Interview Mara Hauck: carbon footprint in the life cycle

June 15, 2022


Mara Hauck is a scientist specialist on life cycle assessment (LCA) at TNO. She is work package lead for Carbon footprint in the NSE program.

What is your research about in the work package 'Carbon footprint'?
This year we are comparing the carbon footprints of platforms and divers types of islands in the shallow North Sea. For this, we use life cycle assessment (LCA). In other words, we are quantifying the emissions of greenhouse gasses related to the materials, construction, transport, installation, maintenance and decommissioning of these constructions.
You are also looking at the carbon footprint of hydrogen production. What can you tell us about that?
We have been looking at the carbon footprint of hydrogen production in a previous NSE project. We found that hydrogen from electrolysis has a lower carbon footprint compared to hydrogen from natural gas (grey and blue) if and only if the electricity source is renewable (green hydrogen). From a carbon footprint point of view there were no clear preferences for onshore of offshore electrolysis. However, discussions showed that onshore could have advantages due to more options to create benefits by re-use of oxygen and gas.
Platforms in the North Sea can be dismantled or reused. What are the consequences of dismantling the platform?
For the carbon footprint energy and material use are important, in this case, transport of the platform onshore would increase the carbon footprint. On the other hand, if materials are recovered and reused that could prevent emissions elsewhere for producing new steel which is an energy intensive process.
Are there also consequences if platforms remain standing?
From a carbon footprint point of view, these consequences are small. Off course, there are other aspects where other WP leads can probably tell you more about.

Mara Hauck