Heat Values of Various Fuels

August 2018

The heat value of a fuel is the amount of heat released during its combustion. Also referred to as energy or calorific value, heat value is a measure of a fuel's energy density, and is expressed in energy (joules) per specified amount (e.g. kilograms).

  Heat value
Hydrogen (H2) 120-142 MJ/kg
Methane (CH4) 50-55 MJ/kg
Methanol (CH3OH) 22.7 MJ/kg
Dimethyl ether - DME (CH3OCH3) 29 MJ/kg
Petrol/gasoline 44-46 MJ/kg
Diesel fuel 42-46 MJ/kg
Crude oil 42-47 MJ/kg
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) 46-51 MJ/kg
Natural gas 42-55 MJ/kg
Hard black coal (IEA definition) >23.9 MJ/kg
  Hard black coal (Australia & Canada) c. 25 MJ/kg
Sub-bituminous coal (IEA definition) 17.4-23.9 MJ/kg
  Sub-bituminous coal (Australia & Canada) c. 18 MJ/kg
Lignite/brown coal (IEA definition) <17.4 MJ/kg
  Lignite/brown coal (Australia, electricity) c. 10 MJ/kg
Firewood (dry) 16 MJ/kg
Natural uranium, in LWR (normal reactor) 500 GJ/kg
Natural uranium, in LWR with U & Pu recycle 650 GJ/kg
Natural uranium, in FNR 28,000 GJ/kg
Uranium enriched to 3.5%, in LWR 3900 GJ/kg

Uranium figures are based on 45,000 MWd/t burn-up of 3.5% enriched U in LWR
MJ = 106 Joule, GJ = 109 J
MJ to kWh @ 33% efficiency: x 0.0926 
One tonne of oil equivalent (toe) is equal to 41.868 GJ

Notes & references

General sources

NIST Chemistry WebBook
OECD/IEA Electricity Information (various editions)
International Gas Union, Natural Gas Conversion Guide

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