Life Cycle Analysis

Topics: Greenhouse gas, Automobile, Carbon dioxide Pages: 5 (1433 words) Published: August 22, 2013
Life Cycle Analysis of a Car

ENGR101 Assignment 1

Ben Foster

University of Canterbury
5 March 2012

Table of Contents
1. Summary2
2. Introduction2
3. Technical Information3
1 Roles of Engineers3
2 Life cycle in regards to emissions4
4. Conclusions5
5. References6
*
* 1. Summary
This report will consider the life cycle of a motor vehicle in regards to the emissions, while discussing the roles of engineers. This report finds that CO₂ emissions are continuing to rise and no step of the life cycle is exempt of pollution.

* 2. Introduction
Globally both professional and non professional engineers are involved throughout the life cycle of a motor vehicle, from the steel production, to disposal and decommissioning. With a growing global population which is increasing at a rate of 3% per annum (about.com geography, 2011). The current population is estimated to be 6,928,198,253; the use of motor vehicles is steady increasing and the reliance on fossil fuels, with 43.4% of the world’s energy consumption coming from fossil fuels (environmental literacy council, 2008).With the use of fossil fuels such as petroleum in cars, the emissions and subsequent pollution to the environment is increasing. Car exhaust is a large contributor to the emissions along with the mining or harvesting of the raw materials. Petroleum is involved in the construction of rubber, plastics and nylon. It involves the hydrocarbon burning of fossil fuels, significantly contributing to the problem. This report considers the roles of professional and non professional engineers in all steps of cycle, as well as the impacts of emissions.

* 3. Technical Information
3.1 Roles of Engineers
Both professional and non professional engineers are involved in a cars life cycle. Mining and harvesting raw materials, such as ore for steel and aluminium involves Civil engineers. They provide the roading, ponds and a vast range of the infrastructure. While a non professional engineer such as the miner will pull the ore out. A process engineer will be used to pull the minerals out the ore and the geotechnical engineer will then control the disposal of the waste in an environmentally renewable way. The interaction of engineers continues through the design process. The fabrication of a motor-vehicle has many engineering intensive tasks. The rubber used in Dunlop tyres involves chemical engineers. The fabrication of motor-vehicles involves a range of non professional engineers. These include automotive engineers and technicians combine with floor workers. Engineers are responsible for putting an estimated 600,000,000 cars on the road (Low carbon economy, 2008). While the mechanical, chemical and electrical engineers design and specify the parts, it is the non professional engineers that put the cars together. In the use and maintenance of motor vehicles there is a large involvement of non professional engineers, such as the automotive technicians for servicing and warrants of fitness. The decommissioning and disposal of cars is increasing, engineers play an important part in making the process environmentally sound. The average car life is approximately between 165,000 and 200,000 km (US department of transportation, 2011) this means that there is a growing need to reuse and recycle the car parts. The metals are cleaned and smelted down into other objects, and the plastics are sent away to be recycled. The figure 1 shows how kerbside recycling is increasing and thus helping decrease pollution.

Figure 1: Statistics of kerbside recycling services over two different time periods in New Zealand. Data from Statistics New Zealand, 2011 Years evaluated

Figure 2: Chart of the Recyclable parts of a car from the minerals, metals and materials society, 2003.

Figure 3 depicts the different stages that engineer’s both professional and non...

References: About.com Geography (2011): Current world population. Retrieved on Thursday 1st March from http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/worldpopulation.htm
Buzzle.com (updated 2011): Average car life expectancy
Retrieved on Friday 2nd March: Green Engineering (2002): environmentally conscious design of chemical processes, by David T. Allen and David R. Shonnard: Roles and responsibilities of chemical engineers. Located on Level 3, EPS library, Christchurch.
Retrieved on Friday 2nd March: New Zealand energy greenhouse gas emissions (1994), author New Zealand, Ministry of Commerce, Energy Modelling and statistics unit: New Zealand emission and greenhouse gases. Located level 1, EPS library, Canterbury.
United States Environmental Protection Agency (2000): Table on passenger car emissions. Retrieved on Sunday 4th March from http://www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer/f00013.htm
Word Count: 847 (excluding diagrams, headings, subtitles and references)
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