Date of Award

4-18-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.Sc.

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Maoh, Hanna

Rights

CC-BY-NC-ND

Abstract

Heavy-duty commercial vehicles play an integral role in goods movement. Most these vehicles are powered by diesel and are high emitters of pollution in areas with high congestion due to longer travel times and idling. This is concerning from an environmental and social perspectives as diesel exhaust contributes to global warming, has negative health effects and is likely carcinogenic. The use of alternative fuels, like Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), could have the potential to counter these negative effects. However, one of the major drawbacks in fleets transitioning towards CNG is the lack of available refueling infrastructure. To overcome this obstacle, establishing a natural gas virtual pipeline in the form of a hub-and-spoke network to provide on-site refueling at truck yards via mobile refuelling tractor-trailers is proposed. A basic and transferable framework is established to determine the location of potential hubs. The estimated number of potential CNG trucks per traffic analysis zone is set as the demand to establish the market for CNG fueling. Location-allocation modeling is then used to propose optimal CNG station (i.e. hub) locations. To quantify the benefits of CNG adoption, traffic flow was predicted and EPA’s MOVES software was used to estimate emission factors for diesel heavy-duty trucks under different scenarios of CNG adoption. A Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis was then conducted to determine the potential savings associated with CNG adoption. The results from the conducted analysis suggest that CNG is a more sustainable fuel for heavy duty trucks. Further, one CNG hub is recommended for initial CNG conversion in the study area.

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