Office of Research and Development Publications

A comparison of major petroleum life cycle models

Citation:

Vineyard, D. AND W. Ingwersen. A comparison of major petroleum life cycle models. CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY. Springer Berlin-Heidelberg, , Germany, 19(3):735-747, (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10098-016-1260-6

Impact/Purpose:

This is a qualitative and quantitative comparison of petroleum LCA models intended for an expert audience interested in better understanding the data quality of existing petroleum life cycle models and the quantitative differences between these models.

Description:

Many organizations have attempted to develop an accurate well-to-pump life cycle model of petroleum products in order to inform decision makers of the consequences of its use. Our paper studies five of these models, demonstrating the differences in their predictions and attempting to evaluate their data quality. Carbon dioxide well-to-pump emissions for gasoline showed a variation of 35 %, and other pollutants such as ammonia and particulate matter varied up to 100 %. Differences in allocation do not appear to explain differences in predictions. Effects of these deviations on well-to-wheels passenger vehicle and truck transportation life cycle models may be minimal for effects such as global warming potential (6 % spread), but for respiratory effects of criteria pollutants (41 % spread) and other impact categories, they can be significant. A data quality assessment of the models’ documentation revealed real differences between models in temporal and geographic representativeness, completeness, as well as transparency. Stakeholders may need to consider carefully the tradeoffs inherent when selecting a model to conduct life cycle assessments for systems that make heavy use of petroleum products.

URLs/Downloads:

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10098-016-1260-6   Exit

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10098-016-1260-6   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 04/01/2017
Record Last Revised: 04/15/2018
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 335671

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY DIVISION

SYSTEMS ANALYSIS BRANCH