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Links to LCA topics found on the web


Tag: transportation




"When considering how cars and trucks generate such a large part of the world's greenhouse gas pollution, it's easy to overlook what lies beneath them. But under all that traffic, there are roads. And the paving material itself-the asphalt, concrete, and rock-and how it is placed, have an important impact on the atmosphere"  reports Marianne Lavelle of National Geographic News 

The article reports that John Harvey, principal investigator at the University of California's Pavement Research Center, says that "asphalt versus concrete" is the wrong way of looking at the environmental questions around pavement.  More than 90 percent of pavement is rock, no matter what kind of glue holds it together. One needs  to "keep remembering that rock is the primary ingredient, so there's tremendous energy that goes into the mining, crushing, and hauling of rock in the materials production phase" of a roadway. The UC center, housed at both Berkeley and Davis, is working on developing a framework and models to help government officials make better decisions about roadways, taking into account the entire lifecycle of these long-lived civil engineering projects.

The full article can be found at the National Geographic website here:




Dr. Edward Frank, Advanced Biofuels Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory, will be speaking at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center seminar series.  The seminar takes place on November 2nd at 12:00-1:00PM  at Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, One E. Hazelwood Dr., Champaign, IL 61820.

Abstract: Researchers around the world are developing sustainable plant-based liquid transportation fuels (biofuels) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce petroleum consumption. Algae are attractive because they promise large yields per acre compared to grasses, grains, and trees. Algae thus mitigate potentially large land-use change effects associated with other crops. Algae produce oils that can be converted to diesel and gasoline equivalents in current refineries while other biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel require expensive production and distribution infrastructure modifications as well as vehicle changes. It takes considerable energy to produce algal biofuels with current technology and an outstanding question is how much energy and greenhouse gas benefits algal biofuels can provide compared to petroleum fuels when one considers the critical supply-chain stages in the fuel pathway. This is challenging because of technology uncertainties; thus, previous algal biofuel studies on energy and emission effects show diverse results. Argonne National Laboratory released a detailed study that identified key parameters that affect answers to this question. The study concluded that with a baseline scenario, GHG emission reductions for algae-based fuels are affected by a few critical factors such as energy use for water movement, algal oil extraction, and treatment of algae biomass residues. In particular, the study concluded that the anaerobic digestion process that is commonly used in algal biofuel models has the potential to produce substantial greenhouse gas emissions and that alternative scenarios, e.g., catalytic hydrothermal gasification, may avoid these emissions. The work produced and utilized an expanded version of Argonne's GREET model for modeling energy consumption and emissions in transportation systems. The work was supported by the Office of Biomass Program within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy.

This seminar will be videotaped and archived for later viewing on the ISTC website




Research Associate, Fuels Program

Position description:

The International Council on Clean Transportation is seeking a highly motivated and talented individual to join the Fuels Program, to work primarily on projects focused on reducing the carbon intensity of fossil fuel production. The Fuels Program is also actively engaged in the development of regulations for the use of biofuels, electric vehicles and hydrogen in transport, and the successful applicant will also have opportunities to work in some or all of these areas.

The successful candidate will be committed to effective environmental regulation in the fuels sector and use their strong numerical background and ability to develop engineering process models to:

  • Develop in partnership with the ICCT’s collaborators a modelling framework for assessing the carbon intensities of different crude sources.
  • Explore the cost effectiveness of opportunities to reduce extraction emissions.

The main projects the appointee will be involved in will build on the ICCT’s 2010 paper ‘Carbon intensity of crude oil in Europe’. As well as working on research papers, the successful candidate will be expected to coordinate closely with regulators in Europe and the United States, and may be asked to represent the ICCT at conferences and workshops in the US, Europe and elsewhere.

Reporting to the Fuels Program Lead, the appointee will be based at the ICCT’s offices in San Francisco. The expected salary range for this position is $55,000 – $75,000 per annum, subject to experience. The ICCT also provides a comprehensive benefits package. The initial appointment is for a one year fixed term, but this may be extended subject to performance and availability of funding.

For more information, see the posting on the ICCT website:


The 3rd and 4th of November in Lille, France, the LCA Conference brings together businesses, public authorities and international experts around the strategic application of Life Cycle Assessment.

Through keynote presentations and workshops, the speakers will share their experience, advice and practical tools to manage, improve and communicate the environmental impacts of products, services or processes.

More than 40 speakers, including : The Sustainability Consortium, European Commission, Pre consultants, InterfaceFLOR, Henri Tudor Public Research Centre, Oxylane, Eco-emballages, RDC Environnement, Renault, Eco-design Centre Wales, Veolia Environnement, Universite de Liage, Pocheco, French Sustainability Ministry, CIRAIG, University of Utrecht, Happy Chic, Cycleco, Lafuma, Pele Ecoconception, ENSAIT, Pierre Bleue Belge, ERM, Unilever, Gingko 21, Bombardiere

6 sector focussed workshops: Transport, Packaging, Waste Management, Textiles, Food & Bev, Construction

Special study tour programme for international guests (including accomodation, visits, personal translation support, partner meetings & conference)

English – French simultaneous translation for all sessions.

More information (programme, speakers, practical information, registration) at

This week a short, but highly content rich conference will be held in Arlington, Virginia.  The International Symposium on Sustainable Systems & Technology conference sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society features the latest in design, manufacturing,research, marketing, recycling practice, and policy making from worldleaders in industry, academia, and public policy areas.

For more details, visit the conference website here: