monoxide (CO) reductions, 72% to 85% nitrogen oxide (NOx) reductions, 71% to 84% sulfur oxide (SOx) reductions, and 50% to 61% nonmethane hydrocarbon reductions. Raw material consumption was reduced by 26% to 90%, and solid waste generation was reduced by 65% to 88%. The comparison of environmental burdens is accompanied by an economic survey of suppliers of new and remanufactured automotive engines showing a price difference for the consumer of between 30% and 53% for the remanufactured engine, with the greatest savings realized when the remanufactured engine is purchased directly from the remanufacturer.

Research Areas
Mobility Systems
Publication Type
Journal Article
Digital Object Identifier
DOI: 10.1162/1088198041269463
Full Citation
Smith, Vanessa M. and Gregory A. Keoleian. 2003. The Value of Remanufactured Engines: Life Cycle Environmental and Economic Perspectives. Journal of Industrial Ecology 8(1-2): 193-221.