Embedded Energy Content of Materials
Objectives: To research the total process energy consumed in producing various engineering materials
(ie, a Life Cycle Analysis, LCA) and distill information into a concise summary in memo form. To
apply the material process energy content to a consumer package and compare the package process
energy to the food energy of the contents.
- Download or otherwise view the “Model Introduction Report for Development and Applications of
GREET 2.7,” (GREET.27Manual) especially Section 5, Materials, available on Canvas or at
- Review data for process energy consumption of different materials listed; in particular Steel,
Aluminum, Copper, Zinc, Magnesium, Lead, Nickel, Glass, Polypropylene, PET (polyester),
Polyethylene, Carbon fiber, glass fiber, Styrene/Butadiene Rubber. Collect data to make a table of
process energy values. Be sure to report source where you found the data (reference page number of
report or other website URL). Be sure to also note the recycled material process energy content where
available. Note: Steel and aluminum values are easier to find in the Aluminum Intensive Vehicle Study
(section 2.1) than summarizing the detailed information in the materials section. Form a table of
information with columns for 1) Material, 2) Virgin Material Energy Content, 3) Recycled Material
Energy Content, and 4) Recycled Mat’l Energy Ratio (ie recycled material / virgin material process
energy). Report data in consistent units (such as Million BTU/ton = MMBTU/ton).
- Using info on steel and polyethylene, determine the process energy consumed to produce the
packaging (Steel 192 g, Polyethylene 6 gram, vs 13 servings @ 80 Cal food energy content) for Batter
Blaster pancakes. http://www.batterblaster.com/
Write a 1 page memo (date, from, to, title and body) as if the addressee (the instructor) is an executive
that needs the summary data to include in a larger presentation. Summarize key points and answering
the following questions for in a narrative form:
What is the most energy intensive material on the list?
Which material has the greatest proportion of energy saved when recycled?
What is the embedded process energy in the packaging for Batter Blaster pancake batter as
compared to the energy value of the food product it contains?
Attach the table of data on the page following the memo. Remember to label the table and be sure to
reference the data sources for the table so that a reviewer can find the data source.