Chicken or dop? ...or how to become more energy efficient
Posted by     01/06/2015 05:17:00    0 Comments

Chicken or dop? ...or how to become more energy efficient.

Published on 07-10-2013

World-wide there is a focus on energy conservation and becoming more energy efficient. 

If you would like to conserve energy, rather drink alcohol than eat chicken. This article explains why.

Drinking alcohol makes you energy efficient

  • Say a chicken weighs 1 kg. To have achieved this, the chicken would have had to consume  2 kg of maize with a Feed Gain Ratio of  2 ([i])
  • Lets now further assume that 80% of the chicken is edible. This means it took 2 kg of maize to produce 0.8 kg of edible chicken meat or in other words 1.25 kg of maize per kg of chicken meat.
  • Chicken meat has an energy density of 9.05 MJ per kg ([ii]) and maize has an energy density of 13.4 MJ per kg ([iii]). In other words: It requires 33.5 MJ of energy (from maize) to produce only 9.05 MJ of energy (in chicken)
  • Taking these figures we can calculate an Energy conversion ratio of 0.27 (MJ from chicken per MJ from maize)


Now, on the other hand: If we do the same calculation for ethanol we get the following results:              

  • Ethanol has a energy density of  26.8 MJ/kg ([iv]) and it requires 1 kg of maize ([v]) to produce 0.5L of ethanol. But ethanol has a density of about 0.789 kg/liter.
  • This means 2.53kg of maize is required to produce 1kg of enthanol.
  • Or, in energy values: 33.96 MJ (from maize) converts to 26.8 MJ (in ethanol) with a resulting Energy conversion ratio of 0.39 which is about 46% better than the maize to chicken energy conversion!


Also: in pure energy terms:

  • Consuming 100g of chicken meat will provide you with 90.5 kJ of energy while consuming 100g of alcohol will provide you with 268 kJ of energy!
  • Or you only have to consume 33 g of alcohol to get the same energy as eating 100g of chicken!


South Africa consumes about 1.8 million ton of chicken ([vi]) per year - if we can replace this with 0.6 million ton of alcohol, we can save approximately 5 Million MJ energy per year!

[ii] Energy in roasted chicken (meat and skin) : 815kJ per 90 gram or 9.05 MJ/kg from

[iv] Ethanol energy density: 26.8 MJ/kg from

[v] Ethanol yield from Maize: 0.52L ethanol from 1 kg Maize from

 [vi] Chicken consumption of 1.8Million ton per year from 

Share This Post :


Log in or register to post comments