Environmental impact assessment and optimisation of commercial aviation

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dc.contributor.advisor Kolios, Athanasios
dc.contributor.advisor Brennan, Feargal
dc.contributor.author Howe, Stuart
dc.date.accessioned 2012-07-09T09:44:53Z
dc.date.available 2012-07-09T09:44:53Z
dc.date.issued 2011-11
dc.identifier.uri http://dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/handle/1826/7358
dc.description.abstract The aviation industry represents approximately 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however with significant growth expected over the coming decades this proportion is expected to increase. Continued governmental and social pressure to reduce global emissions is posing a challenging question to the industry; how to improve environmental efficiency and reduce emissions with increasing industry growth. The environmental impact of aviation globally is discussed, examining the significant emissions and protocols that exist and their relative impacts both environmentally and economically. The viability of alternative biofuels is discussed, determining the life cycle environmental impact of future replacements to kerosene based jet fuel. This thesis therefore aims to provide an understanding of the fundamentals of aviation emissions but also most importantly provide possible solutions to assist the industry in reducing its emissions ‘footprint’. An important factor in determining efficiency improvements is to understand the impact of particular stages of an aircraft life and the impact they have individually. This was achieved using an established methodology called Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which is an efficient tool for the analytical consideration of the environmental impact of manufacturing, operation and decommissioning. The results of a comprehensive LCA study of an Airbus A320 are documented considering all phases of the service life. The study draws useful conclusions, indicating the significance of special materials such as carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) on the total manufacturing emissions of the aircraft and indicating its operational phase as the one contributing most in its environmental performance breakdown. The thesis also examines short-term efficiencies for emissions reduction in commercial aviation, focussing on improvements in aircraft routing. The initiation of the EU emissions trading system (ETS) within European aviation willincentivise airlines to reduce their annual CO2 emissions. An alternative routing strategy is proposed for selected long haul routes, which introduces multiple stages into the route utilising two aircraft and is shown to reduce total CO2 emissions by up to 13.7%. Combined with blended biofuel, this reduction was estimated to increase to 16.6% with a reduction in ticket fares estimated to be as high as $19 per passenger per flight. en_UK
dc.language.iso en en_UK
dc.publisher Cranfield University en_UK
dc.rights © Cranfield University 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright owner. en_UK
dc.subject Environmental Economics en_UK
dc.subject Aircraft Routing en_UK
dc.subject Life Cycle Assessment en_UK
dc.subject Aviation Emissions en_UK
dc.subject Aviation Biofuels en_UK
dc.title Environmental impact assessment and optimisation of commercial aviation en_UK
dc.type Thesis or dissertation en_UK
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en_UK
dc.type.qualificationname MSc by Research en_UK

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