Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-28-2581
2019-11-21

Life Cycle Assessment of a Passenger Vehicle to Analyze the Environmental Impacts Using Cradle to Grave Approach 2019-28-2581

Climate change is primary driver in the current discussions on CO2 reduction in the automotive industry. Current Type approval emissions tests (BS III, BS IV) covers only tailpipe emissions, however the emissions produced in upstream and downstream processes (e.g. raw material sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, vehicle usage, recycle phases) are not considered in the evaluation. The objective of this project is to assess the environmental impact of the product considering all stages of the life cycle, understand the real opportunities to reduce environmental impact across the product life cycle. As a part of environmental sustainability journey in business value chain, lifecycle assessment (LCA) technique helps to understand the environmental impact categories. To measure overall impact, a cradle to grave approach helps to assess entire life cycle impact throughout various stages. LCA is a technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, disposal or recycling. A study was conducted on a passenger vehicle for life cycle assessment as per ISO 14040 and ISO 14044. Data has been collected from various sources for this study. This technique evaluates impact of all the stages in manufacturing a vehicle till vehicle reached its end of life. This analysis helps conduct environmental cost benefit analysis and comparison between various choices for existing materials processes, product. This study gave a comparative analysis of various material choices and processes available to make same components and assemblies by analyzing material composition for complete vehicle. Study for complete life cycle with service life use of 300,000 km, maximum impacts like global warming potential, human toxicity, eutrophication and acidification potential occurred during the use phase followed by manufacturing phase and end of life phase. Data for actual environment impact for processes and material for product under study need to be considered from global data base where actual data is not available. This study helped to assess extent of various environmental impact like GWP, water consumption, acidification potential, ozone depleting potential etc., with only soft data collected from various internal stakeholders without making actual parts or vehicles. LCA helps in design improvements, right material selection, high impact processed to be focused upon. Thus, life cycle assessment can be used as an effective tool to provide sound knowledge on environmental impacts of product and help in environmentally sound decision making.

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