U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Frequently Asked Questions
How much carbon dioxide is produced per kilowatthour when generating electricity with fossil fuels?
You can calculate the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced per kilowatthour (kWh) for specific fuels and specific types of generators by multiplying the CO2 emissions factor for the fuel (in pounds of CO2 per million Btu) by the heat rate of a generator (in Btu per kWh generated), and dividing the result by 1,000,000.
Below are the number of pounds of CO2 produced from different fuels, the average heat rates for steam-electric generators in 2013 using those fuels, and the resulting amount of CO2 produced per kWh:
|Fuel||Pounds of CO per Million Btu||Heat rate (Btu per kWh)||Pounds of CO2 per kWh|
|Distillate oil (No. 2)||161.386||10,334||1.67|
|Residual oil (No. 6)||173.906||10,334||1.80|
Last updated: March 30, 2015
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