Prospective life cycle inventory datasets for conventional and hybrid-electric aircraft technologies

Thonemann N, Saavedra-Rubio K, Pierrat E, Dudka K, Bangoura M, Baumann N, Bentheimer C, Caliandro P, De Breuker R, de Ruiter C, Di Stasio M, Elleby J, Guiguemde A, Lemoine B, März M, Marciello V, Meindl M, Nicolosi F, Ruocco M, Sala B, Scharling Tromer Dragsdahl AL, Vezzini A, Wang Z, Wannemacher T, Zettelmeier J, Laurent A (2024)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2024


Book Volume: 434

Article Number: 140314

DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2023.140314


Hybrid-electric aircraft represent a promising solution for the urgent need to decarbonize short-haul flights and bolster aviation sustainability. Nevertheless, the realization of hybrid-electric aircraft demands rigorous environmental impact analysis, given the substantial investments, time, and research required for technology development. This study offers a comprehensive life cycle inventory spanning the years 2030, 2040, and 2050 for both conventional and hybrid-electric aircraft configurations. Our inventory datasets are meticulously constructed through a systematic approach, ensuring data harmonization by drawing upon scientific literature, industry expertise, and primary data sources. This extensive dataset encompasses all pertinent systems necessary to model the environmental footprint of flights covering distances ranging from 200 to 600 nautical miles, utilizing a 50-passenger aircraft with the ATR42 as a reference model. Additionally, we furnish supplemental data for end-of-life considerations and uncertainty analysis. The systems under examination include the airframe, powertrain, power electronics and drives, batteries, fuel cells, hydrogen onboard storage, airport infrastructure, and battery charging stations. Notably, the carbon footprint of conventional aircraft aligns with data from the ecoinvent v3.8 database; however, our provided datasets are more than tenfold more detailed and incorporate a forward-looking perspective. These meticulously curated life cycle inventories can be amalgamated to simulate the potential environmental ramifications of conventional aircraft powered by kerosene or alternative aviation fuels, hybrid-electric aircraft utilizing battery technology, and hybrid-electric aircraft employing hydrogen as a fuel in conjunction with batteries. In this context, our findings play a pivotal role in nurturing the development of technology roadmaps that prioritize environmental sustainability within the realm of regional aviation.

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Thonemann, N., Saavedra-Rubio, K., Pierrat, E., Dudka, K., Bangoura, M., Baumann, N.,... Laurent, A. (2024). Prospective life cycle inventory datasets for conventional and hybrid-electric aircraft technologies. Journal of Cleaner Production, 434.


Thonemann, Nils, et al. "Prospective life cycle inventory datasets for conventional and hybrid-electric aircraft technologies." Journal of Cleaner Production 434 (2024).

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