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Chemistry of Gasoline
Episode 1714th June 2024 • Chemistry Connections • Hopewell Valley Student Publication Network
00:00:00 00:07:36

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Chemistry Connections

Chemistry of Gasoline

Episode #17

Welcome to Chemistry Connections, my name is Adithya Shrikanth and I am your host for episode 1 called  Today I/we will be discussing the chemistry of Gasoline.

Segment 1: Introduction to Gasoline

Gasoline how it works are what are the differences between regular and premium and the difference between the gasoline in car and jets

Segment 2: The Chemistry Behind Gasoline

The chemical composition of gasoline is C8H18 and it appears as a yellowish liquid. The problem is that gasoline is a liquid and for an engine of any vehicle to work it needs fuel. The wondrous thing about gasoline is that is vaporizes at low temperatures so the engine does not have to heat up much for the gasoline to turn into fuel. Gasoline is a petroleum-based compound so when the engine is running, the gasoline reacts with the air and a combustion reaction occurs turing the gasoline into a gas. To understand gasoline further we must know how the gasoline reacts with the engine. Despite the type of engines used, all of them use pistons. When the gasoline combusts, the explosion pushes the piston down which transfers energy to the crankshaft and so one eventually leading to a running car. How we know how gasoline works but what about the differences between gasoline. At the gas station we see two options, premium and regular and normally we use regular gasoline due to its price but why do these options exist. Well the main difference between regular and premium is the ocatnce level. Premium gasoline has a higher octane level. The level of octane in gasoline indicated the likelihood of improper engine combustion which is known as engine knock. The higher octane concentration in premium gasoline causes a lower likelihood of engine knock happening, this is why high premium gasoline is used in high-performance cars. Jets and cars both use fuel but what is the difference between them. Both aviation fuel and regular fuel use hydrocarbons but the difference is the type of hydrocarbons each fule uses. The hydocarbns that make up normal gasoline contain 7 to 11 carbon atoms attached to hydrogen atoms, the ones that make up Avatioan fuel contain 12-15 carbon atoms so jet fuel is made up of mostly kerosene. In theory jet fuel can be used in cars but car fuel cannot make a jet run because the conditions that a jet goes through are very different as compared to a car. At the hights that a jet travels, the temprature becomes -40 Celcius so normal gasoline would freeze at those temperatures so the combustion reactions would stop. Since jet fuel is mostly kerosene it has a low freezing point so that is why jet fuel and gasoline are different. 

Segment 3: Personal Connections

We all drive cars and have been in cars as long as we can remember. One of the converstones of driving a car is gasoline. We pull up to the gas station and see options for gasoline and we wonder what they all mean. We also wonder how a liquid can help a car or plane run.

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Music Credits

Warm Nights by @LakeyInspired 

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