Life Cycle Assessments of Three Products

Ballard Power Systems Inc.

Ballard Power Systems Inc. (Ballard Power) is a leading global provider of innovative clean energy and hydrogen fuel cell solutions. Their products and technologies include zero-emissions fuel cells for electric buses, heavy-duty vehicles, and marine vessels, which drive sustainable mobility. With operations and partnerships across Canada, USA, China and Denmark, Ballard is working towards delivering fuel cell power for a sustainable planet. Since 2019, Ballard has worked with Ostrom on three LCA projects. To learn more about their corporate emissions, visit:

Our Involvement

Ballard Power partnered with Ostrom to better understand the embedded greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) of their hydrogen fuel cell power modules. Ostrom completed life cycle assessments (LCAs) on two products, the FCveloCity®-HD85 and the FCmove®-HD power modules. These LCAs were cradle-to-gate meaning that the studies ended at the manufacturing stage (i.e., Ballard’s gate), and emissions were quantified for raw material acquisition and pre-processing, upstream transportation and product manufacturing.

In addition, Ostrom conducted a cradle-to-grave comparative LCA for the FCmove®-HD power module, which included the stages listed above plus the consumer-use and product-disposal phases. The emissions associated with Ballard’s module were compared to emissions from electric and diesel buses, in order to showcase the GHG savings resulting from Ballard’s technology.

After these projects were completed, Ballard’s engineering team was eager to start incorporating the findings into new product designs. To achieve this goal, Ostrom is creating an LCA calculator and will provide Ballard with training on how to use this tool, so that Ballard’s engineers will be able to see real-time how design enhancements would impact each product’s GHG emissions.

Outcome​

The LCAs helped Ballard to focus on the key sources of emissions, and improve their products’ designs and production, with the goal of reducing emissions throughout their products’ life cycles.

Ballard will be able to minimize the embodied GHGs of its products with a user-friendly calculator that instantly shows how emissions would be impacted by changes in materials, their recycled content, manufacturing processes, shipping modes and routes, waste reduction and so on.

 

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