Matching Items (29)

136721-Thumbnail Image.png

A Longitudinal Assessment of U.S. Public Transportation Energy Use and GHG Emissions

Description

While public transit systems are perceived to produce lower GHG emission intensities per passenger miles traveled (PMT) and per vehicle miles traveled (VMT), there is a limited understanding of emissions per PMT/VMT across cities, or of how emissions may change

While public transit systems are perceived to produce lower GHG emission intensities per passenger miles traveled (PMT) and per vehicle miles traveled (VMT), there is a limited understanding of emissions per PMT/VMT across cities, or of how emissions may change across modes (light, metro, commuter, and bus) and time (e.g., with changing electricity mixes in the future). In order to better understand the GHG emissions intensity of public transit systems, a comparative emissions assessment was developed utilizing the National Transit Database (NTD) which reports energy use from 1997 to 2012 of rail and bus systems across the US. By determining the GHG emission intensities (per VMT or per PMT) for each mode of transit across multiple years, the modes of transit can be better compared between one another. This comparison can help inform future goals to reduce GHG emissions as well as target reductions from the mode of transit that has the highest emissions. The proposed analysis of the NTD and comparison of modal emission intensities will be used to develop future forecasting that can guide public transit systems towards a sustainable future.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2014-12

137335-Thumbnail Image.png

Valuing lnterdependent Water and Energy Savings ln Arizona

Description

ABSTRACT Water and energy resources are intrinsically linked, yet they are managed separately even in the water scarce America southwest. This study develops a spatially explicit model of water energy inter-dependencies in Arizona and assesses the potential for co beneficial

ABSTRACT Water and energy resources are intrinsically linked, yet they are managed separately even in the water scarce America southwest. This study develops a spatially explicit model of water energy inter-dependencies in Arizona and assesses the potential for co beneficial conservation programs. The interdependent benefits of investments in 8 conservation strategies are assessed within the context of legislated renewable energy portfolio and energy efficiency standards. The co- benefits of conservation are found to be significant. Water conservation policies have the potential to reduce statewide electricity demand by 1.0 - 3.0 %, satisfying 3.3 -10 % of the state's mandated energy-efficiency-standard. Adoption of energy -efficiency measures and renewable generation portfolios can reduce non - agricultural water demand by 2.3 - 12 %. The conservation co- benefits are typically not included in conservation plans or benefit cost analyses. Many co-benefits offer negative costs of saved water and energy, indicating that these measures provide water and energy savings at no net cost. Because ranges of costs and savings for water energy conservation measures are somewhat uncertain, future studies should investigate the co-benefits of individual conservation strategies in detail. Although this study focuses on Arizona, the analysis can be extended elsewhere as renewable portfolio and energy efficiency standards become more common nationally and internationally.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013-12

137517-Thumbnail Image.png

Assessing the Potential for Transit-Oriented Development Infill to Reduce Life-Cycle Energy Use and Environmental Impacts: A Case Study of Los Angeles Metro's Gold and Orange Transit Lines

Description

Transit-oriented developments (TODs) are a promising strategy to increase public transit use and, as a result, reduce personal car travel. By using TOD infill to increase urban population density and encourage transportation mode-shifting, the potential exists to reduce life-cycle per

Transit-oriented developments (TODs) are a promising strategy to increase public transit use and, as a result, reduce personal car travel. By using TOD infill to increase urban population density and encourage transportation mode-shifting, the potential exists to reduce life-cycle per capita energy use and environmental impacts of the interdependent infrastructure systems. This project specifically examined the Gold Line of light rail and Orange Line of bus rapid transit in Los Angeles, CA.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013-05

152208-Thumbnail Image.png

Estimations of reductions in household vehicle miles traveled under scenarios of shifts in vehicle type choice

Description

Vehicle type choice is a significant determinant of fuel consumption and energy sustainability; larger, heavier vehicles consume more fuel, and expel twice as many pollutants, than their smaller, lighter counterparts. Over the course of the past few decades, vehicle type

Vehicle type choice is a significant determinant of fuel consumption and energy sustainability; larger, heavier vehicles consume more fuel, and expel twice as many pollutants, than their smaller, lighter counterparts. Over the course of the past few decades, vehicle type choice has seen a vast shift, due to many households making more trips in larger vehicles with lower fuel economy. During the 1990s, SUVs were the fastest growing segment of the automotive industry, comprising 7% of the total light vehicle market in 1990, and 25% in 2005. More recently, due to rising oil prices, greater awareness to environmental sensitivity, the desire to reduce dependence on foreign oil, and the availability of new vehicle technologies, many households are considering the use of newer vehicles with better fuel economy, such as hybrids and electric vehicles, over the use of the SUV or low fuel economy vehicles they may already own. The goal of this research is to examine how vehicle miles traveled, fuel consumption and emissions may be reduced through shifts in vehicle type choice behavior. Using the 2009 National Household Travel Survey data it is possible to develop a model to estimate household travel demand and total fuel consumption. If given a vehicle choice shift scenario, using the model it would be possible to calculate the potential fuel consumption savings that would result from such a shift. In this way, it is possible to estimate fuel consumption reductions that would take place under a wide variety of scenarios.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

