Plenary Lecture

Strategies Regarding Development of Road Transport to Diminish Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Professor Corneliu Cofaru
Automotive and Mechanical Engineering Department
Mechanical Engineering Faculty
Transilvania University of Brasov

Abstract: This research paper presents an overview of strategies focused on controlling the greenhouse gas emissions related to motor vehicles and road traffic as to reduce their impacts on the changes of climate. The transport sector is a vital part of the economy and is essential for everyday activities, it is also a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.Transport sector produces a variety of emissions, some of them having a direct greenhouse gas effect as  CO2 (mainly), methan (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), various hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and others, as: NOx, VOC, CO, and O3, having an indirect influence on warming, and particulates (PM). A part of these components have a warming effect, others have a cooling effect that need a careful analysis. As the lifetime of emission components differs, so does their impact on warming and cooling. The international standard is to express greenhouse gases in units of carbon dioxide equivalent, commonly written as CO2e. For a given amount of a greenhouse gas, multiplying the amount of gas by the global warming potential (GWP) for that gas results in the amount of greenhouse gas in terms of CO2e. For automotive-related gases, these global warming potentials(GWP) are: CO2 =1, CH4 =25, N2O =298, HFC-134a =1430.
The greenhouse gas emissions from transport is expected to rise to between 30 and 50%, by 2050 (today it is around 20-25%) and the radiative forcing is expected to increase.
The strategies for medium term (2020) for decreasing of the net greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) can be obtained by using active technologies determined by changing the fuel’s nature and characteristcs or by the decreasing of fuel consumption by improving vehicle technologies or/and increasing travel efficiency. Instead, the options for achieving long-term (2050) CO2 emission reductions of 65 to 95% in the transport sector could be: fuel CO2 efficiency; vehicle efficiency; driving efficiency; travelled distance.
Reviewing the long-term targets related to climate changes, then the analysis on fuels becomes very prominent for passenger cars and light vehicles’ emission reduction of up to 95%. New fuels should be very low-carbon or zero-carbon fuels, meaning that well-to-tank CO2 emissions are very limited. Thus, a substantial part of the climate mitigation challenge is shifted towards the energy production and refinery sectors. Biofuels constitute a central pillar of sustainable mobility. They have the advantage of not requiring essentially new engines or a new infrastructure, since they can be added to fossil fuels in a controlled form. They can be obtained by using alternative fuels. These alternative fuels can be: methan (NGV); LPG; biofuels as methyl or ethyl esters (biodiesels), biogases (digester gas, wood gas, gas from biomass gasification, .etc.), alcohols from biomass (methanol, ethanol, etc.), vegetable oils, animal fats, etc., or even hydrogen.
Some scenarios of long-term development show combinations of vehicle types and fuel types, as:BEVs batery electric vehicle, PHEVs plug-in hybrid electric vehicles , FCEVs fuel cell electric vehicle, ICEV’s hybrids in combination with advanced biofuels.
Heavy-duty vehicles can be divided into long-haul trucks, distribution trucks and buses. CO2 emission reductions of 65 to 95% can be achieved by increasing the efficiency of fuels, vehicles and eco-driving and travelled distance as well.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Corneliu Cofaru is a full Professor at the Automotive and Engine Department within the Mechanical Engineering Faculty from Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania. His area of expertise is the environmental aspects of internal combustion engines. He authored or co-authored over 240 scientific papers published in reviewed journals or presented at international conferences organized by FISITA, EAEC, SIAR, WSEAS etc. He wrote as author and co-author 26 books. Two of these are written in English and are entitled: “Materials-Energy Sustainable Development” published in 2002 and „Transport and Environmental Engineering” published at the Transilvania University Publishing House in 2007. He had the opportunity to manage international projects in Tempus and Leonardo da Vinci frame and he is a member of Romanian society of automotive engineers.