gasoline

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
Save to active project

gasoline

gasoline or petrol, light, volatile mixture of hydrocarbons for use in the internal-combustion engine and as an organic solvent, obtained primarily by fractional distillation and "cracking" of petroleum, but also obtained from natural gas, by destructive distillation of oil shales and coal, and by a process that converts methanol to gasoline using zeolite as a catalyst. Gasoline intended for use in engines is rated by octane number, an index of quality that reflects the ability of the fuel to resist detonation and burn evenly when subjected to high pressures and temperatures inside an engine. Premature detonation produces "knocking" and "pinging" ; it wastes fuel and may cause engine damage. The addition of tetramethyl lead and tetraethyl lead to raise the octane number is no longer permitted in the United States because it leads to dangerous emissions containing lead. New formulations of gasoline designed to raise the octane number contain increasing amounts of aromatics and oxygen-containing compounds (oxygenates), such as alcohols, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), and methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT). Automobiles are now equipped with catalytic converters that oxidize unreacted gasoline; the cars are designed to run on newly formulated gasolines as well as on gasohol, which contains 10% ethanol or 3% methanol. In addition, since 1998 a number of American automobiles have been equipped to enable them to run on either gasoline or E85, a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Some racing cars use pure methanol as fuel.

There are five blends of gasoline marketed in the United States. Conventional gasoline, the most widely available, is sold where air quality is satisfactory; since 1992, it has been formulated to evaporate more slowly in hot weather so as to reduce smog, and it now contains detergent additives to reduce engine deposits. Winter oxygenated gasoline, introduced in 1992, is formulated as conventional gasoline with oxygen-rich chemicals added, such as MTBE or ethanol. The oxygen promotes cleaner burning, reducing carbon monoxide, and is generally sold from November to March because cold engines operate less efficiently and produce more carbon monoxide. Reformulated gasoline (RFG), introduced in Jan., 1995, is mandated in areas where toxins in the air are a constant problem; it contains oxygen-rich chemicals in lesser concentrations than the winter oxygenated gasoline and is formulated to reduce certain toxic chemicals found in conventional and winter oxygenated fuels. Oxygenated reformulated gasoline is a wintertime fuel exclusive to the New York City area, where heavy carbon monoxide pollution occurs. California reformulated gasoline, introduced in 1996, has a different formulation and burns cleaner than regular reformulated gasoline. Because MTBE has been implicated as a pollutant, particularly of groundwater, its use is being curtailed. In 1999, California ruled that the MTBE in California reformulated gas must be phased out by Dec. 31, 2002.

See Society of Automotive Engineers Incorporated, ed., Gasoline and Diesel Fuel: Performance and Additives (1997).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

gasoline
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.