New Project: A Framework for Estimating Emissions of Freight Transport Operations

freightNorthwestern researchers have received funding to study emissions by freight transport operations. Beginning in February 2011, the study aims to create a rigorous, flexible, and practical framework to estimate emissions from freight transport operations, with trucking as an initial focus. The end-product will be an online emissions estimation tool that will allow for valid, meaningful comparisons of emissions estimates across years and companies.

The project, led by Pablo Durango-Cohen, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will help meet the needs of corporations that are increasingly interested in measuring their environmental impacts, especially pollutant emissions. The proposed framework is based on formulating simple, yet defensible and reliable economic models of marginal emissions contributions from individual shipments.

Two Fortune 500 companies, both of which have established relationships with NUTC, have expressed interest in measuring the emissions of their transport operations. These two companies would serve as initial customers of the online emissions estimation tool.

The project is funded by NUTC’s US DOT Center, the Center for the Commercialization of Innovative Transportation Technology (CCITT). The project will also benefit from Philips North America Forwarding and Distribution, which will provide funds, data, and strategic advice.

Madison Fitzpatrick, a PhD Candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering, is assisting Durango-Cohen with this research.

To learn more about this project, contact Pablo Durango-Cohen.