Science News

How Many Plants To The Gallon ?

Sun, 2nd Nov 2003

An American ecologist has calculated how much prehistoric plant and animal matter has gone into each gallon of petrol that we burn today. According to Jeff Dukes, from the University of Utah, a staggering 98 tons of prehistoric plant material (about the equivalent of 40 acres worth of wheat - stalks, roots and all) is required to produce each gallon of petrol. “Every day, people are using the fossil fuel equivalent of all the plant matter that grows on land and in the oceans over the course of a whole year”. And the amount of plants that went into the fossil fuels we burned since the Industrial Revolution began [in 1751] is equal to all the plants grown on Earth over 13,000 years”.

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