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Re: E-M:/ Individual Energy Activism, Restaurants



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alexander J. Sagady" <ajs@sagady.com>
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At 09:34 PM 12/28/2008, you wrote:


>Besides saving over $1,000 a year in electric bills, CFLs are good for the environment. Polls have shown that most people in Michigan (including your customers) believe global warming is a very serious threat to mankind and something urgent has to be done. Using CFLs will show that your restaurant is environmentally responsible. Using the calculator above, 20 CFLs will save over 5,900 pounds of coal at an electric plant and 22, 600 pounds of carbon dioxide. 


I generally don't trust these kinds of online calculators.

Does not burning 5900 lbs of coal yield an emission reduction of 
22,600 lbs of carbon monoxide?  No.

Lets do the back of the envelope calc.

the combustion reaction is    C  +  O2   yields   CO2
Carbon has a molecular weight of 12 and carbon dioxide
has a molecular weight of 44

One mole of carbon burned yields one mole of carbon dioxide.  Thus, 
burning 12 lbs of carbon yields 44 lbs of carbon dioxide.

If the 5900 lbs of coal were 100% carbon (it is not), the most CO2
emission reduction could be  is 44 * 5900/12   = 21,600 lbs of CO2.

Carbon content of coal ranges from 60-80%, depending on the mine source,
so lets roll this back by at least 20%, so the final carbon monoxide emission 
reduction from not burning 5900 lbs of coal is more like 17,000 lbs of 
CO2, and probably less in Michigan given the amount of western low sulfur coal
we are presently burning with its lower carbon content compared to eastern 
and southern coal (but also with a lower BTU value).

Here is a site that explores the issue in more detail.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/coal/quarterly/co2_article/co2.html

Finally, someone needs to go and audit the facilities in China making these
CFL bulbs for their mercury management techniques and health and safety protections. 



==========================================
Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy, 
Expert Witness Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and 
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf 

657 Spartan Ave,   East Lansing, MI  48823 
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com
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