Oldie but goodie: How 6lbs of gasoline turns into 19lbs of CO2

At TerraPass, as the summer travel season gets underway, we notice an uptick in interest around the carbon footprint of travel. We thought we would take a moment to revisit this blog post about how 6lbs of gasoline turns into 19lbs of CO2

The curious (or suspicious-minded) among you have occasionally wondered about our carbon footprint calculator’s claim that one gallon of gas turns into about twenty pounds of carbon dioxide exhaust. Let’s walk through the math.

Short answer:

When you burn something, it might feel like you’re turning it into lightness, air, nothingness. But what you’re really doing is simultaneously vaporizing it and chemically bonding it with oxygen in the air. It’s the weight of that oxygen that makes up the difference.

Carbon dioxide — or CO2 — is one carbon atom joined to two oxygen atoms. Carbon dioxide. Oxygen is a little bit heavier than carbon, so when you stick two oxygen atoms onto every available carbon atom, you end up with an amount of CO2 that is roughly triple the weight of the gasoline.

Long answer:

One gallon of gas weighs about 6.25 pounds. The weight fluctuates with temperature and octane, but this figure is good enough for government work.

Let’s pretend that gas is entirely made up of octane (more properly referred to as 2,2,4-trimethylpentane). It’s not, but that also doesn’t really matter for our purposes. Octane contains 8 carbon atoms (hence the oct- prefix, like Dr. Octopus) and 18 hydrogen atoms. Carbon has a molecular weight of 12 and hydrogen has a molecular weight of 1, so octane has a total molecular weight of 114 (8 x 12 + 18 x 1).

Oxygen has a molecular weight of 16, so CO2 has a total molecular weight of 44 (12 + 16 + 16). Every molecule of octane makes 8 molecules of CO2, with a total molecular weight of 352 (44 x 8).

6.25 pounds x (352 / 114) = 19.3 pounds

Et voila! All it takes to convert one gallon of gas into 20-ish pounds of carbon dioxide is some highly confusing algebra!

Bonus material:

Gas doesn’t burn 100% cleanly. You also get some carbon monoxide and other nasty stuff coming out of your tailpipe. But that doesn’t really affect our math very much. The official World Resources Institute conversion rate that we use in our carbon calculator is 19.564 pounds of CO2 per gallon of gasoline. Although we round this number to 20 pounds when we speak informally of the amount of carbon dioxide from one gallon of gasoline, all of our online calculators use the more precise figures.

Also, bear in mind that the 19.564 pounds of CO2 are just the direct result of burning gasoline. The process of extracting, refining, and transporting the product adds an extra few pounds per gallon to the actual environmental impact of filling your gas tank.

Finally, your exhaust is quite a bit heavier if you count the steam that is generated. Those 16 hydrogen atoms attached to every octane molecule have to go somewhere. They combine with oxygen to create water (H2O). Every gallon of gas creates roughly 8 pounds of water vapor. And water vapor is, believe it or not, a greenhouse gas, although not one we generally concern ourselves with, for a variety of reasons.

Aren’t you sorry you asked?


Author Bio



  1. botanical slimming - November 19, 2014

    Fine write-up, fine to determine men and women taking some societal accountability.

  2. mont blanc starwalker - November 19, 2014

    I just fitted the actual app. We has been renowned the “first recording, ” assigned the idea any password, after that tried to transfer a number of examination pictures from the camera spin. From a minute roughly, typically the software package crashed. I opened it online backup. I visited the particular cd (to find out if typically the images possessed imported or maybe not). After i enter in my username and password, your entire software package collisions. Initially, I assumed I would have typed the username and password incorrectly, but it can accomplished exactly the same thing about 10 occasions now. Do they offer deal for this?

  3. buy wow gold - November 20, 2014

    I am in lovee with these buy wow gold!! They can be so manner and nice, and they go adorable with pretty much anything at all!!! We have three buy wow gold and these are my favored to this point! I am so glad my mom acquired these for me ! I find myself bringing them nearly each day. And other men and women compliment on them too :)Just make sure you spray them before bringing

  4. meizitang strong version - November 20, 2014

    FYI: We experimented with duplicating the particular BlogWealthMaker web link and Trend Micros obstructed this any malicious web site consequently beware!

