Advisor

Horstemeyer, Mark

Committee Member

Molen, G. Marshall

Committee Member

Srinivasan, Kalyan

Date of Degree

1-1-2014

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

A vehicle fuel’s life does not begin when that fuel is pumped into the tank or the battery is charged. Each kilowatt-hour of fuel that is used has a history traceable back to its original feedstock, be it crude oil, corn, solar energy, or others. In this thesis, a life cycle analysis is performed on E10, E85, B20, hydrogen, and electricity, with the well-to-pump fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions compared. Results are presented in the form of either energy or mass per kilowatt of fuel at the plug or at the pump. An analysis of the economic viability of each fuel to the consumer is also demonstrated. E85 is found to have the best well-to-pump fossil fuel energy use at 722 Wh/kWh, while hydrogen demonstrates the best well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions with 123 g/km (CO2 equivalent) and electricity produces the lowest vehicle lifetime operating cost of $0.241/mile.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/17965

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