Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Manufacturing is an integral part of our country’s flow of products and people and a top contributor to carbon emissions, promoting global temperature rise. During processing, toxic substances are emitted across the value chain. These emissions account for nearly 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and the World. Until 2023, an accessible pathway for manufacturing companies to transition to net-zero emissions hasn’t been made readily available. The current research was conducted to determine if reducing carbon emissions in manufacturing facilities through efficiency improvements, process optimization, and technology advancements can mitigate global temperature change.This quantitative, mixed-method approach was conducted by investigating major constraints and evaluating the current state of energy security in manufacturing. A feasibility study was conducted on deploying biomass-to-energy as the primary energy source for the facility and the state of Missouri. A case study was conducted at an automotive manufacturing facility to measure efficiency improvements in a real-life context. The research shows that emissions reductions from manufacturing favor the ability to impact global temperature change. Education was found to be the top constraint by cost and impact. Energy security within the sector and the United States is favorable at an index value lower than 70. Improvements in energy efficiency and new processing methods showed favorable business savings (+$125k) and emissions reductions (-200k tons) in less than a year. The feasibility of biomass-to-energy showed being able to become a primary supplier of energy to the plant and Missouri. Findings indicated that it is necessary to promote and mesh education, technology growth, and energy-saving efforts to have a favorable impact on global temperature change.
Ernst, Alec Joseph, "Mitigating Global Temperature Change Through Industrial Sector Improvements: A Case Study In Automotive Manufacturing" (2023). Theses and Dissertations. 5244.