  5. giubbotti moncler - November 20, 2014

    sirsome cells aren’t going to be editable. how do many of us modify all of them Its Excellent Computer software,,,,, The invaluable. Could you advise with regard to modifying the option of “Person liable for Sighning”.

  6. goedkope woolrich jassen - November 20, 2014

    My partner and i transmitted this SSH step to Diet program Coda while using the clipboard. My partner and i utilized PasteBot by Tapbots to seize the main element out from the clipboard in the Mac and put this within the clip-board on my iPad.

  7. doudoune moncler - November 21, 2014

    You will discover usually disadvantages low-priced an object do some simple some other thing., From the above items I actually think you may have in comparison the ipad tablet which has a Atom powered Notebook Properly Some recognize some things that happen to be definitely not within Apple’s ipad device. Although the iPad has its constraints, it has a excellent qualities. You can easily hold and it has excellent efficiency. We can say that apple ipad will a great arised including apple iphone.

  8. canada goose paris - November 21, 2014

    With havin a whole lot articles and also articles ever come across virtually any issues connected with plagorism or terme conseillé abuse? Our web-site provides extensive connected with exceptional articles We’ve sometimes developed myself personally or even outsourced nonetheless it genuine a great deal of it truly is gulping down it up all round the web without my consent. Did you know just about any ways to lessen content from currently being tricked? I would truly appreciate it.

  9. doudoune moncler homme - November 22, 2014

    Heya, several man titled Blumenthal has now lifted your personal infographic as well as submitted the item in the weblog! I actually can’t say for sure when he became permission or not, so only transferring it coupled. This is their hyperlink:

  10. カナダグース 通販 - November 22, 2014

    カナダグース 通販 http://www.phdream.co.kr/userfiles/image/cananda-goose-7934160502.html

  11. chanel 財布 新作 2013 レディース セール - November 22, 2014

    chanel 財布 新作 2013 レディース セール http://www.infochiusi.it/public/Image/photo/chanel-2361822284.html

  12. moncler キッズ ダウンベスト セール - November 22, 2014

    ねえ、 Weisuoの、それでとしたグラしており、たちがしなければ、それはっているではありません
    moncler キッズ ダウンベスト セール http://www.temp.meditation2002.org/images/moncler-3290961.html

  13. プラダ トート カナパ ミニ 店舗 - November 22, 2014

    がらのをえ、それだけにあるため、でAOは、は、チェーン、のlet はにれてして、のにまれているをバックスローされたではないのでが、このにしてである、そのようながヤンはにれてらず10よりもストロークをし、らのにがっている、それはに、をつかないようにえたことができ、はにみはありません
    プラダ トート カナパ ミニ 店舗 http://www.gunico.se/UserFiles/Image/prada-1703572.html

  14. www.le-seven.fr - November 22, 2014

    Absolutely no leader ever before has been inquire to discharge 10 years involving rear taxes. You actually Leftist main character Buffett in addition to Obama’s good friend nonetheless is in debt for 2006 rear fees. Where’s typically the frustration from your eventually left. nIf Romney’s older taxes were completely wrong although are actually absorbed in long ago. Our 6th Figures salary last year The government arised us on a nothing at all $ 111. teen. nWhen anyone enjoy from the opponents rules. You will find zero Principles. nSo we all placed the principles initial in addition to previous. nQuote ” Saul Alinsky

  15. christian louboutin paris - November 22, 2014

    Well your own post had been worth how much job it took us to really see it. You would probably certainly not believe how many hoops I had developed to bounce to see your own personal post.

  16. woolrich - November 23, 2014

    When the accusation is definitely fake, Romney can readily prove that phony. Almost all she has to perform is usually let go the taxes. Often Romney is actually covering some thing, or they thinks mulishness is actually a far more presidential quality than visibility as well as reliability. No matter what, she has wrongly diagnosed.

