Life cycle assessment of a high-speed vacuum transport system (Hyperloop)

18.10.2022, Forschung Publikationen

Life cycle assessment of a high-speed vacuum transport system (Hyperloop)

Paul Beckert



As part of a master's thesis, the life cycle assessment of an overground high-speed vacuum transport system in Switzerland was carried out. The main focus is on the construction phase and energy consumption of the transport system where four different construction scenarios were compared. Ecoinvent 3.8 was mainly used for the background system and in addition, the premise database was used, which made it possible to generate prospective models. The Foreground system was modelled with EuroTube’s cooperation. As an allocation method, the cut-off system model was used to ensure compatibility with the additional prospective data. The assessment of different impact methods was carried out using today’s Swiss electricity mix and the three other prospective electricity mixes and their predicted compositions for the year 2040. The influence of the electricity mix was further examined in a sensitivity analysis, which means that the results can also be applied to other regions. In addition, the different results were then compared with a conventional train and aircraft (with and without e-kerosene) and a sensitivity analysis of the load was carried out to increase the comparability. It turned out that electrical energy consumption, for the specific case of Switzerland, does not have the biggest impact, but it can easily turn into the main contributor with a more greenhouse gas intensive electricity mix. In contrast, the tube, or more precisely the aluminium and concrete used for it, showed the greatest impact in all scenarios....


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