Octane rating

related topics
{ship, engine, design}
{acid, form, water}
{rate, high, increase}
{car, race, vehicle}
{city, large, area}
{area, part, region}
{system, computer, user}

The octane number of a fuel is measured in a test engine, and is defined by comparison with the mixture of 2,2,4-trimethylpentane (iso-octane) and heptane which would have the same anti-knocking capacity as the fuel under test: the percentage, by volume, of 2,2,4-trimethylpentane in that mixture is the octane number of the fuel. For example, petrol with the same knocking characteristics as a mixture of 90% iso-octane and 10% heptane would have an octane rating of 90.[1] This does not mean that the petrol contains just iso-octane and heptane in these proportions, but that it has the same detonation resistance properties. Because some fuels are more knock-resistant than iso-octane, the definition has been extended to allow for octane numbers higher than 100.

Octane rating does not relate to the energy content of the fuel (see heating value). It is only a measure of the fuel's tendency to burn in a controlled manner, rather than exploding in an uncontrolled manner. Where octane is raised by blending in ethanol, energy content per volume is reduced.

It is possible for a fuel to have a Research Octane Number (RON) greater than 100, because iso-octane is not the most knock-resistant substance available. Racing fuels, avgas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and alcohol fuels such as methanol or ethanol may have octane ratings of 110 or significantly higher – ethanol's RON is 129 (116 MON, 122 AKI).[citation needed] Typical "octane booster" gasoline additives include MTBE, ETBE, isooctane and toluene. Lead in the form of tetra-ethyl lead was once a common additive, but since the 1970s, its use in most of the industrialised world has been restricted, and its use is currently limited mostly to aviation gasoline.


Full article ▸

related documents
Trinity (nuclear test)
Shaped charge
Nuclear pulse propulsion
Nuclear weapon
Radial engine
Pennsylvania class battleship
Titan (rocket family)
Hybrid rocket
Reactive armour
M249 Squad Automatic Weapon
TWA Flight 800
Air-augmented rocket
German Type XXIII submarine
Anti-ship missile
Lockheed L-1011
Percussion cap
Fire balloon
Shenzhou spacecraft
John Ericsson
Sleeve valve
Delta wing
SM-65 Atlas
RMS Olympic
UH-60 Black Hawk