  17. mont blanc pens - November 24, 2014

    I can’t work these kinds of operators in the Windows 7.

  18. moncler uomo - November 25, 2014

    Not any chief executive at any time is consult to discharge 10 years involving rear income tax. Anyone Leftist main character Warren Buffett and Obama’s buddy still owes 2006 backside fees. Where’s often the tempers in the left. nIf Romney’s older taxes have been inappropriate although happen to be taken in sometime ago. My very own six Figures income this past year Uncle Sam strike us with a nothing at all money 111. 18. nWhen anyone participate in through the adversaries policies. You can find simply no Principles. nSo most of us placed the guidelines first and also very last. nQuote very well Saul Alinsky

  19. The North Face danmark - November 25, 2014

    The golden triangle tour is the finest tour of India presented in a splendid fashion by VTS in the form of golden triangle train tour itinerary. This aspect of north India tourism invariably is the benchmark of India��s tourism industry.The three cities of delhi,Agra and jaipur ,being extravagantly rich in India��s historical and cultural remarks ?in the form of historic ?monumental palaces,forts,tombs and other related sites. These three golden cities are the main targets of the golden triangle tour where you get to glimpse around 10 world heritage sites and a wonder of the world, the taj mahal in Agra. The Golden Triangle Tour by Vaibhav India Tourism (VTS) could be an excellent choice for any tourist as it is the most comfortable way to overview India��s age old culture and its exemplified forms within a short period of time. Golden cities of Delhi agra and jaipur are now a well travelled route as it is home to India��s? iconic historical places? that? includes magnificent monuments like? red fort ,qutub minar,humayun��s? tomb in delhi; and fatehpur? sikri ,the taj? mahal? and? agra? fort? in? agra,taj mahal in agra.Also you get to go for an extended golden triangle tour of longer duration and view the modern architectures in Delhi like President House, Parliament House, India Gate, Lotus Temple, Birla Temple, Akshardham Temple,and many more? are hosted by India ?tourism ?packages by VTS. With the globalization of tourism India tourism wonders of India as the world��s heritage and so you would definitely get overwhelmed by going for an India visit.

  20. diesel jeans site officiel - November 25, 2014

    2. Download Movie 43 movie At a higher speed, double click on the movie selected, Movie 43 in this case, to download it. You have the right software for download,DVD copy, movie player, CD burning and VIP technical support for any kind of help you need.

  21. Hollister madrid - November 25, 2014

    If you want to stay in a luxury hotel that too on a discounted rate then you can also plan your trip during the off season, then you might get some good deal or may be even 50% discount. Internet is also the best place to find these deals, online booking is getting very popular these days due to the comfort it lends to the consumers. Online booking tends to be less expensive, you can get whole list of New Orleans luxury hotels. Finding a luxury hotel is not a big deal on the internet, you can easily get plethora of options. Usually online booking is done using credit or debit cards, which needs to be done within a specific period of time.

  22. hogan scarpe - November 25, 2014

    its just like Is actually with LG Times note RD400, a week backside in error a few documents or even state some process data file or even individuals claim erased today every time my partner and i wordpress plugin LOCAL AREA NETWORK wire laptop computer do not identify the item. Remember to suggest like any motorists need to be put in or perhaps what exactly??

  23. Sac Chanel Pas Cher - November 26, 2014

    Or toute cette multitude attendait depuis le matin. Bon nombre de ces

  24. Sac Chanel Pas Cher - November 26, 2014

    pavé alternatif de marbre blanc et noir. À quelques pas de nous, un énorme

  25. michael kors watches - November 26, 2014

    thank you for this post, I am a big fan of this internet site would like to proceed updated.

  26. kors outlet - November 26, 2014

    I really like your writing style, great information, thank you for putting up :D.

  27. michael kors shoes - November 26, 2014

    Woh I your posts, saved to my bookmarks!

