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Alcoa truck wheels reduce carbon footprint

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Alcoa Wheel & Transportation Products has released the findings of a peer-reviewed life cycle assessment (LCA) that says Alcoa aluminum wheels substantially cut the carbon footprint of commercial vehicles.

In North America, the study found that substituting 18 conventional steel truck wheels with Alcoa aluminum wheels cut carbon emissions by 16.3 metric tons over the lifetime of the wheels. 

In Europe, replacing 12 steel wheels with aluminum cut 13.3 metric tons of carbon emissions. In addition, the study found that the use of Alcoa forged aluminum wheels over steel wheels can be viewed as an active and highly efficient investment into the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the commercial vehicle sector.

“As commercial vehicles face stricter regulations around reducing carbon emissions, this life cycle assessment confirms that Alcoa forged aluminum wheels support sustainable transportation and can help trucks and trailers to be greener,” said Tim Myers, president, Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products. “Compared to steel, the lighter weight and infinite recyclability of Alcoa forged aluminum wheels support greener vehicles that cut down on fuel use and carbon emissions.”

“Life cycle assessment is the universally accepted method to comprehensively assess the environmental impact of a product,” said Dr. Christoph Koffler, technical director of PE International Inc. & Five Winds Strategic Consulting, which conducted the study. “Our findings are based on the full life cycle of Alcoa forged aluminum wheels — from the raw materials, through the production, distribution, use, disposal, and recycling of the product.”

Alcoa and PE International presented the findings of the LCA at the 12th Annual American Center for Life Cycle Assessment Conference in Tacoma, Wash., Sept. 25, 2012.

For more information on the conference, please visit http://lcacenter.org/LCAXII.aspx.

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