Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Mathias, James

Second Advisor

Paul, Bradley


High oil prices and nationalist desires to reduce foreign dependency create opportunities for Illinois bituminous coal to be involved in the transportation market. Using Illinois coal for transportation will have varied environmental effects depending on the method of involvement. To determine these effects, this study calculated CO2 emission for gasoline and eight other vehicle propulsion methods involving Illinois coal for 100,000 miles traveled. The vehicle propulsion methods considered were electricity from Pulverized coal in a Sub-Critical power cycle (PSC), electricity from Integrated Gasification Combined power Cycle (IGCC), electricity from an Ultra Super Critical power cycle (USC), ethanol, butanol, Fischer-Tropsch (FT) diesel, hydrogen, and a combination IGCC/ethanol system to propel vehicles that use their respective fuels. Results show USC, IGCC, PSC, and hydrogen emitted the lowest CO2 with a net of 69,494, 72,866, 75,752, and 81,587 lb CO2/100,000 miles respectively. The base-line gasoline method emitted 99,170 lb CO2, while ethanol, butanol, and IGCC/ethanol methods emitted 97,078, 106,338, and 92,449lb CO2, respectively. The highest CO2 emission came from Fischer-Tropsch diesel with 180,560 lb CO2. It was concluded that life cycle energy efficiency and CO2 offset were the most influential factors for CO2 emissions per 100,000 miles.




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