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Q: What is the amount of fuel used in ( Answered ,   2 Comments )
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 Subject: What is the amount of fuel used in Category: Relationships and Society Asked by: nayna-ga List Price: \$5.00 Posted: 01 Aug 2002 11:37 PDT Expires: 31 Aug 2002 11:37 PDT Question ID: 48121
 ```To use in a discussion on ecology: What is the amount of fuel used in: a. one around-the-world air plane flight (say, Chicago to Milan if you'd like a standardized example) versus b. the fuel use in one year of the average U.S. one-person usage of a car. I would prefer links with a technical basis versus someone's speculation only. The answer I assume would be in gallons of fuel, with different fuels being used, so hopefully the links would include reference to information on the fuels, such as name, density, cost, political accessibility, etc. so please include links. If there is any ambiguity, please comment on that first, so that I may not misdirect you. Thanks!``` Clarification of Question by nayna-ga on 01 Aug 2002 11:38 PDT `It can be average U.S. one-family car usage, not one-person. Thanks.` Clarification of Question by nayna-ga on 01 Aug 2002 11:40 PDT `Plus, no need to rush on this. I'll be gone for a few weeks.`
 Subject: Re: What is the amount of fuel used in Answered By: eiffel-ga on 12 Aug 2002 14:07 PDT Rated:
 ```Hi nayna, According to British Airways, a 747-400 plane cruises at 576 mph (927 km/h), burns 12,788 liters (3378 US gallons) of fuel per hour, and carries 409 passengers when full: http://www.britishairways.com/flights/factfile/airfleet/docs/7474.shtml If the plane is 75% full, one passenger is carried 22.2 km for each liter of fuel burned (52.2 miles for each US gallon of fuel burned). This fuel efficiency exceeds that of almost all cars, when the driver is travelling alone. According to the Global Distance Calculator http://www.indo.com./distance/ Chicago is 7315 km (4545 miles) from Milan, making a return journey of 14630 km (9090 miles). Therefore, 658 liters (173 US gallons) of fuel would be burned to carry a passenger from Chicago to Milan and return. The average annual distance driven per car in the USA is given as 17862 km (11099 miles) in a report which quotes figures from the International Road Federation: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/94713ad445ff1425ca25682000192af2/73f5696b10a8f71dca2569d000164394!OpenDocument At a fuel consumption of 30 miles per gallon (12.75 km per liter) this would consume 370 gallons (1401 liters) per year. On this basis, the car has the greater fuel consumption. However, your "standard" journey of Chicago to Milan is hardly a "round-the-world" flight. The circumference of the world is 40074km (24901 miles) and a plane journey of this distance would consume 1805 liters (477 gallons). On that basis, the plane has the greater fuel consumption. There are several assumptions incorporated into the above calculations, such as how fuel efficient the car is, and how full the aircraft is. So I thought it would be useful to check how others have approached questions similar to yours. On the "How Stuff Works" site is the following question: "How much fuel does an international plane use for a trip?" http://www.howstuffworks.com/question192.htm They arrive at a figure of 100 miles per gallon per passenger for a 747. However, they assume that the plane is carrying 500 passengers, which accounts for most of the difference. Obviously, there are many other environmental variables which could be considered, depending on type of fuel used, environmental costs of obtaining the fuel, environmental costs of building the cars and planes and their associated infrastructure, etc. Sometimes, environmental costs are expressed in terms of carbon emissions, and the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management publishes some interesting estimates: http://www.eccm.uk.com/readyreck.pdf (requires PDF viewer) They report that three return flights from London to New York (33510 km or 20822 miles total) would emit 1000 kg (2205 pounds) of carbon per person, whereas a year's driving in an "average British car" would emit 1100 kg (2425 pounds) of carbon. The "transport" page of the Climate Action Network http://www.climnet.org/publicawareness/transport.html calculates carbon emissions for some typical European journeys. Sometimes the car wins; sometimes the plane wins. For Amsterdam to Rome (1297 km or 805 miles) the carbon emission is 118 grams per passenger km for the plane and 119 grams per passenger km for the car. The Chooseclimate.org site includes a carbon calculator for any airline flight, which takes account of the different carbon emissions for takeoff, cruising and landing. Full details are provided of the method of calculation: http://www.chooseclimate.org/ (click on the "Flying off to a warmer climate" link) Finally, an untitled page by Toriko Kino performs the calculations for a return flight from Tokyo to New York, and concludes that the energy consumed is the same as that which would be provided by the food that a person eats over 14 years! http://global.horiba.com/gaiapress_e/eu/eu06/eu6_1.htm I hope this answer gives you some material to use in your ecology discussion. Additional link: "Planet profile" for Earth http://pds.jpl.nasa.gov/planets/welcome/earth.htm Google searches used: "fuel consumption" car plane ://www.google.com/search?q=%22fuel+consumption%22+car+plane "global distance calculator" ://www.google.com/search?q=%22global+distance+calculator%22 747 specifications site:boeing.com ://www.google.com/search?q=747+specifications+site%3Aboeing.com "diameter of the earth" ://www.google.com/search?q=%22diameter+of+the+earth%22 Regards, eiffel-ga```
 nayna-ga rated this answer: `terrific`

 ```Hmmm, this can be a sticky issue judging by this article from ananova.com "Couple Split Up After Row Over Plane Fuel Consumption A Dutch couple have split up after an argument over the fuel consumption of an aeroplane. The couple, from Velsen-Noord, decided to end their relationship after arguing about the quantity of kerosene a Boeing 737 spends in flight. The man pushed his girlfriend, she fell over and a brawl developed in their home. The pair then threw plates and a telephone at each other before police arrived. Officers were surprised to hear the cause of the brawl. The woman did not want her boyfriend charged with assault. But the couple decided that after rowing over something so minor, they were probably not made for each other. To prevent further rows, Hendrik Baas, a spokesman for Dutch airline firm, KLM told Ananova that figures for the fuel consumption of airplanes are influenced by the age of the machines, the motors, distance, the height, the weather and the number of passengers, but the average is about 3,200 litres of kerosene per hour." For the story see http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_275498.html?menu=news.quirkies Anyway ... perhaps another important factor is the total quantity of energy used viewing the two systems as a whole. For example, it may be that fuel transportation costs differ between delivery to airports, and delivery to pertol/gas stations. If the questioner has an environmental motive they may also want to investigate the *environmental* costs of both modes of transport, not just in terms of energy use, but the way the energy is used. It is often said that jet-aircraft travelling at high altitudes are more environmentally damaging than the same amount of fuel being used on the roads -- obviously that's before you take into account the public health issues. I will end this comment with a quote: "I wish I had myself a horse, You can't grow roses from exhaust. I wish I'd listened to my old dad, He said: two wheels good and four wheels bad." -- Seize the Day.```
 ```Wow. That's an awesome comment. Thanks. Maybe that's all one can say about it?... (Is that why I haven't got an answer yet??) Anyway, I'm back so I would welcome the official answer now. Sign Me - A renewed bike rider```