An Environmental Analysis of FCEV And H2-ICE Vehicles using the Ecoscore Methodology

Nele Sergeant, Faycal-Siddikou Boureima, Julien Matheys, Jean-Marc Timmermans, Joeri Van Mierlo

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Abstract

The environmental issues caused by fossil fuels for transportation are numerous: greenhouse gas emissions are enhancing global warming, city smog, ozone and noise are causing major health problems, acid rain impacts our ecosystems, etc. Strong research efforts have therefore been performed towards alternative fuels and drive trains and hydrogen is still one of the most promising - but at the same time controversial - possibilities. The environmental impact of hydrogen - used in a fuel cell (FCEV) or internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV) - depends strongly on the production pathway for hydrogen and should therefore be evaluated on a well-to-wheel basis. In this paper, the Ecoscore methodology is used to assess the environmental impact of H2-ICE and fuel cell vehicles on a well-to-wheel basis. The Ecoscore is an environmental indicator for vehicles taking into account the impact on global warming, air quality depletion (divided into impact on human health and ecosystems) and noise. The Ecoscores of two FCEV and one H2-ICEV are calculated for different hydrogen production pathways (electrolysis and Steam Methane Reforming (SMR)), as well as for different methods of hydrogen storage (compression and liquefaction) and distribution (pipeline and truck). The highest Ecoscores - and thus best results - are obtained for vehicles using hydrogen from electrolysis produced with 100 % renewable energy, followed by SMR and then electrolysis using the Belgian electricity mix. Compression appears to be better than liquefaction to store hydrogen due to the high energy use for the liquefaction process, and this compressed hydrogen should be transported through pipelines in stead of by trucks to obtain the best environmental performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-646
JournalWorld Electric Vehicle Journal
Volume3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009

Keywords

  • hydrogen
  • fuel cell
  • internal combustion engine (ICE)
  • energy
  • environment

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  • EVS24

    Hasan Culcu (Participant)
    12 May 200916 May 2009

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

  • EVS24

    Jean-Marc Paul Timmermans (Speaker)
    12 May 200916 May 2009

    Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference

  • EVS24

    Laurence Turcksin (Speaker)
    12 May 200916 May 2009

    Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference

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