A History of Gasoline Additives
R. W. Hurst
Hurst & Associates, Inc, Thousand Oaks, CA
Petroleum refiners have introduced certain organic compounds to gasoline in order to enhance the performance of their product and/ or comply with environmental regulations. This presentation will provide an overview of when and why major gasoline additives were blended with gasoline and how this knowledge is now being used in environmental remediation.
As one example, alkylleads were found to alleviate the “knocking” prevalent in automobile engines. Despite the known toxicity of lead, tetraethyllead was blended with gasolines beginning in 1923. Some 50 years hence, and after substantial pollution of the environment by lead, alkyllead additives were phased out in a process that required another 15–20 years.
Other notable additives, such as Mn compounds (MMT) and MTBE, have been used to enhance gasoline octane ratings or comply with evolving emission standards. Now, scientists employ our historical knowledge of gasoline additives to answer significant questions which arise during environmental remediation.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90904©2001 AAPG Pacific Section Meeting, Universal City, California