Some fuels are better suited to certain
tasks than others. For example it only takes 8 gallons of gasoline
to produce a MBTU's but it takes 125 pounds of wood to produce
the same amount of energy. Can you imagine driving a car around
town with 125 pounds of wood loaded in the trunk?
Use this notion of energy density to
explain the following:
- "Natural gas is the fuel of choice for
heating water, heating homes and cooking."
- · "Coal is an abundant fossil
fuel but it's dirty."
- "Gasoline can never be replaced by biomass
fuels like wood."
- "Burning natural gas to make electricity
is a terrible waste (or a good use) of a precious resource."
EXAMPLE: Wood has 8,000 BTU's (British Thermal
Unit) per pound. How many pounds of wood will it take to produce
1 million BTu's (British Thermal Unit)? Ans. 1,000,000/ 8000
= 125 pounds.
Each pound of wood produces about 2.59 pounds
of carbon dioxide. So burning 125 pounds of wood produces 323.8
pounds of carbon dioxide (2.59 X 125 = 323.8 pounds).