Lifecycle Analysis for Freight Transport
This paper evaluates the total lifecycle impacts for hauling freight long distances over land in the United States. The dominant modes of surface freight transport in the United States are large motor trucks (tractor-semitrailer combinations) and trains. These vehicles account for a significant portion of the transportation sector's petroleum usage and atmospheric emissions (among which nitrogen oxides and particulate matter are especially important). The objective of this paper is to evaluate the potential for reductions in energy use (in particular, petroleum use) and atmospheric emissions that result from freight transport, possibly as the result of research and development on improved technology or alternative fuels, such as Fischer-Tropsch diesel and natural gas, or from mode shifts in competitive markets. The impacts examined include energy use, both in toto and the petroleum fraction, and emissions of greenhouse gases and nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.