Assessment of Near-Term Strategies for Freight Transport Emission Reduction

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
December 2008
March 2009
June 2009
September 2009
December 2009
March 2010
Final Report

Primary Investigator

Paul J Meier
Energy Institute
University of Wisconsin – Madison
1500 Engineering Drive, 905 ERB
Madison, WI 53706


There are trade-offs when attempting to reduce both greenhouse gas and criteria air pollutants for freight transport, as the control strategies are not necessarily complimentary. While emission controls can remove ozone precursors and particulate from vehicle exhaust streams, greenhouse gas emission can only be mitigated by either reducing fuel consumption or switching to lower carbon-content fuel.. One near-term alternative that can readily reduce fuel consumption is the reduction of freight vehicle speed. To lower the carbon-content of freight transportation fuel, the primary near-term alternative is to increase blending of biodiesel. The cost-effectiveness of the emission reduction strategy will be characterized from the freightcarriers viewpoint, by comparing the direct costs to estimates of indirect costs and fuel savings. Multiple scenarios will be modeled using EPA’s MARKAL model to simulate implementation of the proposed measures. MARKAL will be used to quantify the system-wide effects of changes in resource supply, technology availability, and account for CO2, SO2, NOX, PM, and VOC emissions.


We propose to evaluate the costs and benefits of limited bio-diesel blending and strategic speed of travel reduction for heavy duty diesel vehicles, in order to achieve reductions in emissions from Midwest freight transportation. For these measures, we seek to provide spatially explicit spatially quantification of the net changes in ozone precursor, particulate matter, and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, we seek to consider potential adverse impacts, infrastructure requirements, barriers to implementation, and opportunities to maximize air quality and human health benefits.


  1. Literature review and stakeholder interviews. Potential tactics for implementing speed of travel and biodiesel blending initiatives will be identified.
  2. Modeling. Scenarios will be modeled using EPA’s MARKAL model to simulate implementation of the proposed measures.
  3. Analysis, qualitative assessment and reporting. The results of the modeling will provide spatially explicit emission estimates for changes in ozone precursor, particulate.

Project Information

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Dates: September 1, 2008 – August 31, 2009 (extended to December 31, 2009)
  • Budget: CFIRE: $74,907; Total: $86,907
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: CFIRE 02-10
Print Friendly