Editorial Feature

Calculating Carbon Emissions From Fuel & Power Consumptions

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The conversion factors provided here will assist in calculating the energy consumption in common units and in determining the emissions of carbon dioxide associated with energy use. This information can then be used to monitor the amount of energy used for the public disclosure of carbon emissions and energy consumptions.

Heat Content of Solid, Liquid and Gaseous Fuels

The table below shows the default gross calorific values of solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. These values can be used when fuel-specific values are not provided by energy suppliers.

Fuel Source
by Weight
By Volume
kWh / tonne
litres / tonne
kWh / litre
Solid Fuels
Coal (weighted average)
7417
-
-
Coke
8445
-
-
Liquid Fuels
Crude oil (weighted average)
12682
1192
10.6
Petroleum products (weighted average)
12751
-
-
Ethane
14071
2730
5.2
Liquefied petroleum gas
13721
1850
7.4
Aviation turbine fuel
12845
1251
10.3
Motor spirit
13087
1362
9.6
Gas/diesel oil
12668
1187
10.7
Fuel oil
12087
1031
11.7
Power station oil
12087
1142
10.6
Gaseous Fuels
Natural gas
-
-
11.00
Coke oven gas
-
-
5.00
Blast furnace gas
-
-
0.83
Landfill gas
-
-
5.8-7.0*
Sewage gas
-
-
5.8-7.0*
Solid Renewables
Domestic wood (2)
2778
-
-
Industrial wood (3)
3306
-
-
Straw
4167
-
-
Poultry litter
2445
-
-
General industrial waste
4445
-
-
Hospital waste
3889
-
-
Municipal solid waste
2639
-
-
Refuse-derived waste
5139
-
-
Tyres
8890
-
-
Source: Annex A of the Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2005
*Depends on methane content of the gas

Carbon Emission Factors

The factors presented below are taken from Annex A of UKETS (01)05 (Guidelines for the Measurement and Reporting of Emissions in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme). These figures are also similar to the National Air Emission Inventory and with the carbon factors given in the generic PP3.02.

Carbon Emission Factors
Fuel
kg C / kWh
kg CO2 / kWh
Grid electricity
Delivered1 0.117 0.43
Primary2 0.0453 0.1661
Natural gas 0.0518 0.19
Coal 0.0817 0.3
Coke 0.1013 0.373
Petroleum coke 0.0927 0.34
Gas/diesel oil 0.068 0.25
Heavy fuel oil 0.0709 0.26
Petrol 0.0655 0.24
LPG 0.05734 0.214
Jet kerosene 0.0655 0.24
Ethane 0.0545 0.2
Naphtha 0.0709 0.26
Refinery gas 0.0545 0.2
1The carbon emission factor for delivered electricity should be used when taking consumption as read from the meter.
2The carbon emission factor for primary electricity should be used in calculations for Climate Change Agreements, where all energy use is reported in terms of primary energy.
3Climate Change Agreement participants should use 0.117 kg C/kWh (0.43 kg CO2/kWh) for Coke.
4Climate Change Agreement participants should use 0.0627 kg C/kWh (0.23 kg CO2/kWh) for LPG.

The United Kingdom government also releases an annual conversion factors workbook to assist UK-based organizations and operations in reporting their greenhouse gas and carbon emissions. The workbook provides the guidelines on how to calculate and report the emissions of the organization accurately, as well as provides updates on any changes that have been made to the conversion factors from the previous year.

This article was updated on the 10th April, 2019.

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