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Gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) or gasoline-equivalent gallon (GEG) is the amount of alternative fuel it takes to equal the energy content of one liquid gallon of gasoline. GGE allows consumers to compare the energy content of competing fuels against a commonly known fuel—gasoline. GGE also compares gasoline to fuels sold as a gas (Natural Gas, Propane, Hydrogen) and electricity.
In 1994, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology or NIST defined "gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) means 5.660 pounds of natural gas." Compressed natural gas (CNG), for example, is a gas rather than a liquid. It can be measured by its volume in Standard cubic feet (ft³) (volume at atmospheric conditions), by its weight in pounds (lb) or by its energy content in joules (J) or British thermal units (BTU) or kilowatt-hours (kW·h). It is difficult to compare the cost of gasoline with other fuels if they are sold in different units. GGE solves this. One GGE of CNG and one GGE of electricity have exactly the same energy content as one gallon of gasoline. CNG sold at filling stations is priced in dollars per GGE.
Using GGE to compare fuels for use in an internal combustion engine is only the first part of the equation whose bottom line is useful work. In the context of GGE, a real world kind of "useful work" is Miles Per Gallon (MPG) as advertised by motor vehicle manufacturers.
Substituting one fuel for another in a given engine may start and may do useful work. However getting optimum efficiency from each fuel/engine combination requires adjusting the mix of air and fuel. This can be a manual adjustment using tools and test instruments or done automatically in a multi-fuel vehicle. Fine tuning of the optimum fuel/air mix may be facilitated by using a supercharger or turbocharger.
In battery/electric vehicles, calculating efficiency of useful work begins with the charge/discharge rate of the battery pack, generally 80% to 90%. Next is the conversion of potential energy (BTU) of the charge to distance traveled under power. See table below translating retail electricity costs for a GGE in BTU.
|Fuel - Liquid, US Gallons||GGE||GGE %||BTU/Gal||kWh/Gal||HP-hr/Gal||Cal/litre|
|Gasoline (conventional, summer)||0.9960||100.40%||114,500||33.56||44.99||7624.5|
|Gasoline (conventional, winter)||1.0130||98.72%||112,500||32.97||44.20||7496.5|
|Gasoline (reformulated gasoline, ethanol)||1.0190||98.14%||111,836||32.78||43.94||7452.4|
|Gasoline (reformulated gasoline, ETBE)||1.0190||98.14%||111,811||32.77||43.93||7452.4|
|Gasoline (reformulated gasoline, MTBE)||1.0200||98.04%||111,745||32.75||43.90||7445.1|
|Gasoline (10% MTBE)||1.0200||98.04%||112,000||32.83||44.00||7445.1|
|Gasoline (regular unleaded)||1.0000||100.00%||114,100||33.44||44.83||7594.0|
|Bio Diesel (B20)||0.9000||111.11%||127,250||37.12||49.76||8437.7|
|Liquid natural gas (LNG)||1.5362||65.10%||75,000||21.75||29.16||4943.3|
|Liquefied petroleum gas (propane) (LPG)||1.3500||74.04%||84,300||24.75||33.18||5625.2|
|Methanol fuel (M100)||2.0100||49.75%||56,800||16.62||22.28||3778.1|
|Ethanol fuel (E100)||1.5000||66.67%||76,100||22.27||29.85||5062.7|
|Jet fuel (naphtha)||0.9700||103.09%||118,700||34.44||46.17||7828.9|
|Jet fuel (kerosene)||0.9000||111.11%||128,100||37.12||49.76||8437.7|
|Fuel - Non Liquid||GGE||GGE %||BTU/unit||kWh/Unit|
|Gasoline (base)||1.0000||100.00%||114,000 BTU/gal||33.41|
|Compressed natural gas (CNG)||126.67 cu ft (3.587 m3)||20,268 BTU/lb|
|Hydrogen at 101.325 kPa||357.37 cu ft||319 BTU/cu ft|
|Hydrogen by weight||0.997 kg (2.198 lb)||119.9 MJ/kg (51,500 BTU/lb)|
|Electricity||33.40 kilowatt-hours||3,413 BTU/(kW·h) ||33.40|
|1 GGE = 33.40 kWh|
|For Local Rate|
One GGE of natural gas is 126.67 cubic feet (3.587 m3) at standard conditions. This volume of natural gas has the same energy content as one US gallon of gasoline (based on lower heating values: 900 BTU/cu ft of natural gas and 115,000 BTU/gal of gasoline).
One GGE of CNG pressurized at 2,400 psi (17 MPa) is 0.77 cubic foot (21.8 liters or 5.75 Gallons). This volume of CNG at 2,400 psi has the same energy content as one US gallon of gasoline (based on lower heating values: 148,144 BTU/cu ft of CNG and 115,000 BTU/gal of gasoline. Using Boyle's Law, the equivalent GGE at 3,600 psi (25 MPa) is 0.51 cubic foot (14.4 L or 3.82 actual US gal).
The National Conference of Weights & Measurements (NCWM) has developed a standard unit of measurement for compressed natural gas, defined in the NIST Handbook 44 Appendix D as follows: "1 Gasoline [US] gallon equivalent (GGE) means 2.567 kg (5.660 lb) of natural gas."
When consumers refuel their CNG vehicles in the USA, the CNG is usually measured and sold in GGE units. This is fairly helpful as a comparison to gallons of gasoline.
1.5 gallons of ethanol has the same energy content as 1.0 gallon of gasoline.
The energy content of 1.0 US gallon of ethanol is 76,100 BTU, compared to 114,100 BTU for gasoline. (see chart above)
A flex-fuel vehicle will experience 72% of the fuel mileage MPG when using E85 (85% ethanol) products as compared to 100% gasoline. Simple calculations of the BTU values of the ethanol and the gasoline indicate the reduced heat values available to the internal combustion engine. Pure ethanol provides 2/3 of the heat value available in pure gasoline.
Generally speaking, an electrical motor is more efficient than an internal combustion engine at converting potential energy into work - turning the wheels that may move a car down the road.
The efficiency of converting a unit of fuel to rotation of the driving wheels includes many points of friction loss and heat loss through the exhaust or cooling system. Friction inside the engine happens along the cylinder walls, crankshaft rod bearings and main bearings, camshaft bearings, drive chains or gears, plus other miscellaneous and minor bearing surfaces. Friction outside the engine includes loads from the generator / alternator, power steering pump, A/C compressor, transmission, transfer case (if four-wheel-drive), differential(s) and universal joints, plus rolling resistance of the pneumatic tires.
The MPG of a given vehicle starts with the thermal efficiency of the fuel and engine, less all of the above elements of friction.
For a complete description of MPGe, see the main article: Miles per gallon gasoline equivalent.
The MPGe metric was introduced in November 2010 by EPA in the Monroney label of the Nissan Leaf electric car and the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. The ratings are based on EPA's formula, in which 33.7 kilowatt hours of electricity is equivalent to one gallon of gasoline, and the energy consumption of each vehicle during EPA's five standard drive cycle tests simulating varying driving conditions. All new cars and light-duty trucks sold in the U.S. are required to have this label showing the EPA's estimate of fuel economy of the vehicle.