Is Gasoline Flammable? 

This article will answer the question, is gasoline flammable? It also covers several topics about the grades of gasoline, the compositions of gasoline, the properties of gasoline, and how to store gasoline.

Is Gasoline Flammable?

Although liquid gasoline is not burned, its vapors ignite, causing the remaining liquid to evaporate and burn. Any spill might be exceedingly harmful because gasoline is highly flammable and readily combusts.

What is the definition of gasoline?

Gasoline is a petroleum-based fuel that is made from crude oil as the raw material. It is commonly used as engine fuel for automobiles. Commercial gasoline is produced by refining petroleum and mixing it in specific facilities and mechanisms. 

The qualities of gasoline are determined by the type of crude oil used and the design of the refinery where it is produced.

Crude oil should be mixed with other liquids to meet the specifications for fuel. So that it is suitable for use in spark-ignition engines.

Leakage and improper handling during production, transportation, and delivery can result in gasoline pollution into the environment as a liquid or vapor. It could be resulted from storage tanks and spills. 

Commonly, underground storage tanks are required to have essensial safeguards on the site. It is used to detect and efforts to control gasoline leakage.

What are the Grades of Gasoline?

  • Regular Gasoline

With the octane number 87. It is the lowest grade of gasoline.

  • Midgrade Gasoline

Midgrade gasoline usually characterized with the octane number between 89-91.

  • Premium Gasoline

The octane number of this gasoline varies around 91-94. This is the highest grade of gasoline.

What are the compositions in Gasoline?

Compositions of gasoline varies greatly depending on the utilization of crude oils, refinement processes, overall product demand and specifications.

The typical gasoline compositions is as follows:

  • 4–8% alkanes
  • 2–5% alkenes
  • 25–40% isoalkanes
  • 3–7% cycloalkanes
  • 1-4 percent cycloalkenes
  • 20–50% total aromatics 

What are the Properties of Gasoline?

Gasoline is a colorless to brown liquid with a distinctive odor. The fumes of gasoline are heavier than air. Vapors will settle to the ground and flow in a liquid-like manner. In addition, gasoline has the following properties:

  • Molecular weight: 108
  • Boiling point: 39°C to 204°C
  • Density: 0.7-0.8 g/cm³
  • Flashpoint: -46°C

How to Store Gasoline?

  • Never use gasoline for anything other than what it was designed for: as a source of energy. It should never be used as a cleaning solvent
  • Gasoline should be kept in UL-approved safety containers.
  • If you’re near gasoline, don’t smoke. Before refilling, please turn off all equipment and let it cool down. Check all fuel hoses, pipes, and pumps regularly. 
  • Check for the standards and regulations on fuel storage by municipal and state governments. 

One example is the requirements issued by the HSE committee in the UK which can be seen at the following link 

https://www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/petrol-storage-club-association.htm
  • It’s advisable to handle gasoline outside for improved ventilation.
  • Never mix gasoline with kerosene or diesel, even if it’s a small amount. Kerosene heaters and lamps should not be filled with gasoline.
  • Sawdust, paper, or rags should be used to absorb minor spills. 

Conclusion

The fumes from liquid gasoline ignite, forcing the remaining liquid to evaporate and burn. Any spill might be exceedingly harmful because gasoline is highly flammable and readily combusts. 

Gasoline classes are distinguished by their octane number. Some storage management can keep gasoline from igniting. 

If you have any questions, you can post them in the comments section. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs): Is Gasoline Flammable?

Is there a limit on how long gasoline can be stored?

Regular gasoline has a shelf life of three to six months, whereas diesel has a shelf life of up to a year. Organic-based ethanol, on the other hand, can lose its combustibility after three months due to oxidation and evaporation.

Is it permissible to throw gasoline on the ground?

No. Gasoline dump land and drainage can pollute the ground and water sources, toxic, and even pose a serious fire hazard.

Citations

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/gasoline/octane-in-depth.php
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp72-c3.pdf
https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/6107777

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