Summary

Specific energy and energy density are useful measures of the energy that will be released from a given weight or volume of fuel when it is burned. This article provides a quick reference for common values of specific energy and energy density.

Definitions

:Energy density
:Specific energy
:Energy released during combustion
:Volume
:Volume

Introduction

The Heat of Combustion of a product measures the energy released when that substance is burned in air, this information is often presented in units of .

The specific energy and energy density of a fuel provide practical measures of the energy content of a fuel in units more commonly used in the storage and handling of these substances (energy per weight and volume).

Specific Energy

Specific energy is the energy per unit mass of a fuel.

Energy Density

Energy density is the energy per unit volume of a fuel.



Typical Values of Specific Energy and Energy Density

Common Fuels

FuelDensity
Specific Energy
Energy Density
Gasoline716-47.3-33,867
Kerosene830-46.2-38,346
Diesel Fuel830-44.8-37,184
Ethanol784-29.7-23,278
Coal (Anthracite)1350-27-36,450
Methanol787-22.7-17,855
Wood600-15-9,000
Coal (Lignite)801-15-12,015

Alkanes

FuelDensity
Specific Energy
Energy Density
Methane (CH4)423-55.6-23,529
Ethane (C2H6)545-51.8-28,246
Propane (C3H8)585-50.3-29,449
Butane (C4H10)601-49.5-29,729
Pentane (C5H12)621-48.7-30,223
Hexane (C6H14)655-48.3-31,633
Heptane (C7H16)680-48.1-32,690
Octane (C8H16)698-47.9-33,433
Nonane (C9H16)714-47.7-34,086
Decane (C10H18)726-47.6-34,581
Undecane (C11H20)737-47.5-35,039
Dodecane (C12H22)745-47.5-35,378
Hexadecane (CH3(CH2)14CH3)770-47.3-36,388

Alcohols

FuelDensity
Specific Energy
Energy Density
Methanol (CH3OH)787-22.7-17,855
Ethanol (CH3CH2OH)785-29.7-23,278
1-Propanol (CH3(CH2)2OH)800-33.6-26,902
2-Propanol (CH3CH(OH)CH3)781-33.4-26,068
1-Butanol (CH3(CH2)3OH)80636.129,107
1-Pentanol (CH3(CH2)4OH)81637.830,817
1-Hexanol (CH3(CH2)5OH)8143931,732
1-Heptanol (CH3(CH2)6OH)82239.932,809
1-Octanol (CH3(CH2)7OH)82540.733,545