  28. buy wow gold - November 26, 2014

    I got my initial pair of buy wow gold (classic, quick, candy tone). These are now type and awesome I could not accept it as true! The particular pricing for these buy wow gold at times headaches individuals, yet children your shopper, they’re just worth the cash! A buy wow gold really are my favorite device in my storage room. I just mean to find some other binocular (likely upright bleak w/buttons) it winter time, and that i is unable to trust Now i’m indicating this valuable, on the other hand will be able to unlikey wait for an extraordinary the weather in the future!

  29. Slimming capsules - November 26, 2014

    Maxis as well as DiGi get started offering iphone4 in M’siaBy SHARIDAN E. ALI LEONG DANGLED YEE

  30. doudoune parajumpers pas cher - November 27, 2014

    il a appelé à sa place grandir venir tourner en vente aux enchères à tout et de l’argent réel généreusement passé à l’intérieur de votre combinaison verte. [5] [6]Un programme de télévision de la télévision avait interrompu une fois de plus de 5 peut-être 2014

  31. doudoune moncler homme - November 27, 2014

    Just about every application or perhaps computer software has their benefits and also crons so it has the entirely wrong sighting the actual negative things about it. They have almost all of the very good factors so that enough time travels these kind of faults will likely be soughted out. . -= GadgetGuide4U’s previous blog… Digg Software Intended for Android mobile phone is already Avaiable =-.

  32. canada goose femme - November 27, 2014

    Great perform! Enjoy seeing typically the movement and also understanding how a few of these small websites function. Thanks!

  33. louboutin femme - November 27, 2014

    This kind of software package at this point failures each time We attempt to acccess the idea considering that the final upgrade! I will no longer entry a number of extremely important images. Make sure you tell me what direction to go to fix this particular! I actually cant lose these types of pics!

  34. louis vuitton shop online usa - November 27, 2014

    definitely is fibromyalgia pains Hogging your company’s Brain’s programs?might be fibromyalgia syndrome serious pain prompting fibro haze by just robbing the human brain of software? discover what we are sensitive to it and / or what can help you.
    louis vuitton shop online usa http://informaticsalabang.com/brand/?lian=louis+vuitton+shop+online+usa

  35. wow gold - November 27, 2014

    They’re outstanding! wow gold http://www.ugameoffer.com/ are so extra nice versus the ‘knock offs’ I had earlier than. Immediately following hefty produce, any sweater materials does are inclined to felt together a little bit, although an important sweater hair comb protects doing it.

  36. cheap wow gold - November 27, 2014

    Won’t ever prefer to get these kind of out! They are very wonderful. We are on my small little feet hours and also other cheap wow gold wounded the your feet. Indoors and up they’ve been terrific, especially with many of our listed below 9 time. I wolud purchase a copy in every coloring, the reality is these are definitely my following combine. I’ve sprayed each by using a repellant in order to hold blemishes off.

  37. URL - November 27, 2014

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More Infos here: terrapass.com/uncategorized/oldie-goodie-6lbs-gasoline-turns-19lbs-co2/ […]

  38. j3cl - November 27, 2014

    924738 483221I genuinely enjoy searching by means of on this internet web site , it holds superb articles . 629689

  39. aaa replica bags - November 27, 2014

    adorer cette chaussure expédition rapide superbe grande transaction merci
    aaa replica bags http://www.cedarweb.co.uk/

  40. longchamp outletin paris - November 28, 2014

    Likewise, availing theservices of private tutorsdoes not mean that your child lacks intelligence. To tell the truth, even geniuses can still require the assistance of tutors. The reason for this is simple � bright children still have to contend with other bright students in the class. They have to keep pace with the competition so they will not fall behind their competitors but remain on top.?

