MFA plus energy intensity of material methodology

Source: M. Federicia, S. Ulgiatib, R. Basosi, 2008. A thermodynamic, environmental and material flow analysis of the Italian highway and railway transport systems.

This fascinating methodology including MFA is a multi-method multi-scale of terrestrial transport modalities that reduces each case down to the equivalent amount of solar energy required.  I have often wondered how using solar gain in time per area could operate as a comparative tool, and here it is!  It is similar to the other MFA within a decision-making model that I covered in that the MFA result is cross-referenced with a database, in this case energy intensities of materials, to arrive at the desired result.

This methodology uses four different evaluation methods: material flow accounting (MFA), embodied energy analysis (EEA), exergy analysis (EXA) and emergy synthesis (ES).  The local framework encompasses the direct inputs supporting the transport activities: mass balance, energy analysis and EMIPS are used in this context. Global scale framework takes into account the indirect and hidden material and energy flows supporting the transportation process. Specific material, energy and emergy intensities are used to shift from local to global scale.

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