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The MCC Workshop Energy Technical Reference Page

A collection of things you might find useful.

Energy Unit Conversions
  • 1 BTU = 1055 Joules
  • 1 BTU = 252 calories
  • 1 BTU = Amount in 1 Wood Match
  • 1 KWH = 3414 BTU
  • 1 KW = 56.9 BTU/Minute
  • 1 Watt = 3.414 BTU/Hour
  • 1 Watt = One Joule per second
  • 1 Watt = 10 Ergs per second
  • 1 Horsepower = 745 Watts
  • 1 Horsepower = 2,543 BTUs per Hour
  • 1 Horsepower = 550 ft/lbs per sec
  • 1 Horsepower = 33000 ft/lbs per minute
  • 1 Horsepower = 178.2 Calories/Second
  • 1 Horsepower = 10,692 Calories/Minute
  • 1 U.S. gallon has 231 cubic inches or 3.785 liters.

Energy content of some fuels
  • 1 Gallon of Gasoline contains 124,000 BTUs
  • 1 Gallon of E85 Ethanol contains 84,400 BTUs (72% of gasoline)
  • 1 Gallon of Methanol contains 62,800 BTUs
  • 1 Gallon of Fuel Oil (Heating) contains 140,000 BTUs
  • 1 Gallon of LNG contains 75,000 BTUs
  • 1 Ton of coal contains 16,000,000 to 26,000,000 BTUs
  • 100 Cubic Feet of Natural Gas (Therm) contains 100,000 BTUs
  • 100 Cubic Feet of Hydrogen contains 32,500 BTUs
  • 100 Cubic Feet of Propane contains 250,000 BTUs
  • 1 Kilogram of Hydrogen contains 125,000 BTUs
  • 1 Kilogram of hydrogen is 11.1 Cubic Meters (392 Cu Ft) at atm pressure.
  • 1 Cord of Hardwood Contains 24,000,000 BTUs
  • 1 Cord of Softwood Contains 15,000,000 BTUs
  • 1 Square foot of Sunshine in space contains 428 BTU/Hr or 127 Watts
  • 1 Square foot of Sunshine on earth (US average) contains 298 BTU/Hr or 87 watts

1 standard cord of wood= 8 feet x 4 feet x 4 feet = 128 cu feet = approx 4,000 pounds

1 face cord of wood= 8 feet x 4 feet x 16 inches = 42.7 cu feet = approx 1,333 pounds

1 cord of wood contains the same energy as 192 Kilograms of hydrogen in 1/600th the space


Some more energy related measurements
  • 1 barrel (bbl) = 42 gallons = 5.615 cubic feet = 159.0 liters
  • 1 barrel (oil) = 6,000,000 BTUs
  • 1 short ton (ton) = 2,000 pounds = 6.65 barrels (crude oil)
  • 1 metric ton (tonn) = 2,200 pounds
  • 1 therm = 100,000 Btu
  • 1 ton of TNT equivalent is equal to 4,186 megajoules or 3,967,772 BTUs
  • 1 quad = 1 quadrillion Btu = 1015 Btu or 293,071 Gigawatts
  • 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh) = 1,000 watt-hours
  • 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) = 1,000 kWh or 1,000,000 watt-hours
  • 1 gigawatt-hour (GWh) = 1,000 MWh or 1,000,000,000 watt-hours
  • 1 terawatt-hour (TWh) = 1,000 GWh or 1,000,000,000,000 watt-hours

A quadrillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000 (one thousand million million; 1015; SI prefix is peta-)

One Quad is:
  • 8,007,000,000 Gallons (US) of gasoline
  • 293,071,000,000 Kilowatt-hours (kWh)
  • 36,000,000 Tons of coal
  • 970,434,000,000 Cubic feet of natural gas

The US uses 5.05 quads of energy a month or 60.6 quads per year.


Some interesting Energy Factoids
  • A Boeing 747-400 burns aproximately 5 Gal of fuel per mile
  • A Class 1 freight train uses 341 BTU's to move 1 ton one mile. (USDOT)
  • A Typical Semi Truck uses 3,357 BTU's to move 1 ton one mile. (USDOT)
  • A Boeing 747 Freighter uses 9,600 BTU's to move 1 ton one mile. (USDOT)
  • An F-14 Tomcat at full throttle burns 80 Gal of fuel per Minute
  • A top Fuel Dragster gets the equivalent of 1/18 MPG (18Gal/Mile)
  • The fuel pump on that same Top Fuel car pumps 65 GPM
  • The average US household uses 92 Million BTUS of Energy per Year (2001)
  • 48% of this countrys electricity is produced by coal. 20% is Nuclear
  • 18% of electric production is from natural gas, and 11% is Hydroelectric
  • 7% of our Total energy comes from renewable resources -
  • 40% of ALL the energy we use comes from petroleum
  • 78% of the oil we use is used for transportation.
  • Energy required for 1 Galaxy Class Warp drive: 4,857 Quadrillion BTUs/Minute



Gasoline Gallon Equivalents
Fuel Type Unit of Measure BTUs/Unit Gallon Equivalent
Gasoline (regular) gallon 114,100 1.00 gallon
Diesel #2 gallon 129,500 0.88 gallons
Biodiesel (B100) gallon 118,300 0.96 gallons
Biodiesel (B20) gallon 127,250 0.90 gallons
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) cubic foot 900 126.67 cu. ft.
Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) gallon 75,000 1.52 gallons
Propane (LPG) gallon 84,300 1.35 gallons
Ethanol (E100) gallon 76,100 1.50 gallons
Ethanol (E85) gallon 81,800 1.39 gallons
Methanol (M100) gallon 56,800 2.01 gallons
Methanol (M85) gallon 65,400 1.74 gallons
Electricity kilowatt hour(kWh) 3,414 33.56 kWhs


U.S. Energy use for the month of October 2009
Type of energyTrillions of BTU'sMillions of Megawatt HoursAmount
Electricity1,200351Not Applicable
Natural Gas1,8005271.8 Trillion Cubic Ft
Gasoline1,36439911 Billion Gallons
Diesel Fuel7002056.2 Billion Gallons
Totals5,0641,482A bunch!!



Some useful and fun external links


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