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Title: Wells to wheels: Environmental implications of natural gas as a transportation fuel

Expanded use of natural gas (NG) as a transportation fuel in the United States requires understanding its environmental, technological, and economic performance. We analyzed water consumption for NG production in major U.S. shale gas plays from recent reports and studies. Also, we assessed the water consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and air emissions of using compressed and liquefied NG as transportation fuels by three heavyduty NG vehicles (NGV) types from a wells-to-wheels (WTW) perspective, using the Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET®) model developed at Argonne National Laboratory. We reviewed recent work on quantifying methane leakage in the NG supply chain and vehicle use to improve the estimates of this important factor to GHG emissions of NGVs. These results show that the NGVs could reduce water consumption significantly and offer air emissions reduction benefits compared to their diesel counterparts. WTW GHG emissions of NGVs are largely driven by the vehicle fuel efficiency, and methane leakage rates of the NG supply chain and vehicle end use, and are slightly higher than those of the diesel counterparts with the estimated WTW methane leakage. We also analyzed costs of operating NGVs relative to diesel vehicles and found that themore » cost-effectiveness of NGVs is impacted by incremental cost of NG storage tanks and price difference between NG and diesel fuels. Our findings for NG as a transportation fuel for different vehicle technologies shed light on their environmental impacts and the economics from the WTW holistic point of view.« less
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  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Energy Systems Division
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy Policy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 109; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0301-4215
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Vehicle Technologies Office (EE-3V)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Costs; Greenhouse gas emissions; NOx and PM emissions; Natural gas vehicles; Water consumption
OSTI Identifier: