(ISF) An Assessment of Emissions Rates During an Era of Regulatory Milestones: Evaluating manufacturing sustainability efforts in the national automobile industry DUIRI - Discovery Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Research Internship Summer 2024 Accepted Sustainable Manufacturing The seminal Ricardo Report (2020) recommended an analysis of entire life-cycle sustainability impacts of automobiles and inspired this proposal. Ricardo (2020) recommended a comprehensive analysis quantifying the pollution emitted not only from the vehicle’s tailpipe but also during the manufacture as well as the disposal of a vehicle. The transportation industry is a major culprit of carbon emissions, as most modern vehicles still use fossil fuel to generate power. As the automotive market continues to evolve, it is important to analyze the full carbon emissions produced by the vehicle, rather than just what comes out of the tailpipe, given the absence of in-depth existing research on the subject. The automotive industry is a disproportionately impactful contributor to the state’s GNP, but also one of the main contributors to carbon emissions (and as such air quality), and as such it is particularly important to gain these insights. This research project builds off recent published and submitted studies as well a successful college-wide first place poster developed by three undergraduate Purdue OUR Scholars students (see here: https://polytechnic.purdue.edu/newsroom/awards-update-polytechnic-students-faculty-bring-tech-expertise-dozens-of-research-projects) focusing on sustainable production in the automobile industry. In pursuit of the Ricardo Report’s (2020) edits, the OUR Scholars students mined big data from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) related to carbon emissions between 2010-2022 for three automobile firms that operate in Indiana: Honda, Subaru, and Toyota, and organized quantitative statistics including chemical name, location of facilities, total emissions, total air releases, total on-site releases, total transferred off-site for disposal, total transferred off-site for recycling, and total transferred off-site for energy recovery, across numerous years. This summer’s project also aims to further the supervisor’s prior studies by analyzing environmental regulatory milestones with those automobile organization’s annual emissions records. This project’s scope will be widened by including additional automobile organizations’ sustainability practices not only in Indiana but also across the country. By increasing the sample size of multinational automobile organizations will allow a more precise compare and contrast, illustrating how Indiana manufacturers are performing versus their peer factories across the country such as BMW in South Carolina, Tesla in Texas, Hyundai in Alabama, and Ford in Michigan, as well as the other factories of Honda and Toyota in the United States (located in Ohio and Texas respectively). Truly, this project will broaden the scope of prior work so that emissions data mined and synthesized from the TRI will be more fully fleshed out, giving new unique perspective that furthers the (2020) Ricardo Report. James J Tanoos This research will involve mining data from the Toxic Release Inventory over a number of years for various multinational automobile organizations across the country to synthesize annual emissions rates as they compare to the production of vehicles in those factories. This research has broad implications because it assesses not only energy and environmental science of multinational automakers producing in the United States, but it also analyzes these emissions trends in conjunction with several key federal regulatory milestones, providing a snapshot that can be analyzed across the globe within similar industrial corridors. Gauging these national automobile organizations’ sustainability efforts will fill gaps in the Ricardo Report’s (2020) birth to grave lifecycle carbon emissions directive. https://www.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program Ideally, a student working on this project should have experience in a prior poster presentation and in the writing of abstracts/research briefs. A student applying for this project should also ideally have insight in data mining involving big data, and preferably should have prior insight and/or training to extract statistics using excel in an organized fashion across numerous years. An experience with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Toxic Release Inventory is preferred. 3 10 (estimated)

This project is not currently accepting applications.