Environmental Analysis is used by the Program to quantify the environmental impacts of hydrogen technologies. Specifically, life cycle assessment is used to identify and evaluate the emissions, resource consumption, and energy use of all processes required to make the process of interest operate, including raw material extraction, transportation, processing, and final disposal of all products and by-products. Also known as cradle-to-grave or well-to-wheels analysis, this methodology is used to better understand the full impacts of existing and developing technologies, such that efforts can be focused on mitigating negative effects. A suite of environmental analyses on major production systems, delivery options, and use will be conducted through 2005.
Some of the environmental analyses completed to date include:
- Life Cycle Assessment of Renewable Hydrogen Production via Wind/Electrolysis, M. Mann and P. Spath (2004)
- Life Cycle Assessment of Hydrogen Production via Natural Gas Steam Reforming, Pamela L. Spath and Margaret K. Mann (2001)