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How Much Human Energy Is Contained in One Gallon of Gas?

From Dr. David Pimentel:

"That is, the 38,000 kcal in one gallon of gasoline can be transformed into 8.8 KWh, which is about 3 weeks of human work equivalent.(Human work output in agriculture = 0.1 HP, or 0.074 KW, times 120 hours.)"

He, of course, is accounting for the energy lost in the process of converting the gasoline into usable energy.

My calculations excluding the energy lost in the conversion process are as follows:

1 Gallon of Gas = 125,000 BTUs

Source: US Department of Energy

3,400 BTUs = 1 KWH

Source: US Department of Energy, Bonneville Power Mgt.

1 Gallon of Gas = 37 KWH

(125,000 BTUs in a gallon of gas divided by 3,400 BTUs in 1 KWH)

1 Gallon of Gas = 500 hours of human work output

(37 KWH in 1 gallon of gas divided by human work output in agriculture of .074 KW = 500)

Of course, there is some wiggle room with this number. Construction work, for instance, might yield a slightly different number. The size and physical condition of the person performing the work would also make a difference.

*Life after the oil crash*How Much Human Energy Is Contained in One Gallon of Gas?

From Dr. David Pimentel:

"That is, the 38,000 kcal in one gallon of gasoline can be transformed into 8.8 KWh, which is about 3 weeks of human work equivalent.(Human work output in agriculture = 0.1 HP, or 0.074 KW, times 120 hours.)"

He, of course, is accounting for the energy lost in the process of converting the gasoline into usable energy.

My calculations excluding the energy lost in the conversion process are as follows:

1 Gallon of Gas = 125,000 BTUs

Source: US Department of Energy

3,400 BTUs = 1 KWH

Source: US Department of Energy, Bonneville Power Mgt.

1 Gallon of Gas = 37 KWH

(125,000 BTUs in a gallon of gas divided by 3,400 BTUs in 1 KWH)

1 Gallon of Gas = 500 hours of human work output

(37 KWH in 1 gallon of gas divided by human work output in agriculture of .074 KW = 500)

Of course, there is some wiggle room with this number. Construction work, for instance, might yield a slightly different number. The size and physical condition of the person performing the work would also make a difference.

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