## The chemistry of Earth Hour - 1 candle x 1 hour = 8 x the CO2 from 1 lightbulb x 1 hour

##### Saturday, 29 March 2014

Dear Michael,

About candles and the dioxide of carbon.

I worked out the chemistry of it to find out how much CO2 is produced by a candle compared to that from an equivalent electric light bulb.

Based on a paraffin wax candle which burns according to the equation:

C25H52 + 38O2 --> 25CO2 + 26H2O Mol.wt. of C25H52 = (25x12)+(52x1) = 352 Mol.wt. of CO2 = (1x12)+(2x16) = 44 So 352g of wax yeilds (25x44) = 1100g of CO2

A household candle of 50g will burn for about 4 hours, so 1 hour will burn 12.5g of candle,and produce 12.5/352 x 1100 = 39g of CO2 per hour.

Coal burning power stations produce from about 0.8g to 1.35g of CO2 per Watt hour of generated power.

If a 5 Watt bulb (night light) is taken as being equivalent to a candle, and assuming 1g per Watt hour as the CO2 produced by the power station, the 5 Watt bulb will produce only 5g of CO2 per hour, which is about 1/8th of the CO2 output of the candle.

Obviously all candles should be burnt immediately to save the planet.

Regards: Ian Macmillan