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# A piece of uranium the size of a peanut can create the same amount of enery as how many pounds of coal and how many gallons of oil?

Question #109028. Asked by star_gazer. (Sep 21 09 5:55 PM)

Godwit

I don't know about peanuts. But in Heat Value where a Joule is a unit of energy, then
Black Coal = 24-30 MJ/kg
Crude Oil = 45-46 MJ/kb
Uranium = 5000,000 MJ/kg

http://www.world-nuclear.org/education/whyu.htm

Where MJ is a Megajoule.

 Sep 21 09, 11:24 PM
looney_tunes

short answer: around 600 pounds of coal, or around 64 US gallons of oil.

Estimate the peanut as having approximate length of 2cm, and cross-sectional diameter of 1cm - it's a large peanut, but simplifies some of the calculations.) Considering it as an ellipsoid, its volume if found as 4*pi*1*0.5*0.5/3, which is close to 1cm^3.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellipsoid

The density of Uranium is very close to 19g per cm^3. One ton of natural uranium can produce more than 40 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. This is equivalent to burning 16,000 tons of coal or 80,000 barrels of oil.

So, if 1 ton (1,000 kg or 1,000,000g) produces the energy equivalent of 16,000 tons of coal, (dicey conversion - is it metric or imperial ton? since I'm aiming for pounds of coal, I'll call a ton 2000 pounds) 19g would be the equivalent of 0.000019 x 32,000,000 = 608 pounds of coal.

It is also the energy equivalent of 0.00019 X 80,000 = 1.52 barrels of oil. A barrel of oil is 42 US gallons, so this is about 64 US gallons of oil.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrel

 Sep 22 09, 2:34 AM

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