Source for calculations below: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=73&t=11
Frequently Asked Questions
How much carbon dioxide is produced when different fuels are burned?
Different fuels emit different amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) in relation to the energy they produce when burned. To analyze emissions across fuels, compare the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of energy output or heat content.
Pounds of CO2 emitted per million British thermal units (Btu) of energy for various fuels:
Coal (anthracite) 228.6
Natural gas 117.0
While it's certainly to our advantage to switch from coal to natural gas (which generates slightly more than half the CO2 per unit of heat), natural gas still produces significant carbon pollution. We may not have the luxury of continuing to burn ANY fossil fuels. That will become clearer as we continue to learn more about how much carbon the atmosphere can handle without altering the environment so much that life as we know it becomes impossible.
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