An Alternative to Gold Part IV: Oil and Solar Energy

This section provides clarification for calculating energy production in oil and solar applications.

As a reminder The formula is Currency price= Non-human biological mass(Energy) / Total Earth Land Area(M) + Pollution (Airborne aerosols and non-biological elements release into the biosphere during production)


Crude oil has different compositions of Hydrogen and carbon atoms but can be calculated for the expected energy outputs of hydrogen that is burned as fuel and the carbon that combines with oxygen to create carbon dioxide and water. Some atom formulations of crude oil are noted as follows:
Pentane (C5H12)
Octane (C8H18)
Nonane (C9H20)
Hexadecane (C16H34)
Butane (C4H10)
“These different molecules are separated by fractional distillation at an oil refinery to produce petrol, jet fuel, kerosene, and other hydrocarbons. For example, 2,2,4-trimethylpentane (isooctane), widely used in petrol, has a chemical formula of C8H18 and it reacts with oxygen exothermically:

2 C8H18(l) + 25 O2(g) → 16 CO2(g) + 18 H2O(g) (ΔH = −5.51 MJ/mol of octane)”

According to my formulation theory the value of oil as money separates the energy from the carbon pollution.

Pentane (H12/C5)
Octane (H18/C8)
Nonane (H20/C9)
Hexadecane (H34/C16)
Butane (H10/C4)

The creation of energy from Hydrogen is expressed in the formula:

2 H2 + O2→ 2 H20

Hydron + Oxygen → 2 Water molecules

This is divided on the bottom by the conversion of Carbon dioxide as a pollutant aerosol.

The energy produced from this conversion is valued at -482 kJ (kilo Joule) per bond conversion. So an energy value of each hydrogen atom can be calculated into energy.

(Energy from Fossil fuels,

Pentane (H12/C5) → -2592 kJ
Octane (H18/C8) → -3888 kJ
Nonane (H20/C9) → -4820 kJ
Hexadecane (H34/C16) → -8194 kJ
Butane (H10/C4) → -2410 kJ

(More about Joules here:

Each value of energy is given a constant value based on the conversion of that energy into a pollutant. When burned, each form of energy traps 1-2 oxygen atoms and binds them to carbon. This is why I placed the carbon atom at the bottom of each equation.

Energy that is created non-binding to Oxygen and does not act as a poison to biological systems or require the conversion of oxygen back into pure Oxygen for breathing stays at the top of the equation.

Now the energy from these fuels looks like this:

Pentane (H12/C5) → -2592 kJ / 5 CO2
Octane (H18/C8) → -3888 kJ / 8 CO2
Nonane (H20/C9) → -4820 kJ / 9 CO2
Hexadecane (H34/C16) → -8194 kJ / 16 CO2
Butane (H10/C4) → -2410 kJ / 4 CO2

When each energy production is divided by pollution the energy conversion per pollutant molecule produced decreases the value of energy produced per molecule of CO2 pollution produced:

Pentane  -2592 kJ / 5 CO2  → -518.4 kJ  / CO2
Octane  -3888 kJ / 8 CO2 → -486 kJ / CO2
Nonane  -4820 kJ / 9 CO2 → -536 kJ / CO2
Hexadecane  -8194 kJ / 16 CO2 → -512.125 kJ / CO2
Butane -2410 kJ / 4 CO2 → -602.5 kJ / CO2

The other factor in oil production is the expense of natural resources for extraction. Oil spills pollute areas of wild production causing a large amount of death to the biosphere. In contrast, the more of the photosynthetic biosphere that is eliminated with oil production, the less the possible conversion rates for CO2 into breathable oxygen.

The land mass required for oil production varies, but oil is not renewable and tar sands extraction removes the biosphere.

In 2010, the U.S. produced 5.5 million barrels of oil. The barrel of oil equivalent estimates one barrel of oil produces 6.1 GJ. Converted to a combined total of 0.03355 (EJ) exajoules of energy over 3.2 million acres. That is equal to 0.000000010484375 exajoules of energy per acre.

Solar Energy

Solar energy produces no pollution in process, so it does not have a pollutant factor to bind with Oxygen creating greenhouse aerosols. Nothing is burned, but an equivalent heat production rating can be applied to calculate the energy produced.

Radiant energy is equal to the joule so simply converting the radiant energy from the sun into a joule explains the potential for solar energy production on earth. According to wikipedia’s article on solar energy “The total solar energy absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ) per year.” (

The difference between a kilojoule and an exajoule is FIFTEEN ZEROES. That’s 3,850,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilojoules of radiant energy from the sun.

Radiant energy has many applications. Using mirrors or direct contact with water to create steam for hot water and electricity production, collecting clean water from waste water using evaporation, passive heating and cooling of buildings, and greenhouse technology for agriculture production are all examples of using solar radiant energy. Another form of solar energy is known as photovoltaic energy (PV). PV converts a photon into electricity when it interacts with metal. This is the technology we see in solar panels.


As you can see from the direct energy calculations when comparing oil and solar, the potential for solar power to create sustainable and non-pollutive energy is much greater than oil. These calculations do not include the energy required for obtaining the oil from the earth’s crust.

“The federal government has dedicated nearly 2,000 times more acreage to oil and gas leases than to solar development. In 2010 the Bureau of Land Management approved nine large-scale solar projects, with a total generating capacity of 3,682 megawatts, representing approximately 40,000 acres. In contrast, in 2010, the Bureau of Land Management processed more than 5,200 applications gas and oil leases, and issued 1,308 leases, for a total of 3.2 million acres. Currently, 38.2 million acres of onshore public lands and an additional 36.9 million acres of offshore exploration in the Gulf of Mexico are under lease for oil and gas development, exploration and production.” (Joe Desmond (September 24, 2012). “Sorry, Critics – Solar Is Not a Rip-Off”. Renewable energy World.)





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