Estimation of carbon footprint: a case study for Middle East Technical University

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2015
Turanlı, Ayşe Merve
As the amount of the greenhouse gas emission increases, its effect on climate change becomes accordingly important. This fact is proved by the measurements conducted by NASA in terms of mole fraction of CO2. After 1950’s due to rapid rise in industrial activity of post-industrial revolution period, CO2 amount in the air increased constantly. Atmospheric concentration of CO2 increases at an accelerating rate . In year 2014, the CO2 emission value had reached 398.78 ppm. This increase led the investigators to estimate the carbon footprint of daily activities as well as industrial activities. There are many initiatives dealing with the estimation of the carbon footprint due to its critical role in the sustainability which is a way of finding optimal solution for living by considering all economic, social, and environmental aspects of life. Measurement and analysis of carbon footprint is not a new topic however, the methodology and systematic approach is necessary within today’s context. The aim of this thesis is to estimate total carbon footprint of the Middle East Technical University Campus Area in Ankara, consisting of man-made university facilities together with artificial forest and a natural lake. Several carbon emitting activities such as transportation, use of electricity, use of natural gas, food consumption are investigated using 14 years data (2000-2014). METU Forest treated as sink of carbon dioxide and 57.415,72 tons of CO2 is absorbed until 2007. Although, in the beginning of the thesis, Lake Eymir also assumed as a sink, the research showed that, it is not. It is seen that the major carbon dioxide emission source in 14 years shifts from natural gas consumption to transportation related activities. Investigations show that the main reason is the energy savings activities in the heating system. In 2014, carbon dioxide emission shares of electricity consumption, transportation related activities, natural gas consumption for heating, and nutritional needs are 40%, 31%, 25% and 4% respectively. In year 2014, 1815,96 kg CO2 / capita and 91,67 kg CO2 / m2 is calculated at METU Campus in Ankara as the result of deterministic approach. In order to account for the uncertainty in some of the variables the Monte Carlo Simulation was performed. Results show that with 10% probability 50.142.789,54 kg CO2, 50% probability 53.718.530,31 kg CO2 is emitted to the atmosphere in year 2014. Most likely with 90% probability the total CO2 56.036.497,75 kg of CO2 is emitted to the atmosphere by METU Campus Ankara Facility.

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Citation Formats
A. M. Turanlı, “Estimation of carbon footprint: a case study for Middle East Technical University,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2015.