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Analysis of the application of Circular Economy principles in the sector of the commercial vehicles

Livia Nastasi

Analysis of the application of Circular Economy principles in the sector of the commercial vehicles.

Rel. Silvia Fiore, Silvana Dalmazzone. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Per L'Ambiente E Il Territorio, 2021

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Nowadays, the world is dominated by global environmental problems such as climate change, environmental degradation, depletion of resources and biodiversity loss. Circular economy transition represents a fundamental instrument to reach the target of “carbon neutrality” proposed in the European Green Deal for 2050. Circular economy promotes a competitive and resource-efficient economy, based on circular models of production and consumption, giving value to end-of-life products, creating new job opportunities and reducing the environmental impact. On July 2021, all 27 EU Member States adopted a package of proposal to reach carbon neutrality in 2050, setting the intermediate target of emissions reduction by 55% by 2030 compared with the values of 1990. In this context, the transition towards the electric mobility can represent one key aspect of the implementation of Circular Economy principles. This thesis was realized with the collaboration of CNH Industrial, one of the global leaders for design, manufacturing, and distribution in the international market of agriculture vehicles, construction vehicles, commercial and specialty vehicles, and powertrains. This thesis was organised in three sections. The first presents a methodology to measure, evaluate and compare the circularity performances, both quantitatively and qualitatively, of three different companies (CNH Industrial, Volvo and Daimler) that operates in the sector of commercial vehicles, using public data contained in the sustainability reports. The method was developed adopting a top-down approach, starting from circular economy and sustainability principles, which are reflected into the formulation of different categories of evaluation and specific key performance indicators. The main idea was going beyond the measures of material flows and products, and investigating all the aspects of a company that can be affected by circular economy. The second part of the thesis was focused on hybrid and electric buses. The impacts and emissions generated by the actual urban bus fleet of Turin were assessed, and then some alternative scenarios of increased electrification were proposed and discussed. The transition towards more hybrid and electric buses leaded to a substantial saving of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions compared with the actual situation, in which the electric buses represent a small percentage. The third part of the thesis was devoted to the environmental analysis of the core of electric buses, i.e. the Lithium-ion batteries. The whole life of three types of Lithium-ion batteries (NMC111, NMC622 and LFP) employed in hybrid and electric buses produced by CNH Industrial was assessed evaluating the GHG emissions. The phases materials extraction, battery and components manufacture and the end-of-life management were carefully analysed. Specifically, the evaluation was conducted estimating the emissions for two alternative scenarios of recycling, e.g. pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy. In all cases, the most significant impact for a Lithium-ion battery was due to the manufacturing process but, through recycling (particularly via hydrometallurgy), it was possible to recover a high quantity of valuable metals of the cathode that can be employed to synthetize a new battery, avoiding the extraction of virgin materials and scarce metals.

Relators: Silvia Fiore, Silvana Dalmazzone
Academic year: 2021/22
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 146
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Per L'Ambiente E Il Territorio
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-35 - ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: CNH Industrial Italia SpA
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/19895
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