Nowadays the primary gasoline use is for fueling cars. Secondly, a small percentage of gasoline fuels planes and agricultural equipment. What is the history of gasoline and why is gasoline considered a waste product?
Gasoline is a waste product because it was originally discarded as a byproduct of kerosene production. Its ability to vaporize at low temperatures made it useful for many machines. Gasoline was discovered 160 years ago and it was used to make kerosene for lighting. At that time, there was no use for gasoline so it was often discarded.
In the 1890s, car inventors began to realize the value that gasoline had as a motor fuel. By 1920 there were around nine million gas-powered vehicles in the United States. Gas stations also started opening across the country.
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How is gasoline made?
Gasoline is made from crude oil that is broken into various petroleum products. Petroleum is a fossil fuel that provides more energy to the world than any other source. The USA is by far the world’s largest consumer of petroleum.
The remains of plants and animals have been under enormous pressure for millions of years. They are what form petroleum without the presence of oxygen. That is the reason why this organic matter hasn’t decomposed completely.
Gasoline is a mixture of hydrocarbons and a small number of other substances. Hydrocarbons are made up of hydrogen and carbon atoms. Petroleum refiners produce mostly unfinished gasoline. This unfinished gasoline blends with other liquids to produce finished motor gasoline. Finished motor gasoline is suitable for use in spark-ignition engines.
What are the different grades of gasoline?
These are three main grades of gasoline based on the octane level:
- Regular – it is the lowest octane fuel with an 87 octane rating.
- Midgrade or plus gas – it is the middle range octane fuel with an 89 octane rating.
- Premium – it is the highest octane fuel with a 92 octane rating.
These octane ratings measure fuel stability. Octane ratings show how well the gasoline resists knocking or pinging. This sound can occur if the air-fuel mixture fires off early in the engine. The higher octane rating means a lower chance of the gas pre-igniting. You can read more about why there are three different grades of gasoline in our blog.
Do different grades of gas make a difference?
There is a common misconception that a higher octane rating makes a difference when it comes to fuel. It does make a difference if your car is designed to run with this type of fuel. Engines with high compression ratios or turbochargers need premium gas for optimal performance.
If your car doesn’t require premium gas, simply fill up your tank with regular. If your owner’s manual doesn’t recommend using higher-octane gasoline, you will waste money on something you don’t need. It won’t make your car go faster or perform better. Make sure to check out 10 awesome tricks on how you can save money on gasoline.
Can I switch from premium to regular gas?
You shouldn’t use a lower than the recommended level. If you do, the gas can combust too fast for your engine. This will lead to a knocking noise.
Regular gas will affect your high-performance car negatively. It can reduce its power and fuel economy. Worst of all, it can cause engine damage in the long run. Find out more about the benefits of premium gasoline in our blog.
How to dispose of old gasoline?
As it gets old, gasoline loses some of the combustibility to fire up an engine. It remains flammable and you should know how to get rid of your extra supply safely. How do you actually know that gasoline is old? These are some signs:
- Smell – it loses its smell or it smells differently.
- Color – it becomes discolored, or with debris in it.
- Water – some water may be present.
- Time – it has been sitting in a container for more than six months.
When you expect to store gas for longer periods of time, you can use a gasoline-stabilizing product. Also, learn what containers are safe for gasoline. We will now present you with the steps that you should follow to properly get rid of bad gasoline.
Step #1: Locate the nearest hazardous waste disposal center
Once you locate the nearest hazardous waste disposal center, you should call ahead. Find out the operating hours, restrictions, and what they accept. Keep in mind that you may need to pay a disposal fee if you are not from that particular area.
Also, note that less populated areas usually have limited working hours. Finally, you should know that some centers have a maximum amount of gas that they will accept from an individual in a single visit. Find out how you can transport gasoline safely.
Step #2: Put the gasoline in an approved container
When you want to transfer your gas somewhere for disposal, put it in an airtight container for safety. You can use plastic or metal gasoline cans, especially the 5-gallon models. After you funnel the old gas into these containers, seal them tightly. You should also put the containers in a large plastic tub or bin. This will prevent the containers from tipping over while you are driving.
Step #3: Properly handle any gasoline spills
Keep in mind that even the smallest gasoline spill can quickly become extremely dangerous. Gasoline is both a toxic and highly flammable liquid. Never try to vacuum or soak up pure gasoline. Douse the gasoline spill with a dry absorbent agent.
If you spill any gasoline on your clothes, don’t put it straight into the washing machine. Keep in mind that any lingering gasoline can cause combustion when exposed to heat. Change your clothes and blot the excessive gasoline with a white cloth.
Next, cover the stains with baking soda. Let it sit for a few minutes and then brush it clean. Rub the liquid dish into the stain and leave it for five minutes. Wash the stained clothing by itself and line dry only. If you spilled gasoline on the driveway, read our blog to learn how to clean up gasoline spills on concrete.
Alternative methods for disposal of gasoline
If old gas is contaminated with rust, dirt, or other substances, such as brake fluid or antifreeze, it cannot be reused or reconditioned. Find out more about reconditioning gasoline and gasoline disposal in this document. If an old gas has only lost some of the potency to fire an engine, you can still use it. You can recondition it by diluting it with newer gas. Here are the steps:
- Place a funnel and a filter into the opening of a container. You can use a coffee filter or two pieces of thin cloth to catch any particles. Pour your old gas into the funnel.
- Mix the old gas with the new. Mix one part of old gas with at least five parts of new gas.
- Fill up an outdoor device with the mixture. You can try the reconditioned gas inside a lawnmower. You will likely get less efficient use out of the mixed tank of gas.
- Mix filtered gas with the fresh gas in your car. First, check your vehicle owner’s manual to find out its tank capacity. For a small tank that holds between nine to ten gallons, you can safely add half a gallon of filtered gas to the tank. You can add ¾ of a gallon of old gas to a tank that holds eleven or more gallons.
- Use a proper jerry can and carefully pour the old filtered gas into the tank. Monitor the gas level as you fill it. Stop when you see any signs of gasoline at the metal safety valve in your gas tank.
- Use a fuel additive. You can pour a fuel additive into a car’s tank or into the old gas container. The purpose of fuel additive is to break down dangerous compounds in the old gas. Keep in mind that using a fuel additive is not a good idea for all engine types. Consult a mechanic or employees at your local car supplies shop to see if they recommend using fuel additives.
How much does it cost to dispose of old gasoline?
The cost of hazardous waste disposal, including old gas, varies. It mainly depends on these three factors:
- The city you live in – if your city has facilities for hazardous waste drop-offs, it will cost you less. Taking your old gas to another city might result in additional fees because you are a non-resident.
- The amount of old gas – some cities have set limits on the amount of old gas they can take and may even charge you by the pound.
- Hiring professional companies – if you hire a private hazardous waste management company, it can cost you anywhere from $45 to $65 or more per drum.
Always make sure to dispose of the old gas properly, or recondition it when possible. Old gas is a hazardous waste and it poses threat to public health and safety, as well as the environment.