Is carbon sequestration "good" for the environment?: an evaluation based on current technology and methods

Description

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is one of the important mitigation options for climate change. Numerous technologies to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) are in development but currently, capture using amines is the predominant technology. When the flue gas reacts with

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is one of the important mitigation options for climate change. Numerous technologies to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) are in development but currently, capture using amines is the predominant technology. When the flue gas reacts with amines (Monoethanaloamine) the CO2 is absorbed into the solution and forms an intermediate product which then releases CO2 at higher temperature. The high temperature necessary to strip CO2 is provided by steam extracted from the powerplant thus reducing the net output of the powerplant by 25% to 35%. The reduction in electricity output for the same input of coal increases the emissions factor of Nitrogen Oxides, Mercury, Particulate matter, Ammonia, Volatile organic compounds for the same unit of electricity produced. The thesis questions if this tradeoff between CO2 and other emissions is beneficial or not. Three different methodologies, Life Cycle Assessment, Valuation models and cost benefit analysis are used to identify if there is a net benefit to the society on implementation of CCS to a Pulverized coal powerplant. These methodologies include the benefits due to reduction of CO2 and the disbenefits due to the increase of other emissions. The life cycle assessment using ecoindicator'99 methodology shows the CCS is not beneficial under Hierarchical and Egalitarian perspective. The valuation model shows that the inclusion of the other emissions reduces the benefit associated with CCS. For a lower CO2 price the valuation model shows that CCS is detrimental to the environment. The cost benefit analysis shows that a CO2 price of at least $80/tCO2 is required for the cost benefit ratio to be 1. The methodology integrates Montecarlo simulation to characterize the uncertainties associated with the valuation models.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

151951-Thumbnail Image.png

The development and evaluation of biofuel production systems on marginal land

Description

The consumption of feedstocks from agriculture and forestry by current biofuel production has raised concerns about food security and land availability. In the meantime, intensive human activities have created a large amount of marginal lands that require management. This study

The consumption of feedstocks from agriculture and forestry by current biofuel production has raised concerns about food security and land availability. In the meantime, intensive human activities have created a large amount of marginal lands that require management. This study investigated the viability of aligning land management with biofuel production on marginal lands. Biofuel crop production on two types of marginal lands, namely urban vacant lots and abandoned mine lands (AMLs), were assessed. The investigation of biofuel production on urban marginal land was carried out in Pittsburgh between 2008 and 2011, using the sunflower gardens developed by a Pittsburgh non-profit as an example. Results showed that the crops from urban marginal lands were safe for biofuel. The crop yield was 20% of that on agricultural land while the low input agriculture was used in crop cultivation. The energy balance analysis demonstrated that the sunflower gardens could produce a net energy return even at the current low yield. Biofuel production on AML was assessed from experiments conducted in a greenhouse for sunflower, soybean, corn, canola and camelina. The research successfully created an industrial symbiosis by using bauxite as soil amendment to enable plant growth on very acidic mine refuse. Phytoremediation and soil amendments were found to be able to effectively reduce contamination in the AML and its runoff. Results from this research supported that biofuel production on marginal lands could be a unique and feasible option for cultivating biofuel feedstocks.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

150904-Thumbnail Image.png

Evaluation of ecolabelling criteria using life cycle assessment

Description

Ecolabels are the main driving force of consumer knowledge in the realm of sustainable product purchasing. While ecolabels strive to improve consumer's purchasing decisions, they have overwhelmed the market, leaving consumers confused and distrustful of what each label means. This

Ecolabels are the main driving force of consumer knowledge in the realm of sustainable product purchasing. While ecolabels strive to improve consumer's purchasing decisions, they have overwhelmed the market, leaving consumers confused and distrustful of what each label means. This study attempts to validate and understand environmental concerns commonly found in ecolabel criteria and the implications they have within the life cycle of a product. A life cycle assessment (LCA) case study of cosmetic products is used in comparison with current ecolabel program criteria to assess whether or not ecolabels are effectively driving environmental improvements in high impact areas throughout the life cycle of a product. Focus is placed on determining the general issues addressed by ecolabelling criteria and how these issues relate to hotspots derived through a practiced scientific methodology. Through this analysis, it was determined that a majority the top performing supply chain environmental impacts are covered, in some fashion, within ecolabelling criteria, but some, such as agricultural land occupation, are covered to a lesser extent or not at all. Additional criteria are suggested to fill the gaps found in ecolabelling programs and better address the environmental impacts most pertinent to the supply chain. Ecolabels have also been found to have a broader coverage then what can currently be addressed using LCA. The results of this analysis have led to a set of recommendations for furthering the integration between ecolabels and life cycle tools.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

152588-Thumbnail Image.png

Automobile path dependence in Phoenix: driving sustainability by getting off of the pavement and out of the car

Description

A methodology is developed that integrates institutional analysis with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to identify and overcome barriers to sustainability transitions and to bridge the gap between environmental practitioners and decisionmakers. LCA results are rarely joined with analyses of the

