What is Gasoline

Gasoline, called in some countries naphtha or benzine, is a fuel made from the mixture of various liquids that are flammable and volatile. It is obtained through the distillation of crude oil or crude oil.

This fuel results from the oil fraction, whose boiling point ranges between 70 and 180º C, and contains mixtures of hydrocarbons between 4 and 12 carbons.

The word gasoline was used for the first time in the English language. Although its origin is not clear, it was apparently formed from the union of the following words: gasplus oilmeaning ‘oil’ and the Greek suffix ine / janwhich means ‘made of’.

Gasoline is widely used as a fuel for internal combustion engines, although it is also used as a solvent.

As a fuel, gasoline is one of the most used worldwide, since most of the vehicle fleet requires it.

However, gasoline is a polluting fuel, which is why today different alternatives are being studied for its replacement.


Among the main characteristics of gasoline we can mention the following:


The composition of gasoline can vary. In fact, there can be up to 200 different compounds in said fuel. As a general rule, gasoline is made up of three classes of hydrocarbons: paraffins, olefins and aromatic compounds.


Gasoline is a liquid fuel, with a density of 680 kg/m³, which contrasts with the density of water, which is equivalent to 997 kg/m³. For this reason, when both liquids are mixed, the gasoline floats on the water.

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The color of gasoline varies according to its type and use:

  • regular gasoline: Orange;
  • super gasoline: green;
  • gasoline for fishing boats: purple.

See also: Fuel.


In the commonly used market, at least two types of gasoline are available, according to octane rating.

If a octane It is a type of hydrocarbon with 8 carbon atoms. octane is the unit of measurement to express the anti-knock capacity of gasoline, based on a certain mixture of hydrocarbons.

According to the octane number, the types of gasoline most used today are:

  • 95 octane gasoline: It contains less sulfur and is less aggressive for the environment. Its refinement process also makes it less aggressive for the engine, lengthening its useful life. Keeps the propellant free of impurities.

  • 98 octane gasoline: It has less or no sulfur in relation to other types of gasoline. It reduces consumption, is more favorable for the engine and is more friendly to the environment.

obtaining gasoline

The process for obtaining gasoline has varied over the years. Originally, gasoline was obtained from the distillation of crude oil.

Then, new scientific findings allowed gasoline to be obtained by means of high temperatures and pressure applied to heavy oil fractions. This process was called thermal degradation or cracking thermal.

Since 1937, the technique of catalytic crackingwhich consist of applying catalysts that favor certain chemical reactions in order to obtain gasoline from them.

In addition to this procedure, others such as polymerization, alkylation and isomerization are also applied, which allow the production of better quality gasoline.

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