Alternative fuels have various energy densities and are measured in a variety of units, making comparisons difficult. The gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) measure allows drivers to compare a particular amount of energy from alternative fuels on an apples-to-apples basis and determine which fuel best meets their needs. Understanding the energy composition of fuels can help with fuel price and driving range comparisons.
What is a GGE? How about a DGE?
A standardized unit for comparing the energy content of all fuels is the GGE. The amount of alternative fuel that has the same energy content as one gallon of conventional gasoline is measured in this unit. Diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) is commonly utilized in medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fuel applications.
How are GGE and DGE values determined?
The energy content of a fuel is measured in British thermal units (Btus) per gallon and is sometimes referred to as the fuel’s lower heating value. The energy content of one gallon of gasoline or diesel is divided by the energy content of the comparison fuel to calculate GGE and DGE. Conventional gasoline, for example, has a Btus value of 116,090 per gallon, while propane has a Btus level of 84,250 per gallon. As a result, 1.38 gallons of propane equals one gallon of conventional gasoline in terms of energy.
The energy content, GGE, and DGE values of conventional and alternative fuels are shown in the table below.
* Heating value is lower. Transportation Energy Data Book, Edition 35, is the source for CNG and hydrogen (Btu/ft3). Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) Fuel Properties is the source for the remaining values.
** E85 sold in the United States currently has roughly 70% ethanol on average. As a result, the energy content of E85 was determined as+
*** When calculating and comparing miles per GGE, keep in mind that electric vehicles are more efficient (on a Btu basis) than combustion engines (see below).
The figures in the table above can be used to normalize fuel levels so that comparisons can be made. If you have 10,000 ft3 of CNG, divide by 125.77 ft3 to get 79.5 GGE. Similarly, divide 139.21 ft3 by 71.83 DGE to find the number of DGEs.
How are GGE and DGE used to compare fuel prices?
To ensure consistency in pricing, fuel prices might be expressed in dollars per GGE or DGE. As a result, the Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report displays prices in terms of energy equivalent (Table 3 in recent reports). If you don’t have access to pricing per GGE or DGE, you can calculate it yourself. For example, if one gallon of E85 costs $2.04, you’d multiply that by 1.32 (see table above) to get $2.69 per GGE after accounting for energy content.
What are the factors that impact how far I can drive between fill ups?
One aspect that influences driving range is the energy content of fuels. When you fill up with a less energy-dense fuel, you won’t be able to travel as far. Tank capacity and vehicle economy, on the other hand, are important considerations.
Some alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) have tank sizes that are comparable to conventional vehicles, while others have larger fuel tanks to compensate for the energy content differential. Vehicles that run on propane and biodiesel, for example, have fuel tanks that are similar in size to those that run on conventional fuel. Both of these fuels have lower energy densities than their traditional fuel counterparts, as seen in the table above, which can result in lower fuel economy and shorter range per tank. In the case of propane, there are bi-fuel vehicles that can run on both conventional and propane fuel for a longer driving range. In addition, propane and biodiesel have a slew of other advantages that can help to make up for the difference.
CNG and hydrogen vehicles, on the other hand, frequently have larger tanks to compensate for their lower energy densities. When acquiring a CNG vehicle, fleets and drivers may have the option of adding an additional CNG storage tank to the vehicle. Bi-fuel CNG vehicles, on the other hand, are available to enhance the range. In terms of hydrogen, these vehicles often have larger fuel tanks.
The size of the tank isn’t the only aspect that influences range; vehicle efficiency also matters. All-electric cars (EVs), for example, are far more efficient than traditional fuel automobiles. EVs use anywhere from 59 percent to 62 percent of the electricity from the grid to power the vehicle, but conventional gasoline vehicles can only convert 17 percent to 21 percent of the energy from fuel to power the vehicle, according to FuelEconomy.gov. This is one of the reasons why electric vehicles outperform conventional vehicles in terms of fuel efficiency, even when comparing fuels on an energy-equivalent basis.
What has more BTU diesel or propane?
The quantity of BTUs in a gallon of diesel is the same as in a gallon of home heating fuel: 138,690. As a result, compared to propane, diesel has 34 percent more BTUs per gallon. Once again, you must account for the cost difference between a gallon of propane (which is normally significantly less) and a gallon of diesel fuel to fairly assess the value. For example, if diesel costs $6.00 per gallon and propane costs $2.00, the cost difference is significant, making propane significantly more cost-effective. As a result, many auto and truck fleet owners are switching to propane as a fuel source.
How many BTUs are in a gallon of #2 diesel?
2 fuel oil is a medium distillate used in diesel engines as well as for heating. The energy content of No. 2 fuel oil is typically 140,000 Btu/gal (7 percent less energy per gallon than No. 6 oil).
How many BTUs are in a gallon of kerosene?
British Thermal Units, or BTUs for short, are used by scientists to measure heat value. The amount of energy required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit is measured in BTUs. It’s the same temperature as a birthday candle flame.
