Energy Capacity (Joules) of Various Fuels, Foods, Storage Devices, etc.

The table below is intended to give one a rough idea of the energy capacity, measured in joules, of various types of entities normally associated with energy. By grouping them all together with joule ratings, it makes comparisons easy and the meaning of energy more understandable. Liquid quantities are given in liters (4.546 liters per gallon) and solid quantities are given in kilograms (2.20 pounds per kilogram). Other quantities are used where common, such as "D-cell" for battery because that is how it is commercially packaged and sold. Some figures in this table are surprising; for instance, they show how little energy value batteries have in comparison to common foods and to fossil fuels. The capacities in this table are drawn from many diverse sources, are meant to be only approximate, and should not be used for rigorous comparisons. Many factors influence the exact energy capacity of a given entity.

Liquid Fuels in 1-Liter Size
gasoline 23.0 MJ*
kerosene 31.3 MJ
diesel fuel 31.1 MJ
heating oil 31.9 MJ
liquid petroleum gas (compressed propane) 22.2 MJ
liquid natural gas (compressed methane) 23.1 MJ
ethanol (not a fossil fuel) 19.6 MJ
Solid Fuels in 1-Kilogram Size
anthracite coal 29.0 MJ
lignite coal 16.2 MJ
oak wood 13.4 MJ
pine (white) wood   7.8 MJ
Foods in 1-Kilogram Size^
sugar 16.5 MJ
fat 37.0 MJ
protein 17.0 MJ
carbohydrate 17.0 MJ
alcohol 29.0 MJ
Batteries
lead acid (1 kg) 0.108 MJ
lithium-ion (1 kg) 0.540 MJ
D cell 0.065 MJ
AAA cell 0.005 MJ
9-volt cell 0.016 MJ
6-volt lantern battery 0.238 MJ
Miscellaneous
flywheel (1 kg) 0.500 MJ
100 kg raised 1 km at earth's surface 0.980 MJ
1000 kg moving at 30 m/s (~ highway speed) 0.450 MJ


* MJ = megajoule, M = mega (1,000,000), J = joule
^ recommended daily intake ~ 10 MJ/day for adult male person