A comparative life cycle assessment of diesel and compressed natural gas powered refuse collection vehicles in a Canadian city

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2012.09.064
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TypeArticle
Journal titleEnergy Policy
ISSN0301-4215
Volume52
Pages453461; # of pages: 9
SubjectLife cycle assessment (LCA); Compressed natural gas (CNG); Refuse collection vehicle (RCV)
AbstractConsumers and organizations worldwide are searching for low-carbon alternatives to conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their impact on the environment. A comprehensive technique used to estimate overall cost and environmental impact of vehicles is known as life cycle assessment (LCA). In this article, a comparative LCA of diesel and compressed natural gas (CNG) powered heavy duty refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) is conducted. The analysis utilizes real-time operational data obtained from the City of Surrey in British Columbia, Canada. The impact of the two alternative vehicles is assessed from various points in their life. No net gain in energy use is found when a diesel powered RCV is replaced by a CNG powered RCV. However, significant reductions (approximately 24% CO2-equivalent) in GHG and criteria air contaminant (CAC) emissions are obtained. Moreover, fuel cost estimations based on 2011 price levels and a 5-year lifetime for both RCVs reveal that considerable cost savings may be achieved by switching to CNG vehicles. Thus, CNG RCVs are not only favorable in terms of reduced climate change impact but also cost effective compared to conventional diesel RCVs, and provide a viable and realistic near-term strategy for cities and municipalities to reduce GHG emissions.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationEnergy, Mining and Environment; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21270419
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Record identifier2c735c3c-5cd0-4768-aa10-fb839b4d09f6
Record created2014-02-10
Record modified2016-05-09
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