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Aldehyde: Created from the combustion of alcohols (ethanol).
Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM): A non-profit organization that
provides specifications and procedures
that are recognized as guidelines for
Anti-icer: Typically, an alcohol (such
as ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, or methanol)
added to gasoline in small amounts to eliminate water; thereby, reducing the
chance for fuel line freeze-up.
Antiknock Index (AKI): Measures the ability of a gasoline to
resist engine knock/
ping. AKI is the average of Research and Motor Octane or (R+M)/2. Commonly
to as pump octane.
Anti-oxidant: A stabilizing compound used to inhibit gum formation from oxidation
Aromatic: High octane blending components that have a benzene ring in their
structure (benzene, toluene, xylene).
Benzene: Basic aromatic usually of higher value as a chemical
feedstock. A known
cancer causing agent.
British Thermal Unit (BTU): One British thermal
unit represents the amount of heat
required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
A light hydrocarbon used to raise octane and increase fuel volatility.
Carbon dioxide: A normal byproduct
of combustion. A food for plants.
Carbon monoxide: A deadly toxic gas produced from the tail
pipe when cars burn
Clean Air Act Amendments-1990: A series of amendments to the original
Clean Air Act
which includes requirements for oxygenated fuel programs in CO non-attainment
areas and reformulated gasoline
programs in certain ozone non-attainment areas.
Corrosion inhibitors: An additive used to reduce the
corrosion properties of
Deposit control additive: Performs same functions as detergent
deposit buildup in intake manifold, intake ports, and underside of intake valves.
Additive used to prevent and/or clean up carburetor and fuel injector
A mixture of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline based on volume.
E-85: A mixture of 85% ethanol and
15% gasoline based on volume.
Elastomer: The rubber-like compounds used in fuel lines, evaporative
lines, and carburetor parts.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): A federal agency
charged with monitoring
and creating standards for air and water quality. Determines standards for vehicle
and testing procedures.
Ethanol (ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol): Typically fermented from grain.
enhancer added at a rate of up to 10 percent in gasoline. Will increase octane
2.5 to 3.0 numbers
at 10 percent concentration. Ethanol is a fuel oxygenate. Also
can be used "neat" (pure) as a fuel in specially
ETBE (ethyl tertiary butyl ether): An ether similar to MTBE. This fuel oxygenate
manufactured by reacting isobutylene with ethanol. The resulting ether is high
octane and of low volatility.
Can be added to gasoline up to a level of
Fermentation: A chemical decomposition
which takes place in an organic substance
exposed to the air, due to the action of microscopic organisms.
Fuel Vehicle (FFV): A vehicle designed to burn gasoline or any blend of
ethanol/gasoline up to 85% ethanol and
15% gasoline (E-85).
Fluidizer oils: Oils typically used with deposit control additives to control
deposit formation on intake valves.
Gasohol: In the U.S., the term gasohol refers to gasoline
which contains 10%
ethanol. This term was used in the late 1970's and early 1980's but has been
terms such as Super Unleaded Plus Ethanol or Unleaded Plus.
Ground level ozone: A reaction
of hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and sunlight
creating a brown haze in the lower atmosphere. Also referred to as
Hydrocarbon (HC): Vapors formed from products made from crude oil. Usually
created from incomplete combustion or from vaporization of liquid gasoline. A
pollutant that contributes to
ground level ozone.
Isobutylene: A chemical that is reacted with methanol to form MTBE or with ethanol
Lead (Tetraethyl lead): A metallic octane enhancer. One gram of lead increases the
of one gallon of gasoline about six numbers. Not permitted in U.S. gasoline
after 1995, except for certain racing
or aviation uses.
Metal deactivator: Gasoline additive used to neutralize the effects of copper
Methanol (methyl alcohol, wood alcohol): Typically manufactured from natural gas.
In the 1980's, methanol was used in combination with heavier alcohols as an octane
enhancer in gasoline. Also
is being considered for use as a "neat" (pure) fuel in
specially designed vehicles. Typically not blended with today's
MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether): An ether manufactured by reacting methanol and
The resulting ether is high octane and of low volatility. Is a fuel
oxygenate and is permitted in unleaded
gasoline up to 15%.
National Energy Policy Act of 1992: Legislation requiring phasing in of alternative
vehicles in fleets.
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx): Produced when high combustion temperatures (2300F-2500F)
Contributes to ground level ozone.
Non-attainment areas: Those areas of the country which have excessive
carbon monoxide and/or ozone in their air.
Octane: General term for a gasoline's ability
to resist engine knock.
· Pump Octane: A term used to describe the octane as
posted on the retail
gasoline dispenser as (R+M)/2 and is the same as Antiknock index
· Motor Octane: The octane as tested in a single cylinder octane test engine
at more severe operating conditions. Affects high speed and part throttle
and performance under load, passing, etc. Abbreviated M and is the
number in (R+M)/2
· Research Octane: The octane as tested in a single cylinder
octane test engine
operated under less severe operating conditions. Affects
low to medium
speed knock and engine run-on. Abbreviated R and is the higher
Octane enhancer: Common term designating
components that are added to gasoline to
increase octane and reduce engine knock. Toluene, ethanol, and MTBE.
Number Requirement (ONR): The octane level required to provide knock-free
operation in a given engine.
A gasoline component resulting from several refining processes --
ethylene, butylene. Often contributes
to the formation of gum and deposits in
Oxygenate: A term used to denote octane
components containing hydrogen, carbon, and
oxygen in their molecular structure. Includes ethers such as MTBE and
such as ethanol and methanol.
Oxygenated gasoline: Gasoline containing an oxygenate such
as ethanol or MTBE.
Provides chemical enleanment of the air fuel charge, thereby improving combustion
and reducing tailpipe
emissions of CO.
Ozone: Is formed when oxygen and other compounds react in sunlight. In the
atmosphere, ozone protects the earth from the sun's ultraviolet rays. Though
beneficial in the upper atmosphere,
at ground level, ozone is a respiratory
irritant and considered a pollutant.
Photochemical Smog (ground
level ozone): A reaction of hydrocarbons, nitrogen
oxides, and sunlight, creating a brown haze in the lower atmosphere.
gasoline: Gasolines which have had ether composition and/or
characteristics altered to reduce vehicular emissions
of pollutants. Specifically,
those gasolines which meet RFG requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act
Vapor Pressure (RVP): A method of determining vapor pressure of gasoline. Used
as an indicator of volatility
(vaporization characteristics) of gasoline.
Toxics: As defined in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments,
toxics include benzene,
1,3 butadiene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and polycyclic organ matter.
Ratio: A measurement of the ratio of vapor to liquid at a given
temperature used to determine a gasoline's
tendency to contribute to vapor lock
in an automotive fuel system.
Volatility: A term used to describe
a gasoline's tendency to change from liquid to
Volume Percent: A percentage measurement
based solely on volume without regard
to differences in weight or density. Typically used to measure the concentration
alcohols and ethers in gasoline.
Weight Percent: A percentage measurement based on weight. Typically
used to measure
the oxygen content of gasoline.