Is gasoline a class 3 flammable liquid?

In this blog post, we will answer the question, “is gasoline a class 3 flammable liquid?”. We will also discuss what gasoline is, how it is produced, the definition of flammable liquid according to NFPA and OSHA, and the classifications of flammable liquid by NFPA.

Is gasoline a class 3 flammable liquid?

No. Gasoline is a class 1 flammable liquid. It has a flash point of −43 °C (−45 °F) and a boiling point range of 122-374oF.  Class 1 is the most hazardous class among all classifications of flammable liquids.

What is gasoline?

Gasoline is a fuel produced from crude oil and other liquids derived from petroleum. It combines petroleum-derived volatile, flammable liquid hydrocarbons utilized in internal combustion engines as a fuel source. 

Because of its high combustible energy and carburetor-friendly mixability, gasoline has quickly replaced kerosene as the most popular car fuel. Originally a petroleum industry byproduct, gasoline has become the most popular automotive fuel.

Gasoline manufactured by oil refineries is nearly always unfinished (or gasoline blendstocks). Blendstocks of gasoline should be combined with other liquids to produce final engine fuel that meets the basic requirements for spark-ignition engines.

U.S. petroleum refineries manufacture some final engine gasoline. Blending terminals are where the bulk of final petrol sold in the United States is produced; here, fuel ethanol and blendstocks of different grades and formulae are blended to create final motor gasoline for public use. 

Some firms can add surfactants and other substances to gasoline before being distributed to retail locations.

Commonly, blending terminals are more abundant and distributed than petroleum refineries. They are equipped with equipment for loading tanker trucks that deliver final engine gasoline to retail locations.

About 10% of the volume of finished gasoline marketed in the US today consists of fuel ethanol. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandates adding ethanol to gas to minimize greenhouse emissions and domestic oil imports in the United States.

How is gasoline produced?

In the beginning, gasoline was made via distillation, extracting crude oil’s more volatile and lucrative components. 

Cracking, a procedure used to increase the amount of gas produced from crude oil, breaks giant molecules into smaller ones. 

  • Although thermal cracking was first used in 1913, catalytic cracking, which utilizes catalysts to boost chemical processes and yield more gasoline, has since taken its place. 
  • Other methods for increasing gasoline supply and quality include: polymerization, which involves transforming olefin gases like propylene and butylene into larger molecules in the gasoline scope; 
  • alkylation, which consists in combining an olefin with paraffin-like butane; isomerization, which involves converting linear hydrocarbons into branched hydrocarbons; 
  • and reforming, which consists in rearranging molecules using heat or a catalyst.

What is flammable liquid?

OSHA defines a flammable liquid as any liquid with a flashpoint of 93°C (199.4°F) or lower.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), flammable liquids have a flashpoint below 37.8oC (100oF). They are categorized as Class 1, 1A, 1B, and 1C, depending on other factors that increase fire danger. 

Combustible liquids are classified as Class 2 and 3, then divided into Class 3A and 3B based on specific parameters affecting fire risk.

Liquids classified as Class 3B have flash points higher than or equal to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius). Regarding fire safety, Class 1 liquids are the most dangerous, while Class 3B is the safest.

What does it mean by class 3 flammable liquid?

For Class 3A flammable liquids, the flash point must be at least 60oC (140oF). There are several examples of Class 3A liquids, such as fuel oil, formic acid, and creosote oil.

Liquids classified as Class 3B are flammable liquids with a flashpoint of 200 °F or above. Olive oil, fish oil, coconut oil, and castor oil are typical Class 3B liquids.

What are the classifications of flammable liquid according to NFPA?

Flashpoints and boiling points below 37.8°C (100°F) are considered Class IA liquids. As a result, Class IA flammable liquids are classified as flammable. 

Ethylene oxide, methyl chloride, and pentane are some standard Class IA liquids to find in a home or workplace.

Flashpoints lower than 22.8°C (73°F) and boiling temperatures higher than 37.8°C (100°F) are considered to be Class IB liquids. A few examples of common Class IB liquids are isopropyl alcohol, acetone, benzene, ethyl alcohol, and gasoline.

More specifically, the flash point of Class IC liquids is between 73 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit (22 and 37 degrees Celsius). Turpentine and butyl alcohol are two of the most often used Class IC liquid solvents.

Liquids with a flash point more than or equal to 100 °F (37.8 °C) but less than 140 °F (60 °C) are classified as Class II combustibles. Stoddard solvent, pine tar, diesel fuel, and camphor oil are examples of Class II liquids.

For Class 3A flammable liquids, the flash point must be at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). Several examples of Class 3A liquids include fuel oil, formic acid, and creosote oil.

Liquids classified as Class 3B are flammable liquids with a flashpoint of 200 °F or above. Olive oil, fish oil, coconut oil, and castor oil are typical Class 3B liquids.

What is the flammability classification system based on?

According to the NFPA flammability classification system, the lowest temperature where the adequate vapor is released off the liquid to produce an ignitable combination with air is a primary factor in assigning a flammability rating.

The NFPA classification depends on adjusted flash points at sea level. Because of the decreased air pressure at higher altitudes, the liquid’s exact flash point would be lower. When handling or storing such substances, this will impact the danger of fire.

NFPA 30 and other NFPA codes and standards use these categories to determine fire safety codes for storing and handling flammable and combustible liquids.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have answered the question, “is gasoline a class 3 flammable liquid?”. We have also discussed what gasoline is, how it is produced, the definition of flammable liquid according to NFPA and OSHA, and the classifications of flammable liquid by NFPA.

If you have more questions about gasoline, please comment down below. 

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs): Is gasoline a class 3 flammable liquid?

Which one is more flammable, summer-grade gasoline or winter-grade gasoline?

Summer-grade gasoline is more flammable than winter-grade gasoline.

The vapor pressure of winter- and summer-grade gasoline is the most significant difference. 

An automotive engine’s optimal operation relies heavily on the vapor pressure of gasoline. Vapor pressure must be sufficiently high for the motor to activate readily during the winter. 

During summertime, reduced vapor pressure is essential to minimize air pollution in several regions. 

Warm weather allows gasoline to evaporate more quickly, to emit higher volatile compounds into the air, leading to health concerns and the buildup of harmful ozone & pollution at ground level. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates that gasoline refineries lower the vapor pressure in the summer to prevent pollution.

References

https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/training-library_TrngandMatlsLib_FlammableLiquids.pdf
https://blink.ucsd.edu/safety/research-lab/chemical/liquids/index.html
https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/gasoline/
https://www.britannica.com/technology/gasoline-fuel
https://www.greatamericaninsurancegroup.com/docs/default-source/loss-prevention/f13826-(3-08)nfpa-classificationsofflammable.pdf
https://www.britannica.com/science/flash-point
https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/TblDefs/pet_pri_refoth_tbldef2.asp

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