Research

Reports

  • 07/08/14

    The liquid carbon challenge: (WIREs Energy & Environ, 2015)

    Carbon-based liquid fuels are highly valued for transportation; they are the world’s largest form of commercial energy and second largest source of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Strategies to address their CO2 emissions have been shaped by fuel cycle analysis (FCA), a version of lifecycle assessment that examines fuel products and their supply chains.

  • 10/08/13

    Environmental Technology Special Issue: Sustainable Technologies: Bioenergy and Biofuel from Biowaste and Biomass

    “In a time when a foreseeable complete transformation from a petroleum-based economy to a bio-based global economy finds itself in its early infancy, biowastes (e.g. agricultural wastes, municipal and solid wastes, sludge, wastewater and foodwastes), currently seen as low-valued materials, are beginning to be recognized as resources for the production of a variety of eco-friendly and sustainable products, with second-generation liquid biofuels being the leading ones.”

  • 09/21/13

    Biofuel’s carbon balance (Climatic Change, 2013)

    The climate benefits of biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel have been debated for many years. Attempts to compare these fuels with one another and fossil-derived fuels such as gasoline and diesel confront many uncertainties, not all of which can be resolved through further data analysis. By scrutinizing the greatest sources of uncertainty and grounding analysis in the areas of high certainty such as combustion chemistry and the terrestrial carbon cycle, this paper sheds light on this challenging subject and points the way toward new strategies for addressing CO2 emissions from transportation fuels.

  • 08/01/13

    Factoring the car-climate challenge (Energy Policy, 2013)

    “Carefully examining the locations and magnitudes of fuel-related emissions indicates that the proper policy focus is on the sectors that supply fuel rather than the choice of fuels in the auto sector. Therefore, beyond fundamental R&D, policies to commercialize AFVs are not necessarily required for climate protection at present.”

  • 07/25/13

    The National Academies Press

    TRB Special Report 311: Effects of Diluted Bitumen on Crude Oil Transmission Pipelines analyzes whether shipments of diluted bitumen have a greater likelihood of release from pipelines than shipments of other crude oils. The oil sands region of Canada is the source of diluted bitumen shipped by pipeline to the United States.

  • 03/18/13

    Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels (NAS, 2013)

    This National Research Council (NRC) report assesses the potential to achieve twin goals of reducing petroleum use and cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from U.S. cars and light trucks to 80 percent below the 2005 level by 2050.

  • 04/30/12

    Biofuels and carbon management (Climatic Change, 2012)

    ABSTRACT. Public policy supports biofuels for their benefits to agricultural economies, energy security and the environment. The environmental rationale is premised on greenhouse gas (GHG, “carbon”) emissions reduction, which is a matter of contention. This issue is challenging to resolve because of critical but difficult-to-verify assumptions in lifecycle analysis (LCA), limits of available data and disputes about system boundaries. Although LCA has been the presumptive basis of climate policy for fuels, careful consideration indicates that it is inappropriate for defining regulations.

  • 09/01/10

    A Fuel Efficiency Horizon for U.S. Automobiles (report for Energy Foundation, Sept 2010)

    ABSTRACT. Improving the fuel efficiency of automobiles (cars and light trucks) is an important means of addressing transportation oil demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This report examines the efficiency attainable through evolutionary changes in U.S. automobiles that have fueling characteristics as well as performance, size and other attributes similar to those of today. The analysis combines results from previous engineering studies of powertrain efficiency and load reduction with new examinations of rates of technology change and cost reduction.

  • 08/01/10

    Vehicle standards in a climate policy framework (book chapter, 2010)

    Chapter 7 in Climate and Transportation Solutions: Findings from 2009 Asilomar Conference on Transportation and Energy Policy Abstract Policy makers have long turned to vehicle regulation for addressing public concerns about transportation’s energy and environmental impacts. This paradigm is ratified in recent action to raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)…