What is Gasoline Made of? (2021 Updated)

what is gasoline made of

Boom! What’s up thinking about how your car engine works? If you are thinking about this, let me tell you that it runs on gasoline. If you are going on a road trip you must stop at a gas station to refill the tank and then you can move along to your destination.

So! Have you ever thought about where gasoline comes from or what is gasoline made of? If Yes, then you are going to get your answer here. 

What is Gasoline Made Of?

Gasoline is made of hydrocarbons extracted from a dark dense liquid called petroleum or crude oil which is pumped out from the core of the earth. The liquid contains hydrocarbons of different lengths and chains which are separated through distillation. One of the hydrocarbon chain is Gasoline.

What is Gasoline Made up of? Detailed Guide

Gasoline is extracted from ground in the form of a thick dark substance called crude oil. It is one of the forms of fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels are that fuels which are made up from the death and decay of plants and animals millions of years ago. These remains of plants and animals are covered under the layers of earth where high pressure and temperature is applied on them for millions of years and a dense mixture of liquid hydrocarbons chain is created which is called crude oil or also petroleum.

Mixture of carbon and hydrogen is called a hydrocarbon. These are organic compounds which consist of hydrocarbons of all kinds and lengths. The length of a hydrocarbon is dependent on how much carbon molecules are there is a hydrocarbon.

For example methane, ethane, propane, butane, pentane, hexane, heptane, octane, nonane, decane etc. are hydrocarbons which contain 1-10 carbons respectively. From methane to butane are gases, pentane to heptane are liquids. These are solvents which include paint solvents and dry-cleaning solvents etc. 

Gasoline is made of hydrocarbons which contains carbon atoms ranging from seven to eleven. After it heavy fuels come including diesel, kerosene and lubricating oils etc. Semi Solid forms of petroleum such as wax paraffin asphalt and tar are left at the end of the container.

Distillation of crude oil

The process in which crude oil is separated into different parts or substances is called distillation of crude oil. Crude oil is heated in a distillation container in which different compartments are made for different substances based on their boiling points. When the hydrocarbons are heated the different hydrocarbon chains boil according to their boiling points. 

As different hydrocarbon chains have different boiling points, thus each chain of hydrocarbon evaporates at a specific temperature and solid coke is left at the end. When they boil off they are collected at specific tubes or portions where they are condensed at required temperatures. So! Gasoline is made of crude oil by distillation which is the answer to the question what is gasoline made of?

Physical Forms of Gasoline

These include methane, ethane, propane, butane, pentane, hexane, heptane, octane, nonane, decane etc. are hydrocarbons which contain 1-10 carbons respectively. From methane to butane are gases, pentane to heptane are liquids. These are solvents which include paint solvents and dry-cleaning solvents etc. 

Gasoline is made of hydrocarbons which contains carbon atoms ranging from seven to eleven. After it heavy fuels come including diesel, kerosene and lubricating oils etc. Semi Solid forms of petroleum such as wax paraffin asphalt and tar are left at the end of the container.

The gasoline is purified in a refinery where other chemicals are added to it in order to enhance engine performance. After it the gasoline is transported to Gas Stations usually through pipelines and from the stations you fill your tank and carry on your trip.

what is gasoline made of
Distillation of Petroleum/Crude Oil

As you can see from the diagram above about the we have provided the whole system how how crude oil in distilled. 

  1. The first one is gas which is liberated at 20 degrees.
  2. At the next one is gasoline which is pulled out at 150 degrees from crude oil.
  3. After it at 200 degrees Kerosene is extracted which is used as jet fuel.
  4. After at 3o0 degrees Diesel oil is collected.
  5. At 370 degrees fuel oil is obtained.
  6. At 400 degree Celsius residuals are left at the bottom which include lubricants, Paraffin wax and asphalt.

Chemistry of Gasoline

The chain in which there is just one carbon atom is methane (CH4) which is the lightest hydrocarbon. It is also called natural gas. Apart from methane, ethane (C2H6), propane (C3H8), Butane (C4H10) all four are also lighter ones and are in gaseous form. There boiling points are -161 o F, -88 o F, -46 o F and -1o F respectively.

From hydrocarbons chains ranging from five to 18 are denser ones and are liquid solvents. Petrol or Gas is present in hydrocarbon chains from seven carbon atoms to eleven carbon atoms.