  41. Gucci Shoulder Bags - November 28, 2014

    très vite, j’ai eu exactement ce qui a été commandé, bon vendeur achèterait encore du vendeur

  42. Replica Designer Handbags - November 29, 2014

    Great transaction. Item as described. Quick ship. Thanks!
    Replica Designer Handbags http://www.adoption-reunion-registry.com/

  43. プラダ ポーチ ピンク 本物 - November 29, 2014

    プラダ ポーチ ピンク 本物 http://promdeva.com/userfiles/image/photo/prada-7468941781.html

  44. ルイヴィトン バッグ メンズ タイガ アウトレット - November 29, 2014

    のNianliaoyiju :いTianxuan !つまり
    ルイヴィトン バッグ メンズ タイガ アウトレット http://pro-equus.com/Image/news/image/louisvuitton-9796390168.html

  45. UGG ブーツ 店舗 新作 - November 29, 2014

    UGG ブーツ 店舗 新作 http://boltondrivinginstructor.co.uk/userfiles/image/photo/ugg-2420215719.html

  46. wow gold - November 29, 2014

    Like these wow gold but is not sure why my personal little girl’s hallux makes dealing with them all. This is actually the secondary precious time.

  47. カナダグース レディース 新作 - November 29, 2014

    カナダグース レディース 新作 http://date4me.co.il/admin/files/Image/photo/cananda-goose-2879097493.html

  48. UGG ブーツ アウトレット 楽天 販売 - November 29, 2014

    UGG ブーツ アウトレット 楽天 販売 http://languhospital.com/image/photo/ugg-6016983078.html

  49. hollister france - November 29, 2014

    sur votre marché comprendra des secteurs qui donnera même connecté avec des temps de vote antérieures aux élections présidentielles pour la raison qui est devenu obtenu en 2012 et ainsi beaucoup d’entre nous de vote indiqué dans les élections de mi-mandat en 2010

  50. baby uggs - November 29, 2014

    Utterly pent content material, thanks for information.
    baby uggs http://babyuggs.official-sale.com

  51. ugg canada - November 29, 2014

    You made some clear points there. I did a search on the issue and found most people will approve with your website.
    ugg canada http://uggcanada.official-sale.com

  52. baby uggs - November 29, 2014

    Somebody essentially assist to make significantly posts I’d state. That is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to create this particular publish extraordinary. Excellent job!
    baby uggs http://babyuggs.nova-shortsale.com

  53. ugg australia - November 29, 2014

    I real glad to find this web site on bing, just what I was looking for 😀 also bookmarked.
    ugg australia http://uggaustralia.nova-shortsale.com

  54. bailey button uggs - November 29, 2014

    I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is pretty value enough for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you probably did, the web shall be a lot more helpful than ever before.
    bailey button uggs http://baileybuttonuggs.nova-shortsale.com

  55. uggs for men - November 29, 2014

    Real fantastic information can be found on website.
    uggs for men http://uggsformen.official-sale.com

  56. ugg - November 29, 2014

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, such as you wrote the ebook in it or something. I think that you simply can do with a few % to power the message house a little bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog. An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.
    ugg http://ugg.official-sale.com

  57. mens ugg boots - November 29, 2014

    Good blog! I truly love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I could be notified when a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a great day!
    mens ugg boots http://mensuggboots.nova-shortsale.com

  58. mens uggs - November 29, 2014

    Fantastic website. A lot of helpful information here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks for your sweat!
    mens uggs http://mensuggs.nova-shortsale.com

  59. uggs for men - November 29, 2014

    Woh I enjoy your articles, saved to bookmarks!
    uggs for men http://uggsformen.0rg.name

  60. ugg sale boots - November 29, 2014

    I have been examinating out some of your articles and i must say pretty clever stuff. I will definitely bookmark your website.
    ugg sale boots http://uggsaleboots.0rg.name

  61. uggs black friday deals - November 29, 2014

    hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve certainly picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using this site, since I experienced to reload the web site lots of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and can damage your high quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for much more of your respective intriguing content. Make sure you update this again soon..
    uggs black friday deals http://uggsblackfridaydeals.0rg.name