- Each cubic foot of natural gas contains 1,030 BTUs. One gallon of oil has a heat content of 135 cubic feet.
- Each gallon of kerosene contains 131,890 BTUs. One gallon of oil has a heat content of 1.05 gallons.
- Propane has a BTU content of 91,500 per gallon. One gallon of oil produces 1.52 gallons of heat.
- A kilowatt hour of electricity contains 3,413 BTUs (kwh). One gallon of oil has a heat content of 40.6kwh.
- Anthracite coal has a BTU content of 12,000 per pound. One gallon of oil has a heat content of about 12 pounds.
Remember to include any taxes, meter or service charges that the gas or electric companies apply to the bill when comparing unit costs for the various fuels.
Knowing the Cost to Convert from Oil to Gas
Consider the expense of switching from oil to gas before making your selection! There are a number of factors that influence the cost of a conversion, including:
Additionally, here are some things we want our customers to know before making the move from oil to gas:
- According to the US Department of Energy, the US has only 4% of the world’s natural gas reserves, with the remaining 73% concentrated in Russia, Eurasia, and the Middle East.
- According to the international group Methane to Markets, natural gas system losses account for 18 percent of total global methane emissions.
- Fuel conversion, according to the Consumer Energy Council of America, is a “expensive gamble,” and instead of switching fuels, households should modify their oil equipment to accomplish conservation. Conversion is more expensive than updating, and the chances of significant savings are slim.
- Natural gas is highly flammable, and leaks can be quite dangerous. Natural gas heating systems are also the major source of carbon monoxide deaths that are not caused by fire.
- In most cases, neither preventive maintenance nor emergency service are provided by gas utilities. As a result, gas users may be squandering fuel by using improperly tuned equipment, and they may be without aid in the event of a power outage.
Which has more BTU gas or diesel?
Diesel is more potent than gasoline for a variety of reasons. Many sectors that rely on diesel-powered cars will gain from this. Here are some quick things to know about both fuels’ power production.
- Opponents of diesel fail to emphasize that the amount of energy produced by its burning is several times that of ordinary gas. This fuel becomes more efficient as the power output rises.
- Diesel has a higher energy density than gasoline, with 155x 10 to the sixth power joules produced per gallon. Only 13210 to the sixth power joules are produced by gasoline. In other terms, a gallon of diesel creates 147,000 BTUs, but a gallon of ordinary gas produces 125,000 BTUs.
- Diesel fuel is extremely efficient in trucks and large machines, but it is inefficient in autos.
- According to research conducted by the EPA, diesel operates less efficiently in cold weather than ordinary gas. It is known, however, that it performs better at higher altitudes.
Does diesel fuel evaporate slower than gasoline?
Petroleum fuel begins as crude oil, which is found naturally in the earth. When crude oil is refined, it can be divided into a variety of various fuels, including gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, and, of course, diesel.
If you’ve ever compared diesel and gasoline, you’ll notice that they’re not the same. They definitely have a distinct aroma. Diesel fuel is thicker and oilier than gasoline. It takes significantly longer to evaporate than gasoline, and its boiling point is actually higher than that of water.
What’s more efficient propane or kerosene?
Propane heaters are efficient because they do not produce smoke and because the fuel source is less expensive per gallon than kerosene. On a single tank, you can run the heater for several days. Furthermore, propane heaters can quickly warm up your garage, and you get more heat per square foot of area.
One disadvantage of utilizing a propane portable heater is that it necessitates adequate ventilation in order to operate safely and efficiently. If your garage isn’t well ventilated, you’ll need to add some vents before installing the device.
The fuel source for kerosene heaters provides more BTUs per gallon than propane. As a result, kerosene heaters use less fuel and provide better value for your money than propane heaters.
However, because kerosene heaters have a higher carbon footprint, they must be properly ventilated, or the carbon monoxide build-up can be extremely dangerous to your health and safety.
How many BTUs are in a propane tank?
The structure and effectiveness of your grill, the heat setting, and the amount of time in use all play a role in determining how long a 20-pound propane tank will survive.
Approximately 430,000 BTUs of liquid propane are contained in a normal 20-pound propane cylinder. Propane has a potential heat output of 91,502 BTUs per gallon and roughly 21,548 BTUs per pound.
On a grill with a 30,000 BTU maximum output on medium heat, a full 20-pound tank should cook for 19 to 20 hours.
While gas grills have long been popular for outdoor grilling due to its fast heat and consistent temperature control, an infrared propane grill is another popular alternative.
Try an Infrared Grill for Higher Efficiency
Unlike traditional propane grills, which heat the cooking grates with an open flame, infrared grills use a conductive element to transfer heat upward to the cooking surface. As a result, they can run at lower BTU levels, often between 60 and 80 BTUs per square inch of surface. Those who choose infrared grills believe that the technology flawlessly sears meat, provides uniform heat, and reduces flare-ups from cooking surface drippings.