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Life Cycle Assessment of Fuel Cell Vehicles Considering the Detailed Vehicle Components: Comparison and Scenario Analysis in China Based on Different Hydrogen Production Schemes


Numerous studies concerning the life cycle assessment of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) have been conducted. However, little attention has been paid to the life cycle assessment of an FCV from the perspective of the detailed vehicle components. This work conducts the life cycle assessment of Toyota Mirai with all major components considered in a Chinese context. Both the vehicle cycle and the fuel cycle are included. Both comprehensive resources and energy consumption and comprehensive environmental emissions of the life cycles are investigated. Potential environmental impacts are further explored based on CML 2001 method. Then different hydrogen production schemes are compared to obtain the most favorable solution. To explore the potential of the electrolysis, the scenario analysis of the power structure is conducted. The results show that the most mineral resources are consumed in the raw material acquisition stage, the most fossil energy is consumed in the use stage and global warming potential (GWP) value is fairly high in all life cycle stages of Toyota Mirai using electrolyzed hydrogen. For hydrogen production schemes, the scenario analysis indicates that simply by optimizing the power structure, the environmental impact of the electrolysis remains higher than other schemes. When using the electricity from hydropower or wind power, the best choice will be the electrolysis.

Funding source: This research is supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (No. 71173072); Shaanxi natural science basic research project (No. 2017JQ7003); Youth Fund for Humanities and social sciences of the Ministry of Education of China (No. 16YJCZH008); Shaanxi Social Science Fund (No. 2016R027); Funding for basic research business fees in Central Universities of China (No. 310822171001 and No. 310822170661).
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways

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