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Project at a Glance

Project Status: complete

Report Published September 1996:

Title: Evaluation of fuel-cycle emissions on a reactivity basis

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Unnasch, Stefan

Contractor: Acurex Environmental Corporation

Contract Number: A166-134

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: Mobile Sources & Fuels


Emission associated with the production and distribution of conventional and alternative fuels can be significant in comparison with tailpipe and exhaust emissions. Examining these fuel-cycle emissions for alternative -fueled vehicle appears relevant when assessing the overall environmental impact of these vehicles from both a global and local perspective.

This study investigates these fuel-cycle emissions from the following fuels:

* Conventional gasoline (available in 1990)
* Phase 2 reformulated gasoline (RFG)
* Diesel
* Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from crude oil
* Methanol (M85 and M100) from natural gas
* M85 from biomass
* Ethanol (E85)
* Compressed natural gas (CNG)
* Liquefied natural gas (LNG)
* Hydrogen
* Electricity

This study determined oxides of nitrogen, non-methane organic gases (NMOG), methane, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide emissions. Reactivity adjusted NMOG emissions were a principal focus on this study. The reactivity effect of NMOG plus methane emissions is represented as an ozone potential calculated from the California Air Resources Board's (ARB's) reactivity factors. Emissions considered in this study are those associated with the operation of extraction, production, and distribution equipment. Emission associated with the production or decommissioning of facilities or vehicles were not evaluated. Emission calculations are based on vehicle operation in the South Coast Air Basin; and the fuel-cycle emission are allocated according to where they occur, including a summation of emissions within only the South Coast Air Basin.


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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