Saving the Planet – One Barrel at a Time
Everyone is aware that oil is one of the forces that drives our planet, in terms of both its economy and ever-growing desire for power. Crude oil is transformed into a myriad of other substances on which life as we know it simply couldn’t exist without – but it is not an everlasting resource. We have all seen the lengths that our world leaders will go to in the quest for this precious substance and, as supplies get ever lower, our craving for gadgets and faster transport increases, making the future uncertain. What all of this makes clear is the essential, urgent need to conserve oil.
Oil is measured in barrels and one barrel is 42 gallons. In each gallon of the stuff, there is around 140,000 Btu energy content present, varying slightly based on location of sourcing. We’ve done the maths and can tell you that means that a standard barrel of oil contains just under 6,000,000 Btu of energy. So what do these numbers actually MEAN?
Let’s take an example many of us are familiar with - driving. If you drove an average of 17,000 miles in one year at an average of around 17 miles a gallon, than means you car is consuming about 1,000 gallons of fuel a year. Still with us?When you take into account the fact that around 15% of crude is lost due to inefficiencies in the refining process, that means that your hypothetical car is consuming about 23 barrels of crude oil per year, give or take a few gallons. Times that number by everyone with a car, many families with more than one, and we are talking a lot of oil.
Crude oil is, of course, used in huge quantities in industry and studies have shown how much can be saved by simply insulating with proper mechanical insulation held in place with quality components. Just one square foot of a 600 F surface was insulated with mechanical insulation material of four inches thick and energy loss calculated year by year for five years. The results were inarguable - this one tiny area of insulation saved 16 barrels of crude oil over five years. Imagine that one foot square scaled up to thousands and again we are talking a lot of oil - only this time it’s saved.