Oct 8, 2012

Forged aluminum wheels cut carbon footprint - Life Cycle Assessment for Alcoa

PE INTERNATIONAL conducted a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study for Alcoa that concludes that aluminum wheels substantially cut the carbon footprint of commercial vehicles.

In North America, the study found that substituting 18 conventional steel truck wheels with Alcoa aluminum wheels cut carbon emissions by 16.3 metric tons over the lifetime of the wheels. In Europe, replacing 12 steel wheels with aluminum cut 13.3 metric tons of carbon emissions. In addition, the study found that the use of Alcoa forged aluminum wheels over steel wheels can be viewed as an active and highly efficient investment into the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the commercial vehicle sector.

Dr. Christoph Koffler from PE stated "Our findings are based on the full life cycle of Alcoa forged aluminum wheels—from the raw materials, through the production, distribution, use, disposal, and recycling of the product."

Most comprehensive LCA ever conducted on aluminium and steel truck wheels

This analysis is the most comprehensive and transparent comparative Life Cycle Assessment ever conducted on aluminum and steel truck wheels. It analyzed the entire “cradle-to-grave” production process of commercial vehicle wheels—from bauxite mining to wheel manufacturing, through a truck wheel’s use phase and end-of-life, including recycling and land filling.

The study incorporated the latest available information on energy and material consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental releases. Alcoa provided primary data for aluminum wheel production from five facilities: two in the United States (Cleveland and Barberton, OH), one in Mexico, Hungary, and Japan. PE INTERNATIONAL provided upstream data for fuels, raw materials, and steel wheel manufacturing processes, including primary metals and chemicals. The study conformed to ISO methodology and was peer reviewed by respected professionals in the LCA community, including experts from the world-renowned Technische Universitat Berlin and the University of Michigan.

Major findings presented at the LCA XII

Alcoa and PE INTERNATIONAL will present the findings of the LCA at the 12th Annual American Center for Life Cycle Assessment Conference in Tacoma, Washington on Tuesday, September 25, 2012.

>> Download the full study and read more


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