CO2 Per Gallon of Gas Electric Battery Cell


CO2 or Greenhouse gasses emitted per gallon of gas calculation

One of the formulas we use for calculations with our Carbon Footprint Calculator is that 1 gallon of gasoline will generate 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. At first glance this makes no sense. After all a gallon of gas weighs about 6 pounds so how in the world could burning it produce 20 pounds of CO2?

Well, this is where your old chemistry 101 class (or maybe 102) comes into play. We won't get into the detailed formulas here, but the basic idea is that gasoline is made up of a lot of Hydrogen and Carbon. When gasoline is converted into energy by the internal combustion engine in your car, Oxygen from the air is combined with the gasoline to produce power. The end result is that Oxygen is combined with the Carbon in the gasoline and emitted from the car as CO2 in gas (not gasoline) form. The added weight of the Oxygen atoms creates more total weight of CO2 than you had gasoline to start out with. There is really no way around this when you are using gasoline to generate power. It's a function of chemistry and science.

One thing we can learn from science and chemistry, is that it really doesn't matter much what kind of engine or car you drive, one gallon of gas will produce 20 pounds of CO2. What does matter is how much gasoline you use. So good gas mileage, driving less, car pooling, etc. will all help produce less CO2.

Now keep in mind that this is just CO2 or greenhouse gas emitted from burning gas. The type of engine and converters used can make a difference in the amount of smog pollutants and other pollutants that are emitted into the atmosphere. We care a lot about those as well and need to do all we can to keep our air clean and breathable.



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