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View Diary: OIL SPILL rivalling Exxon-Valdez, 30K tons est. so far (252 comments)

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  •  Not quite (3+ / 0-)
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    Roadbed Guy, DSPS owl, KateinIL

    p.s. wouldn't a gallon of water be exactly 8.0 lbs (i.e., 128 oz / 16 oz per lb)?

    No. You are confusing "fluid ounces" (a unit of volume) with "avoirdupois ounces" (a unit of mass). It's an easy and common mistake.

    Keeping everything in units of volume:

    1 US gallon = 128 fl. oz. = 3.785 liters = 3785 cm^3.

    By definition, 1 cm^3 of water (at 4C) has a mass of 1 gram.  Now, converting back to mass units, 3785 grams = 8.344 pounds, as stated above.

    That's for water. We can now use the "specific gravity," which is the density of a substance relative to water and a unitless value. If the specific gravity of "diesel fuel" is 0.84, then

    0.84 * 8.344 pounds/gal (water) = 7.01 pounds/gal (diesel fuel).

    Hope that helps.

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