A methodology is developed that integrates institutional analysis with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to identify and overcome barriers to sustainability transitions and to bridge the gap between environmental practitioners and decisionmakers. LCA results are rarely joined with analyses of the social systems that control or influence decisionmaking and policies. As a result, LCA conclusions generally lack information about who or what controls different parts of the system, where and when the processes' environmental decisionmaking happens, and what aspects of the system (i.e. a policy or regulatory requirement) would have to change to enable lower environmental impact futures. The value of the combined institutional analysis and LCA (the IA-LCA) is demonstrated using a case study of passenger transportation in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area. A retrospective LCA is developed to estimate how roadway investment has enabled personal vehicle travel and its associated energy, environmental, and economic effects. Using regional travel forecasts, a prospective life cycle inventory is developed. Alternative trajectories are modeled to reveal future "savings" from reduced roadway construction and vehicle travel. An institutional analysis matches the LCA results with the specific institutions, players, and policies that should be targeted to enable transitions to these alternative futures. The results show that energy, economic, and environmental benefits from changes in passenger transportation systems are possible, but vary significantly depending on the timing of the interventions. Transition strategies aimed at the most optimistic benefits should include 1) significant land-use planning initiatives at the local and regional level to incentivize transit-oriented development infill and urban densification, 2) changes to state or federal gasoline taxes, 3) enacting a price on carbon, and 4) nearly doubling vehicle fuel efficiency together with greater market penetration of alternative fuel vehicles. This aggressive trajectory could decrease the 2050 energy consumption to 1995 levels, greenhouse gas emissions to 1995, particulate emissions to 2006, and smog-forming emissions to 1972. The potential benefits and costs are both private and public, and the results vary when transition strategies are applied in different spatial and temporal patterns.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

153252-Thumbnail Image.png

Feasibility of an open source repository for increasing the usage of best practices in the architecture-engineering-construction industry

Description

Effective collection and dissemination of project information, including best practices, help increase the likelihood of project performance and are vital to organizations in the architecture-engineering-construction (AEC) industry. Best practices can help improve project performance, yet these practices are not universally

Effective collection and dissemination of project information, including best practices, help increase the likelihood of project performance and are vital to organizations in the architecture-engineering-construction (AEC) industry. Best practices can help improve project performance, yet these practices are not universally implemented and used in the industry, due to the following: 1) not all practices are applicable to every project or organization, 2) knowledge lost in organizational turnover which leads to inconsistent collection and implementation of best practices and 3) the lack of standardized processes for best practice management in an organization.

This research, sponsored by National Academy of Construction, the Construction Industry Institute and Arizona State University, used structured interviews, a Delphi study and focus groups to explore: 1) potential benefit and industry interest in an open repository of best practices and 2) important elements of a framework/model that guides the creation, management and sustainment of an open repository of best practices.

This dissertation presents findings specifically exploring the term "Practices for Excellence", its definition, elements that hinder implementation, the potential value of an open online repository for such practices and a model to develop an open repository.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

153486-Thumbnail Image.png

Quantum resilience

Description

Quantum resilience is a pragmatic theory that allows systems engineers to formally characterize the resilience of systems. As a generalized theory, it not only clarifies resilience in the literature, but also can be applied to all disciplines and domains of

Quantum resilience is a pragmatic theory that allows systems engineers to formally characterize the resilience of systems. As a generalized theory, it not only clarifies resilience in the literature, but also can be applied to all disciplines and domains of discourse. Operationalizing resilience in this manner permits decision-makers to compare and contrast system deployment options for suitability in a variety of environments and allows for consistent treatment of resilience across domains. Systems engineers, whether planning future infrastructures or managing ecosystems, are increasingly asked to deliver resilient systems. Quantum resilience provides a way forward that allows specific resilience requirements to be specified, validated, and verified.

Quantum resilience makes two very important claims. First, resilience cannot be characterized without recognizing both the system and the valued function it provides. Second, resilience is not about disturbances, insults, threats, or perturbations. To avoid crippling infinities, characterization of resilience must be accomplishable without disturbances in mind. In light of this, quantum resilience defines resilience as the extent to which a system delivers its valued functions, and characterizes resilience as a function of system productivity and complexity. System productivity vis-à-vis specified “valued functions” involves (1) the quanta of the valued function delivered, and (2) the number of systems (within the greater system) which deliver it. System complexity is defined structurally and relationally and is a function of a variety of items including (1) system-of-systems hierarchical decomposition, (2) interfaces and connections between systems, and (3) inter-system dependencies.

Among the important features of quantum resilience is that it can be implemented in any system engineering tool that provides sufficient design and specification rigor (i.e., one that supports standards like the Lifecycle and Systems Modeling languages and frameworks like the DoD Architecture Framework). Further, this can be accomplished with minimal software development and has been demonstrated in three model-based system engineering tools, two of which are commercially available, well-respected, and widely used. This pragmatic approach assures transparency and consistency in characterization of resilience in any discipline.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015