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Tonne of oil equivalent

The tonne of oil equivalent (toe) is a unit of energy: the amount of energy released by burning one tonne of crude oil, approximately 42 GJ (as different crude oils have different calorific values, the exact value of the toe is defined by convention; unfortunately there are several slightly different definitions as discussed below).

It is important to note that toe should be used carefully when converting electrical units - for instance, BP's latest report used a factor of 38% efficiency (the average efficiency of OECD thermal generating units in 2006), or roughly 16 GJ per toe, when converting kilowatt-hours to toe.[1]

The toe is sometimes used for large amounts of energy, as it can be more intuitive to visualise, say, the energy released by burning 1000 tonnes of oil than 42,000 billion joules (the SI unit of energy).

A barrel of oil equivalent (boe), also a unit of energy, contains approximately 0.146 toe (i.e. there are approximately 6.841 boe in a toe).

Multiples of the toe are used, in particular the megatoe (Mtoe, one million toe) and the gigatoe (Gtoe, one billion toe).

The IEA/OECD define one toe to be equal to 41.868 GJ [2] or 11.630 MWh.

Some organisations use other conversion factors, for example:

  • 1 toe = 42 GJ
  • 1 toe = 41.85 GJ[3]
  • 1 toe = 7.11, 7.33, or 7.4 boe
  • 1 tonne petroleum equivalent (TPE), a parameter used in renewable energy, 45.217 gigajoules.

Conversion factors

  • 1 t diesel = 1,01 toe
  • 1 m3 diesel = 0,98 toe
  • 1 t petrol = 1,05 toe
  • 1 m3 petrol = 0,86 toe
  • 1 t biodiesel = 0,86 toe
  • 1 m3 biodiesel = 0,78 toe
  • 1 t bioethanol = 0,64 toe
  • 1m3 bioethanol = 0,51 toe


See also

Energy Portal
  • Conversion of units
  • Energies per unit mass


  1. ^ BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2007 (XLS). Retrieved on 2007-11-10.
  2. ^ American Physical Society
  3. ^ Definition at 41.85 GJ
  4. ^
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tonne_of_oil_equivalent". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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