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Gasoline FAQ



Frequently Asked Questions about Gasoline

This FAQ about Gasoline was compiled and written by Bruce Hamilton with numerous contributions by others.

-1.1 Introduction and Intent.
-1.2 Acknowledgements.
-1.3 Abbreviations.
-3. What Advantage will I gain from reading this FAQ?
-4.1 Where does crude oil come from?.
-4.2 When will we run out of crude oil?
-4.3 What is the history of gasoline?
-4.4 What are the hydrocarbons in gasoline?
-4.4.1 Saturated hydrocarbons ( aka paraffins, alkanes )
-4.4.2 Unsaturated Hydrocarbons
-4.5 What are oxygenates?
-4.6 Why were alkyl lead compounds added?
-4.7 Why not use other organometallic compounds?
-4.8 What do the refining processes do?
-4.9 What energy is released when gasoline is burned?
-4.10 What are the gasoline specifications?
-4.10.1 Vapour Pressure and Distillation Classes.
-4.10.2 Vapour Lock Protection Classes
-4.10.3 Antiknock Index ( aka (RON+MON)/2, "Pump Octane" )
-4.10.4 Lead Content
-4.10.5 Copper strip corrosion
-4.10.6 Maximum Sulfur content
-4.10.7 Maximum Solvent Washed Gum ( aka Existent Gum )
-4.10.8 Minimum Oxidation Stability
-4.10.9 Water Tolerance
-4.11 What are the effects of the specified fuel properties?
-4.12 Are brands different?
-4.13 What is a typical composition?
-4.14 Is gasoline toxic or carcinogenic?
-4.15 Is unleaded gasoline more toxic than leaded?
-4.16 Is reformulated gasoline more toxic than unleaded?
-4.17 Are all oxygenated gasolines also reformulated gasolines?
-5.1 Why pick on cars and gasoline?
-5.2 Why are there seasonal changes?
-5.3 Why were alkyl lead compounds removed?
-5.4 Why are evaporative emissions a problem?
-5.5 Why control tailpipe emissions?
-5.6 Why do exhaust catalysts influence fuel composition?
-5.7 Why are "cold start" emissions so important?
-5.8 When will the emissions be "clean enough"?
-5.9 Why are only some gasoline compounds restricted?
-5.10 What does "renewable" fuel or oxygenate mean?
-5.11 Will oxygenated gasoline damage my vehicle?
-5.12 What does "reactivity" of emissions mean?
-5.13 What are "carbonyl" compounds?
-5.14 What are "gross polluters"?
-6.1 Who invented Octane Ratings?
-6.2 Why do we need Octane Ratings?
-6.3 What fuel property does the Octane Rating measure?
-6.4 Why are two ratings used to obtain the pump rating?
-6.5 What does the Motor Octane rating measure?
-6.6 What does the Research Octane rating measure?
-6.7 Why is the difference called "sensitivity"?
-6.8 What sort of engine is used to rate fuels?
-6.9 How is the Octane rating determined?
-6.10 What is the Octane Distribution of the fuel?
-6.11 What is a "delta Research Octane number"?
-6.12 How do other fuel properties affect octane?
-6.13 Can higher octane fuels give me more power?
-6.14 Does low octane fuel increase engine wear?
-6.15 Can I mix different octane fuel grades?
-6.16 What happens if I use the wrong octane fuel?
-6.17 Can I tune the engine to use another octane fuel?
-6.18 How can I increase the fuel octane?
-6.19 Are aviation gasoline octane numbers comparable?
-6.20 Can mothballs increase octane?
-7.1 What is the Octane Number Requirement of a Vehicle?
-7.2 What is the effect of Compression ratio?
-7.3 What is the effect of changing the air-fuel ratio?
-7.4 What is the effect of changing the ignition timing?
-7.5 What is the effect of engine management systems?
-7.6 What is the effect of temperature and load?
-7.7 What is the effect of engine speed?.
-7.8 What is the effect of engine deposits?
-7.9 What is the Road Octane Number of a Fuel?
-7.11 What is the effect of altitude?
-7.12 What is the effect of humidity?.
-7.13 What does water injection achieve?.
-8.1 What causes an empty fuel tank?
-8.2 Is knock the only abnormal combustion problem?
-8.3 Can I prevent carburetter icing?
-8.4 Should I store fuel to avoid the oxygenate season?
-8.5 Can I improve fuel economy by using quality gasolines?
-8.6 What is "stale" fuel, and should I use it?
-8.7 How can I remove water in the fuel tank?
-8.8 Can I used unleaded on older vehicles?
-8.9 How serious is valve seat recession on older vehicles?
-9.1 Do fuel additives work?
-9.2 Can a quality fuel help a sick engine?
-9.3 What are the advantages of alcohols and ethers?
-9.4 Why are CNG and LPG considered "cleaner" fuels.
-9.5 Why are hydrogen-powered cars not available?
-9.6 What are "fuel cells" ?
-9.7 What is a "hybrid" vehicle?
-9.8.1 Ammonia (NH3)
-9.8.2 Water
-9.8.3 Propylene Oxide
-9.8.4 Nitromethane
-9.9.1 Nitrous Oxide
-9.9.2 Membrane Enrichment of Air
-10.1 The myth of Triptane
-10.2 From Honda Civic to Formula 1 winner.
-11.1 Books and Research Papers
-11.2 Suggested Further Reading









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