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...chemical formula of gasoline?

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

Question by ChuRrO
Submitted on 3/8/2004
Related FAQ: Gasoline FAQ - Part 4 of 4
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What is the chemical formula of gasoline?

Answer by Fred
Submitted on 7/8/2004
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Answer by mannsoureh
Submitted on 1/25/2005
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chemical formula of gasoline


Answer by dina
Submitted on 2/9/2005
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I dont know


Answer by tafere
Submitted on 4/5/2005
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Answer by chemical dude
Submitted on 6/17/2005
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First, it is made up almost entirely of hydrocarbons, which are molecules made up of carbon and hydrogen. (Some of the compounds present in gasoline also contain small amounts of other elements, including sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen, and some trace metals.) Next, those hydrocarbons which make up most of gasoline boil at temperatures between about 50 and 200 degrees Celsius (120 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit). This means that these compounds are mostly those hydrocarbons that have between 6 and 12 carbon atoms in each molecule. A good average is probably octane, which has eight carbon atoms and 18 hydrogen atoms and is written C8H18.

Although gasoline contains many different chemical compounds, it is made up mostly of hydrocarbons, and all hydrocarbons form the same products when they are burned (just in different amounts). When a hydrocarbon is burned (that is, reacted with oxygen), it forms carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). For our "average" gasoline of C8H18, the reaction is 2 molecules of octane reacting with 25 molecules of oxygen (O2) to form 18 molecules of water and 16 molecules of carbon dioxide. Of course, this reaction only occurs completely in an ideal world. In the real world, there is usually not quite enough oxygen available fast enough inside your car's engine to allow the reaction to occur completely, so there is also some carbon monoxide (CO) formed as well. In addition, since the oxygen is provided by bringing air into the engine, and since air consists mostly of nitrogen, some oxides of nitrogen (NOX) are formed as well. Finally, some of the trace elements in the gasoline (such as sulfur) can react to form small amounts of other pollutants, such as SO2.

So, to sum up, gasoline is a complicated mixture of hydrocarbons boiling between 120 and 400 degrees F, with chemical formulas between C6H14 and C12H26, but a good "average" compound is C8H18. These react in an ideal situation to produce carbon dioxide and water, but in an actual automobile engine they also produce some amount of undesirable compounds including carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, and sulfur-containing compounds. I hope this helps to answer your question.


Answer by Ben
Submitted on 6/21/2005
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Since gasoline is not a chemical compound (it's a series of compounds
ranging from C5 to C10) wouldn't the actual chemical formula of the gasoline
have more effect on the "lean" or "rich" combustion than the specific gravity?


Answer by arda
Submitted on 5/18/2006
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no formula for gasoline, because it is a mixture and it may contain different amounts of contaminants in it


Submitted on 6/28/2007
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Gasoline is a pale brown or pink liquid made from processed crude oil. It evaporates easily, is very flammable and can form explosive mixtures in air. Typical gasoline contains about 150 different chemicals, including benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene and xylene, which also are known as the BTEX compounds.

Gasoline also contains chemicals such as lubricants, anti-rust agents and anti-icing agents that are added to improve car performance. These chemicals usually are only present in very small amounts. Before the 1980s, lead was commonly used in gasoline as an anti-knocking agent. The use of lead has been stopped due to air pollution and the possibility of adverse health effects. Some gasolines also contain ethanol, which is made from corn. Ethanol helps a car run more efficiently and it produces less pollution.


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