Oil to Nickel: The E-Cat Energy Equivalence


The claim:

1 gram of nickel can generate E-Cat energy equivalent to the energy generated by 517 kilograms of oil. [Here]

If the world consumes 89 million barrels of oil per day, how many ounces of nickel does that correspond to in E-Cat energy?

First, a barrel is a unit of volume and a gram is a unit of weight (technically mass).

A barrel of oil will weigh differently than a barrel of cotton because of the density of the material in it. (Density is mass per unit volume.)

So we need to know how many kilograms a barrel of oil weighs.

To find how much a barrel of oil weighs, we must know the density of the oil.

The density of oil varies.
We will take an average crude oil density value as $\rho = \frac{850 \text{\hspace{0.7 mm} kilograms}}{1 \text{\hspace{0.7 mm} cubic meters}}$.

Since $1 \text{\hspace{0.7 mm} cubic meter} = 264.17 \text{\hspace{0.7 mm} gallons}$ and there are $42 \text{\hspace{0.7 mm} gallons} = 1 \text{\hspace{0.7 mm} barrel}$, we can find the number of kilograms of oil in one barrel by converting

$\frac{42 \text{\hspace{1 mm} gallons}}{1 \text{\hspace{0.7 mm} barrel}} \cdot \frac{1 \text{\hspace{0.7 mm} cubic meter}}{264.2 \text{\hspace{0.7 mm} gallons}} \cdot \frac{850 \text{\hspace{0.7 mm} kilograms}}{1 text{\hspace{0.7 mm} cubic meter}} \approx 135 \text{\hspace{0.7 mm} kilograms oil} \text{\hspace{0.7 mm}barrel}$

So there are about 135,000 grams of oil in one barrel of oil.

Supposing the world consumes 89 million barrels of oil each day, we have

$\frac{135,000 \text{\hspace{0.5 mm} grams oil}}{1 \text{\hspace{0.5 mm} barrel}} \text{\hspace{0.5 mm}} \cdot \text{\hspace{0.5 mm}} 89 \text{\hspace{0.5 mm} x \hspace{0.5 mm}} 10^{6} \text{\hspace{0.5 mm}barrels oil per day} \approx 12 \text{\hspace{0.5 mm} x \hspace{0.5 mm}} 10^{12} \text{\hspace{0.5 mm}grams oil per day}$

The world consumes over 12 trillion grams of oil each day!

Now, if 517,000 grams oil = 1 gram nickel (E-Cat energy-wise),
then 12 trillion grams of oil translates to

$\frac{1 \text{\hspace{1 mm} gram nickel}}{517,000 \text{\hspace{1 mm}grams oil}} \cdot \text{\hspace{1 mm}} 12 \text{\hspace{0.5 mm} x \hspace{0.5 mm}} 10^{12} \text{\hspace{0.7 mm} grams oil} \approx 23,210,831.72 \text{\hspace{0.7 mm}grams nickel}$

So the daily energy from 12 trillion grams of oil corresponds to the daily E-Cat energy from 23 million grams of nickel.

If the world uses 23 million grams of nickel every day, that is

$(23 \text{\hspace{1 mm} x \hspace{1 mm}} 10^{6}) (365) \approx 8.4 \text{\hspace{1 mm} x \hspace{1 mm}} 10^{9} \text{\hspace{0.7 mm}grams nickel annually}$.

Therefore, replacing our current consumption of oil with E-Cat energy would consume an estimated 8.4 billion grams of nickel annually.

Now annual nickel production is roughly on the order of 1,300,000 tonnes.

Since one tonne = 1000 kilograms = 1,000,000 grams, we have that annual nickel production is about 1.3 trillion grams. This means that

$\frac{1.3 \text{\hspace{1 mm} x \hspace{1 mm}} 10^{12}}{8.4 \text{\hspace{1 mm} x \hspace{1 mm}} 10^{9}} \approx 155$.

In other words, the current annual production of nickel is 155 times the amount of nickel we would use annually to replace oil at our current level of use.

Not only that, estimated reserves of nickel worldwide are on the order of 140 trillion grams, enough nickel for

$\frac{140 \text{\hspace{0.5 mm} x \hspace{0.5 mm}} 10^{12}}{8.4 \text{\hspace{0.5 mm} x \hspace{0.5 mm}} 10^9} \approx 16,667 \text{\hspace{0.5 mm}years}$

using the current energy-equivalent consumption of nickel.

Of course this is static reserve, and not exponential reserve, but as a rough estimate, 16,667 years of nickel fuel for E-Cat energy sounds pretty good. Remembering that nickel is a very common element in our solar system means that we would be able to mine all the nickel we need or want for this ultra-clean power.

These are huge numbers.
How about something more tangible – like pocket change?

The US has a unit of money called a nickel which is a 5 cent piece, or 1/20 of a dollar (since 1913 called a Federal Reserve Note). First introduced in 1866, the Shield nickel was a 5 gram coin of 75% copper and 25% nickel. Later, other designs for the nickel were introduced, including my favorite, the Buffalo nickel, minted from 1913 to 1938.

1.25 grams of nickel = 5 barrels of oil
1.25 grams of nickel = 5 barrels of oil
Now 25% of 5 grams is 1.25 grams. Thus, using the E-Cat energy nickel equivalence, a Buffalo nickel containing 1.25 grams of nickel could generate the same amount of energy as 646,250 grams of oil.

In other words, this small piece of change has the energy density of close to 650 kilograms of oil!

Since there are about 135 kilograms of oil in one barrel, we have discovered that, E-Cat energy-wise, one little

5-cent coin $\approx$ 5 barrels of oil.

Holy cow.
Start saving!

Related Links

Density of Oil from Engineering Toolbox

Short-term Energy Outlook from Energy Information Administration

International Nickel Study Group homepage

Nickel melt value for coin from Coinflation