Andrew Kohls, Katie O'Rourke, Cade Pantano


This project reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process. Course: EGR 374 01



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As alternatives to the classic gasoline and diesel powered vehicles become more popular for people looking to reduce their carbon footprint, it is important to take a holistic approach in determining what is truly the best option for the environment. An environmentally extended Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was used to evaluate two categories of alternative fuels, electric-powered and bio-fuels. Electric-powered engines are an increasing percentage of vehicles on the road, the U.S. market share of plug-in electric passenger cars now sits at 2.2% of cars that take the road. (Coren) Three different classes of electric engines were analyzed in this study: single, dual, and tri-motor. Biofuel research is rapidly expanding and being implemented, as 10% of U.S. vehicle fuel consumption (by volume) was ethanol and over 98% of U.S. gasoline contained ethanol in 2018. (University of Michigan) This study analyzed the three main biofuels of compressed natural gas, ethanol, and biodiesel. A hybrid method of LCA allows for specific process data to be used when available, with general industry data to fill in the gaps, in order to get the most complete picture possible. ReferencesCoren, Michael J. “Automakers May Have Completely Overestimated How Many People Want Electric Cars.” Quartz, Quartz, 6 Jan. 2020, for Sustainable Systems, University of Michigan. 2019. "Biofuels Factsheet." Pub. No. CSS08-09.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project

Primary Advisor

Erin L. Gibbemeyer

Primary Advisor's Department

Chemical and Materials Engineering


Stander Symposium project, School of Engineering

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Affordable and Clean Energy; Climate Action

Hybrid Life Cycle Assessment on Bio-Fuel and Electric Powered Automobiles