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Task 40


Life Cycle Analysis of Transportation Fuel Pathways


Within the last decade there has been increasing development of, and reliance upon, life cycle analysis (LCA) models to assess GHG and other emissions from vehicle and fuel pathways. These models are designed to quantify emissions from the different stages of vehicle and fuel production and use. Since the production of fuels and vehicles involves many possible feedstocks and processes, these models are quite complex: they rely on large and varied sets of input data, and they contain assumptions that influence the final results. LCA models were initially used to quantify, from a technical perspective, the emissions from new fuel pathways in comparison to the emissions of conventional fuel pathways, such as gasoline or diesel. This analysis provides useful guidance for the research and engineering community involved in vehicles and fuels development. With the large increases in investments in new fuels development, initially for biofuels and potentially for electricity to power vehicles, it is important for researchers, vehicle and fuels producers, and government agencies to understand the environmental and GHG impacts of the various vehicle and fuels options. LCA models can be of great assistance for this purpose.

Purpose and Objective

The purpose of this work is to improve the understanding of the concept of lifecycle analysis of transportation fuels and some of its pertinent issues among non-technical people, senior managers, and policy makers. This work should provide some guidance to nations considering LCA-based policies and to people who are affected by existing or in-development policies.


The Task Leader will provide the technical services of an LCA expert to draft the main report. Countries participating in task sharing will contribute knowledge about the LCA techniques used in their respective countries and the main issues that they have encountered and solutions they have adopted in building LCA capability and using it for assessment purposes. These country contributions will be summarized and integrated into the report by the Task Leader. Countries will be asked to comment on the draft report to ensure their views are reflected and to make sure the text is suited to the intended audience.


  • Austria
  • Canada
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Japan (AIST)
  • France
  • Norway
  • Thailand
  • United States