  62. 【ショルダーバッグ】【新品】ルイヴィトン LOUIS VUITTON ダミエ グラフィット ミックGM ショルダーバッグ グレー N41105 - November 29, 2014

    【ショルダーバッグ】【新品】ルイヴィトン LOUIS VUITTON ダミエ グラフィット ミックGM ショルダーバッグ グレー N41105 http://hotel-regina-online.de/lv-jp/58y802du58.html

  63. peuterey outlet roma - November 30, 2014

    excellent publish, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector do not understand this. You must proceed your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  64. giubbotti peuterey uomo - November 30, 2014

    I have been browsing online more than 3 hours these days, but I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It’s pretty worth sufficient for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the internet might be a lot more useful than ever before.

  65. ugg uk - November 30, 2014

    I’ve learn several just right stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how a lot attempt you set to make such a wonderful informative site.
    ugg uk http://ugguk.official-sale.com

  66. ugg gloves - November 30, 2014

    I keep listening to the news update speak about getting boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the best site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i get some?
    ugg gloves http://ugggloves.official-sale.com

  67. ugg canada - November 30, 2014

    I am also commenting to let you understand what a fabulous experience my friend’s child developed reading through your web site. She discovered numerous details, including how it is like to possess an ideal helping style to let the others without difficulty have an understanding of specified grueling subject areas. You undoubtedly did more than our own desires. Thank you for producing these great, healthy, informative and in addition cool tips about that topic to Mary.
    ugg canada http://uggcanada.official-sale.com

  68. ugg - November 30, 2014

    Just want to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness on your post is simply excellent and i could think you are knowledgeable on this subject. Well together with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with coming near near post. Thank you one million and please keep up the rewarding work.
    ugg http://ugg.nova-shortsale.com

  69. uggs australia - November 30, 2014

    Simply to follow up on the update of this subject matter on your web-site and would want to let you know simply how much I liked the time you took to put together this useful post. Within the post, you actually spoke on how to really handle this thing with all convenience. It would be my own pleasure to get together some more concepts from your blog and come as much as offer others what I have benefited from you. Thank you for your usual terrific effort.
    uggs australia http://uggsaustralia.nova-shortsale.com

  70. uggboots - November 30, 2014

    Good blog! I really love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!
    uggboots http://uggboots.official-sale.com

  71. uggs uk - November 30, 2014

    I have recently started a blog, the info you provide on this website has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.
    uggs uk http://uggsuk.nova-shortsale.com

  72. ugg shoes - November 30, 2014

    Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I to find It really helpful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to offer one thing again and aid others such as you aided me.
    ugg shoes http://uggshoes.nova-shortsale.com

  73. Louis Vuitton 財布 修理 安い - November 30, 2014

    の。 Sentryはにすぐにがにて
    Louis Vuitton 財布 修理 安い http://bensberg-hotel.de/lv/28o08v15f39.html

  74. polo hollister - November 30, 2014

    What you need to know about Melbourne airport transfer

  75. la martina espanatiendaonline - November 30, 2014

    Training: Make sure the college you choose offers traineeship or on-the-job training in its final year. This training will give you a hands-on experience in graphic design and equip you with superior knowledge and skills to get the best placements in the industry. Comprehensive & Industry relevant course curriculum: A graphic design institute will provide you comprehensive knowledge about the elements of the graphic designing field.Make sure the course is exhaustive and industry oriented which will help you get a better understanding of the course and your job. A good college will provide you knowledge and training in Different Elements & principles of Design, Drawing techniques & approaches, Editorial Designs, Typography Skills, and Packaging Design etc.Ensure that the course and the training provided by the design institute are in sync with the industry requirements. A course that has been prepared by professionals from the industry will equip with superior knowledge and better skills and help you to get good placements in top organizations housed in the metropolitan cities.

  76. flipkart coupon codes - December 2, 2014

    This really is absolutely appropriate place as heightened inside site. Recognize raving about in existance.

  77. tradus coupons - December 2, 2014

    This is certainly extraordinarily applicable position as raised into the blogging site. Understand talking about all across.