Department of Environmental Engineering, Graduate Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


In this study a pseudo comprehensive carbon footprint model for fossil fuel power plants is presented. Parameters which their effects are considered in this study include: plant type, fuel type, fuel transmission type, internal consumption of the plant, degradation, site ambient condition, transmission and distribution losses. Investigating internal consumption, degradation and site ambient condition effect on carbon footprint assessment of fossil fuel power plant is the specific feature of the proposed model. To evaluate the model, a sensitivity analysis is performed under different scenarios covering all possible choices for investigated parameters. The results show that carbon footprint of fossil fuel electrical energy that is produced, transmitted and distributed, varies from 321 g CO2 eq/kWh to 980 g CO2 equivalent /kWh. Carbon footprint of combined cycle with natural gas as main fuel is the minimum carbon footprint. Other factors can also cause indicative variation. Fuel type causes a variation of 28%. Ambient condition may change the result up to 13%. Transmission makes the carbon footprint larger by 4%. Internal consumption and degradation influence the result by 2 and 2.5%, respectively. Therefore, to minimize the carbon footprint of fossil fuel electricity, it is recommended to construct natural gas ignited combined cycles in low lands where the temperature is low and relative humidity is high. And the internal consumption is as least as possible and the maintenance and overhaul is as regular as possible.

Graphical Abstract

Sensitivity analysis of parameters affecting carbon footprint of fossil fuel power plants based on life cycle assessment scenarios


  • The effect investigation of different parameters in carbon footprint calculation
  • Appling one-factor-at-a-time model for sensitivity analyses
  • Proposing five groups scenarios for sensitivity model


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