It seems that in the United Kingdom we are using less petrol and diesel fuel. I have not noticed the roads getting less busy (except during the Olympics when some roads were very quiet and others choked with traffic) but the figures show that half a billion litres more fuel was sold in the second quarter of 2012 than was sold in the first quarter of 2012.
In this period petrol prices fell by about 10 pence a litre; they have since risen again.
The reduction in fuel sales is probably a result of the combination of a number of factors. Older cars which are very inefficient in their use of fuel are leaving the road and newer more fuel efficient cars are being used. Fuel prices are very high in relative terms and the average person is spending an increasingly larger share of his or her budget on petrol or diesel. That means that people are making economies in the amount of journeys for which they use their cars.
Half a billion litres of less of petrol and diesel has not been burnt in the second quarter, which is half a billion litres worth of less environmental damage. A litre of petrol weighs about 0.711 kilogram. If you burn a litre of petrol you create about 2.3 kilograms of carbon dioxide. You will observe that the weight of carbon dioxide created from burning petrol is more than the weight of the petrol itself. This is because when you burn petrol oxygen mixes with the carbon to create the gas.
Diesel weighs a bit more than petrol and when burnt produces around 10% more carbon dioxide. Diesel usually gives you more miles per litre but its burning creates more harmful particulates.
I will leave it to you to figure out how much carbon dioxide was saved and how much carbon dioxide is produced by the UK’s annual burning of around 32 billion litres of petrol and diesel fuels.
Filed under: carbon emissions, climate change, global warming Tagged: | burning petrol, carbon dioxide cretaed from burning a litre of petrol., cars, diesel, oil, petrol, UK petrol and diesel consumption