Fossil Fuel Lab Report
By: Sydney O'Rourke-Walker
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (www.eia.gov) an average U.S. citizen uses over 8.2 barrels of oil, .7 tons of coal, and 53 tcf of natural gas through industrial and commercial processes combined. As of 2006 the average number of BTUs used annually per person is 335.9 million. I believe that I will be slightly under, or around average with this statistic.
1. To estimate the amount of fossil fuel I consume in transportation I first kept track of how many miles I drove in 1 week. I ended up driving a close estimate of 175 miles. I then multiplied this number by 4 to get the amount I drive in a month (700 miles) and then again by 12 to see how many I drive in a year (8,400). I then took the number of miles my car gets to the gallon (21) and divided it with the number of miles I drive a year to find out how many gallons of gas I use a year (400). I then took the number of gallons I use a year and multiplied it with 125,000 BTUs, which is the amount of energy in one gallon of gasoline, to find the total number of BTUs I use in one year (50,000,000).
2. To find out the heat energy to heat the water of my house I first weighed my container (107 g). Then I turned on the water faucet so that it dripped about 1 drip per second. I then captured the water in my container for 15 minutes. I then weighed my container with the water in it and got (270 g). I then subtracted the values to find the weight of the water and I got 163 grams. I then converted this into pounds (0.359353 lbs). I then multiplied this number by 35,040 to find the amount of water lost in a whole year and I got 12,591.73. I’m assuming the water that enters the water heater is 40-degrees F and it leaves the heater at 120-degrees F. It takes 1 BTU to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water 1-degree F. So if the water is being raised 80-degrees F it takes 80 BTUs per pound of water. So to find the...