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Scientists Gather online to Discuss Life-Cycle Emissions of Future Vehicles and Mobility

DEC . 02 2021
Peking University, December 2: The International Symposium of Life-Cycle Emissions of Future Vehicles and Mobility (LIEF) organized by Tsinghua University, Peking University, and University of Birmingham) successfully kicked off on November 29, 2021. The 2-day international conference is on live steaming through the partner media Gasgoo as well as on the Zoom conference platform.

Professor Hongming Xu from Tsinghua University/University of Birmingham, the chair of the organizing committee, elaborated on the theme and significance of the symposium. The main source of emissions in the transportation field has notably been from the vehicle power system, which has received extensive attention and research. Currently, vehicles powered by internal combustion engines are in the transition to electrified power systems. In the context of "emission peak and carbon neutrality", the carbon emissions of the full life cycle of vehicles have become due research topics. This international conference is to bring a "brainstorming" from the world's leading research groups to discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by related fields under the goal of "carbon neutrality". It focuses on the prospects of the future automobile and explores the corresponding technological path, which is very important for achieving the goal of carbon neutrality throughout the life cycle of vehicles and mobility.

The conference is scheduled in two days, Monday (November 29) and Tuesday (November 30), from 7pm to 11pm Beijing time, making it easier for all regions of the world to participate online. On the first day, world leading experts and scholars from Asia (Tsinghua University, Peking University, Chinese Academy of Environmental Sciences, China Automotive Technology Research Institute, Maruti Suzuki India), Europe (Ex Shell and Aramco, Imperial College, University of Birmingham, Shell, Ford / FVV, Cambridge University) and North America (Carnegie Mellon University, Afton, Aramco) are invited to show their latest research outcomes at the state of the art and provide discussions and interactions. At the time making this report, over 30,000 accesses have been made to this conference live steaming broadcast with some 100 people in the Zoom meeting room at the time.

Chief Engineer Hefeng Zhang from the Chinese Academy of Environmental Sciences made the open presentation entitled "Life-cycle Reduction Goal and Path of Vehicles Based on Carbon Peak and Neutraility targets". He said that China currently has the highest carbon emissions in the world, and the proportion of carbon emissions in the transportation sector should not be ignored (9%). The United States and the European Union have established the management system of CO2 emission standard, but China has currently only controlled CO2 emissions from fuel consumption, and has not formulated a CO2 emission standard for motor vehicles. The carbon emissions of traditional fuel vehicles when in use account for the highest proportion of carbon emissions in the full life cycle of vehicles, reaching 80%. Therefore, reducing fuel consumptions and reducing using frequencies and mileages are effective means to reduce the carbon emissions of traditional fuel vehicles. For new energy vehicles, it is essential to focus on carbon emissions in the energy production stage. From the perspective of life cycle, pure electric vehicles could produce less carbon emissions, compared with traditional fuel vehicles. He also expressed his views on how to achieve the goal of "emission peak and carbon neutrality" in the transportation field from four aspects: clean cars, transportation rails, new energy vehicles, and low-carbon energy.

Professor Gautam Kalghatgi, fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, made a presentation entitled "What Role for Internal Combustion Engines in the Future". He discussed the future opportunities and challenges of internal combustion engines. He pointed out that the total greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector account for 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and energy consumptions in the transportation sector account for 20% of global energy consumption. Light-duty vehicles consum 44% of global transportation energy. Petroleum is closely related to the transportation process, and 95% of transportation energy comes from petroleum. He also discussed electric vehicles with different electrification levels and explained the differences between them.

Professor Nigel Brandon FRS from Imperial College London gave a speech entitled "Progress in Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles". He described the role of hydrogen energy in the industrial economy and discussed the cost of green hydrogen energy in its production. He discussed the working mechanism of hydrogen fuel cell, and presented the applications of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the United States, South Korea, China, and the United Kingdom. He also talked about the material and energy consumption in the process of manufacturing fuel cell systems, and emphasized that the recycling and utilization of hydrogen fuel cells should be strengthened in the future.

Professor Roy Harrison FRS from the University of Birmingham revealed and discussed the non-exhaust emissions of road traffic. In his report, he discussed the PM2.5 emissions of London, Beijing, Paris and Berlin from 2016 to 2018, and discussed in detail the proportion of different pollution sources in the total PM10 and PM2.5 emissions in a year.

Professor Allen Robinson from Carnegie Mellon University presented a study entitled "Linking Tailpipe to Ambient: Quantifying Contribution of Vehicles to Ambient PM2.5". He showed that one hour after the generation of emissions, the amount of secondary particulate matter could exceed the original total emissions of PM2.5. Mr. Matthias Mundt from Shell discussed the world's future energy needs and introduced Shell's development vision in 2050. All the speakers and the chair had an in-depth discussion on topics, and the topics covered may ‘hotspots’ such as emissions from electrified vehicles and future energy supplies.

Following the panel discussion, Professor Shijin Shuai / Professor Hongming Xu from Tsinghua University made a special presentation entitled "Sources of Life Cycle Emissions of Vehicles", which reviewed in detail the various sources of pollutant emissions during the full life cycle of automobiles. Professor Min Hu / Song Guo from Peking University delivered their special presentation titled "SOA Formation from Chinese Vehicle Emissions", which showed in detail the research results of their team on aerosol emissions in the transportation field. Participants had an in-depth discussion on the topic of "carbon peak and carbon neutrality" and the full life cycle emissions of future automobiles. They answered the questions from the audience, which brought the very exciting academic event to the end for the first day. The second day will continue with a group of exciting talks from known scientists in the fields around the world.

On the second day of the conference, Dr. Ulrich Kramer from Ford FVV, Dr. Ingo Mikulic from Shell, Professor Huan Liu from Tsinghua University, Professor Markus Kraft from Cambridge University, Dr. Huifang Shao from Afton, Dr. Zixin Sun from China Automotive Technology Research Institute, and Dr. Xin He from Aramco Dr. Xin and Dr. Anoop Bhat from Maruti Suzuki India will also make wonderful academic reports for audience.

The atmosphere of this academic seminar is enthusiastic. As of press time, the online traffic of the seminar’s video at Gasgoo’s channel is increasing with time. Participants had an in-depth discussion on the topic of "Emission Peak and Carbon Neutrality" and the full life cycle emissions of future automobiles, and brought a very wonderful academic seminar to the audience. We hope the conference on the second day will continue to be a success.