Feb 22, 2007

My Carbon Footprint

My Hybrid at 60,000 miles has created 11.67 tons of CO2. or about 2.92

tons a year. (51.4 lifetime mpg)

3.4 ounces of CO2 per mile.

Sounds sad until you calculate my van mileage at 12 mpg. Now I put maybe 3000 miles a year on it.

If I had driven that instead, if it had lasted another 60,000 miles, 50 tons or 12.5 tons a year.


Do the math: miles driven/mpg * 20 for pounds. divide by 2000 for tons.


If you drive a diesel or use heating oil, add another 14%

We used 600 gallons of heating oil last year, that's 6.84 tons a year

Then add Electricity, Utilities, and Firewood. Later.


The math.

How can 6 pounds of gasoline create 19 pounds of Carbon dioxide?

It seems impossible that a gallon of gasoline, which weighs about 6.3

pounds, could produce 20 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) when burned.

However, most of the weight of the CO2 doesn't come from the gasoline

itself, but the oxygen in the air.

When gasoline burns, the carbon and hydrogen separate. The hydrogen

combines with oxygen to form water (H2O), and carbon combines with

oxygen to form carbon dioxide (CO2).

CO2 molecule with one carbon atom (atomic weight 12) and two oxygen

atoms (atomic weight of 16 each)A carbon atom has a weight of 12, and

each oxygen atom has a weight of 16, giving each single molecule of

CO2 an atomic weight of 44 (12 from carbon and 32 from oxygen).

Therefore, to calculate the amount of CO2 produced from a gallon of

gasoline, the weight of the carbon in the gasoline is multiplied by

44/12 or 3.7.

Since gasoline is about 87% carbon and 13% hydrogen by weight, the

carbon in a gallon of gasoline weighs 5.5 pounds (6.3 lbs. x .87).

We can then multiply the weight of the carbon (5.5 pounds) by 3.7,

which equals 20 pounds of CO2!

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