Comparative life cycle assessment and economic analysis of methanol/hydrogen production processes for fuel cell vehicles

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Abstract

The life cycle assessment (LCA) of hydrogen/methanol production processes connected with hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (HFCV) and methanol reformer-embedded fuel cell vehicle (MRFCV) are addressed. According to the scope definition of well-to-wheel and the four steps of LCA methodology, the ReCiPe endpoint score of the natural gas-fed methanol production process named by SC1MeOH is up to 2.06 kPt, which is higher than the natural gas-fed hydrogen production process called SC2H2 by 50.3%. The new biomethanol production process termed by SC3MeOH, which is a combination of anaerobic co-digestion, microalgae production process, and combined heat and power (CHP), is validated to reduce the environmental impact of SC1MeOH by 93.6% due to wheat straw (waste) and microalgae as inlet sources, almost zero air pollutants, 58% carbons stored in the soil of the wheatland, and no grid supply. A comparative LCA shows that the MRFCV connected with SC3MeOH is lower than the HFCV associated with SC2H2 by 40%. The Levelized cost of methanol (LCOM) for SC3MeOH (about 3.08USD/kgMeOH) is higher than SC1MeOH by 18.6%. These comparisons show that the MRFCV connected with SC3MeOH is an HFVC for green cars due to relatively low investments in storage facilities and transport and minimum environmental impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126959
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume300
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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