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What ingredient is added to enhance the smell of auto...

<< Back to: Gasoline FAQ - Part 4 of 4

Question by Dick Siano
Submitted on 2/23/2004
Related FAQ: Gasoline FAQ - Part 4 of 4
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What ingredient is added to enhance the smell of auto gasoline?  Aviation gasoline does not smell as strongly as auto gasoline...is this difference deliberately engineered in?  Thanks!

Answer by Bryan H.
Submitted on 6/25/2004
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Aviation gasoline has higher octane ratings, which in general indicates that it is less volatile. Auto gasoline has lower octane ratings and evaporates at a much faster rate, so there just is more vapor for you to smell.


Answer by Paul
Submitted on 9/24/2004
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The (typical) smell of auto gasoline comes from the cracked components, witch contains olefins (alkenes). Avgas doesn't contain cracked gasoline components for stability and octane reasons. And the vapour pressure of avgas is lower because it has to be used at higher altitudes.


Answer by JGMagoo
Submitted on 1/19/2005
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As far as what is added strictly to make it smell better I don't know. I do know that unless it was a really serious problem, the oil companies wouldn't spend much money just to improve the before burning or after burning smell.
Actually today's aviation gasoline isn't particularly high octane since there are not many big, high-performance airplanes any more that use gasoline. Most general aviation gasoline is called 102LL which is 102 octane, low-lead. The primary difference between aviation gas and automotive gas is vapor lock resistance or boiling point. Since the boiling temperature of any liquid is related to altitude and fuel boiling is what causes vapor lock it is very important that airplanes do not vapor lock. They are willing to sacrifice some emissions and cold starting ability for the safety of the higher boiling point in aviation fuel. If your car vapor locks, you get out and walk. If your airplane vapor locks, you parachute.


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