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Carbon Offsetting

I am compensating one per year all my flights through an organisation called Each litre of AVGAS fuel is “responsible” for 2.2 kg of CO2 emissions or that is the formula I am working with. It is probably not enough to just compensate, but other than to stop flying I don’t know yet what else to do.

Last Edited by AeroPlus at 09 May 19:18
EHRD, Netherlands

HBadger wrote:

Because the oxygen of CO2 comes from the atmosphere, not the fuel. So The CO2 is more than the fuel’s weight

Yes the explanation need to account for oxygen mass and molecules count from fuel mols and water vapour as well,
The precise formula for Gasoline combustion (assuming it is mainly what is in Avgas)

The mass ratio from molecules count is 352/114 = (8*12+18)/(8*(12+16*2)), so if you adjust for 0.8kg/L density you get 3.56 which is rounded to 4 given that the rest of Avgas ingredients (e.g. Tetraethyllead, Plomb, n-Hexane…) tend to have higher molecular masses

Last Edited by Ibra at 09 May 19:36
ESSEX, United Kingdom

Really surprised to hear you guys are actually committing to these tree plans. Can I ask why? I mean I get the good idea, but having visited many remote and / or under developed areas, it’s clear where trees end up: firewood. Personally I don’t believe in these programs one cent. Coming from the Nordics I’d say the planet would benefit more if countries like Finland and Sweden stopped chopping forests into toilet paper for the Chinese… But that has nothing to do with offsetting GA CO2.


@Tonik: I tend to believe you. If there are trees in e.g. Africa near a village and the village people need heat for food/warmth, the trees are cut. It is not enough to just plant some trees or to compensate, but as said … other than flying less or not at all, I would not know what else to do to offset the CO2 from flying. We just started to support this project on safari flying tours in the hope to do a bit more than just compensate so would donate an efficient stove per tour next to the CO2 compensation. It is a complex story, but I feel something must be done, even if it were to create a mind shift.

Last Edited by AeroPlus at 09 May 20:16
EHRD, Netherlands

Playing devil’s advocate why would you do this if you havent (already);

1. Invested in solar panels to at least provide for all your power needs,
2. Invested in a heat pump to provide for all your heating and air conditioning needs,
3. Invested in an electric car for at least part time use,
4. Make a conscious effort to use the car less, or have a more efficient and smaller car,
5. All the other things that require investment to reduce the amount of energy you use?

Not being sanctimoneous, just wondering if it isnt better to tick some of these boxes first, even if it involves a little more effort (and not directed at Timothy in particular, because the OP may already havw ticked all the boxes).

I can think of lots of good reasons (I think) why the impact may be greater and more immediate, before looking to other and potentially less demanding (from a personal point of view) solutions.

We have ticked a fair few of those boxes, but your answer is anyway fallacious. Just because you don’t do everything is not an excuse for doing nothing.

There was an annoying moment on The Today Programme this morning which many Brits will have heard.

They had someone talking sense about carbon offsets followed by a fanatic who has not flown since 2004, and who spent 11 days getting to a conference in China. He was saying “forget about carbon offset, go carbon neutral personally.”

That immediately stops being doing something because they are unable to do everything. A case of the perfect being the enemy of the good.

EGKB Biggin Hill

Steady, I never suggested, and nor do I think I said for a moment, that just because you dont do everything etc. On that point I couldnt agree more, and nothing annoys be more, when someone puts that argument. In fact only yesterday I had just that discussion with a CEO of a large Amercian corporation, who really argued that its all China’s responsiiblity, let them act first, and we will consider following their lead. No, that is not what I said.

The point I was making, is that it seems to me my list contained some of the really beneficial things we can do, which may involve more “pain”, but are very worth while. I could set out a much more detailed justification.

Anything is better than nothing, but surely it is better to make judgments on the most productive actions we can take, than simply to take the easiest actions.

(and with repsect Timothy, I am genuinely surprised you think I said something which I am really struggling to read into my contribution, perhaps I am missing something?)

Last Edited by Fuji_Abound at 09 May 21:53

Anyway, the truth is, compensating carbon footprint by planting trees helps absolutely nothing. Well, if it’s to compensate for burning fossil fuel that is. There is nothing you can do to “compensate” except stop using fossil fuel.

The reason is that whenever you burn fossil fuel, you use ancient carbon that was deposited millions of years ago. That happened before micro-organisms had evolved to decompose organic material. Whenever that carbon is taken up and used, there is a surplus. Today, all organic material is decomposed and eventually ends up in the atmosphere again. Planting a tree help as long as the tree still lives. When it dies, it is all released again, part of the cycle.

There is one more way, and that is carbon capture. That is capturing carbon from combustion and injecting it into the oil wells, and hope it stays there. It cost a whole lot more than £5 per ton of CO2. Tons of money have been used to try to make this a viable solution, but the insane cost stops all large scale processing worth while.

If you want to reduce your CO2 footprint, stop using fossil fuel. It’s as simple as that. Everything else is snake oil. There are lots of things you can do though: solar power, wind, hydro, nuclear, electric cars, train and so on. Planting trees, not so much.


I am no scientist, but seemingly there are some that say that planting trees are the solution for this moment. On the other hand, the population in Africa is expected to double and overall demand for energy / fuel is not declining.

EHRD, Netherlands

just wondering if it isnt better to tick some of these boxes first

Is what I interpreted as “get solar panels” (£10,000, 3 month delivery) order electric car (£30,000 9 month delivery) before putting credit card information into webpage (£500, 3 minutes), thus delaying doing something, and putting off many people who have £500 but not £40,000 from doing anything.

Forgive me if that is not what you meant.

EGKB Biggin Hill
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