Disintegration of Hydrocarbons  During Distillation

The diverse chain lengths have logically higher boiling points, so they can be isolated out by distillation process. The thing that occurs in an oil processing plant is that crude oil is heated at different temperatures and the various chains are pulled out by their vaporization temperatures. 

The chains in the C5, C6 and C7 range are altogether light, handily disintegrated and clear fluids called naphthas. They are utilized as solvents – cleaning liquids can be produced using these fluids, just as paint solvents and other cleaning and drying items. The chains from C7H16 through C11H24 are mixed together and used to make Gasoline.

These hydrocarbons have low boiling points than water. That is why if you spill them on the floor they vanish very quickly. Next is lamp oil, in the C12 to C15 territory, followed by diesel fuel and heavier fuel oils like warming oil for houses and mobile oil. At the end of the distillation container greasing oils are left which doesn’t disintegrate at ordinary temperatures. 

For instance, motor oil can run the entire day at 250 o F (121 o C) without disintegrating by any stretch of the imagination. Oils go from exceptionally light (like 3-in-1 oil) through different thicknesses of engine oil through extremely thick, apparatus oils and afterward semi-strong oils. 

It also includes gasoline. Chains over the C20 means containing more than twenty carbon atoms are solids, beginning with paraffin wax, at that point tar and ending on  asphaltic bitumen, which used to make black-top of roads and streets. These various substances originate from crude oil. The main contrast is the length of the carbon chains so they can be isolated out by refining.

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Molecular Structure of Gasoline

Gasoline has greater weight and density than gas-state fossil fuels like natural gas — methane — and propane. Fossil fuels like diesel and kerosene have greater weight and density than gasoline. The bulk of gasoline consists of hydrocarbons with, “between 4 and 12 carbon atoms per molecule (commonly referred to as C4-C12).”

With respect to molecule chain size and length and carbon-to-hydrogen ratio, gasoline lies near the center of the spectrum of fossil fuels.

what is gasoline made of
Petroleum Refinery

Categories of Hydrocarbons in Gasoline

The hydrocarbons in gasoline are of many types but they fall into two categories:

  • Saturated Hydrocarbons
  • Unsaturated Hydrocarbons

Saturated Hydrocarbons

Saturated Hydrocarbons as described by the name are the most stable. Saturated hydrocarbons are those having carbon atoms with no space to make bond with one more atoms of hydrogen or carbon. There can be about three types of saturated hydrocarbons, these can be linear hydrocarbons, branched hydrocarbons, or loops hydrocarbons. Cycloalkanes are the branched hydrocarbons.

Unsaturated Hydrocarbons

Unsaturated hydrocarbons can have space to make a bond with a carbon or a hydrogen atom and are reactive. These can also be linear, branched, or loop but unsaturated hydrocarbons can easily be bonded to hydrogen atoms. Thus these hydrocarbons are generally unstable. Saturated hydrocarbons burn out with a clear and clean flame because of their stability. Unsaturated hydrocarbons burn with a smoky flame and that’s why they can be toxic.

The Most Common Types of Hydrocarbons in Gasoline

There are generally about 500 and 1000 types of hydrocarbons in every fossil fuel. Gasoline is such a complex mixture of over 500 hydrocarbons that may contain hydrocarbons with carbon atoms between 7 to 11 carbon atoms. 

Alkanes (Unsaturated hydrocarbon) type compounds that can either be in straight chain or in branched chain. Also smaller amounts of alkanes (saturated hydrocarbon) cyclic and aromatic compounds (benzene C6H6) are also present.”  There are also some other amounts of other hydrocarbons in every fossil fuel

“Simply gasoline contains mainly alkanes also called paraffins, alkenes also called olefins, and aromatics (benzenes),” according to Advanced Motor Fuels.

Alkanes (Paraffins) Present in Gasoline

The most prevalent hydrocarbons in gasoline are alkanes. Alkanes are saturated hydrocarbons which give a huge amount of energy when it burns. Alkanes are chemical compounds that consist only of the elements carbon (C) and hydrogen (H) linked exclusively by single bonds. Each carbon atom forms 4 bonds (either C-H or C-C bonds). Each hydrogen atom is connected to a single carbon atom, by an H-C bond.” 

A list of the paraffins in gasoline includes:

N-butane, N-pentane, N-hexane, N-heptane, 2-methylbutane, 2,2-dimethylpropane, 2,2-dimethylbutane, 2,2-dimethyl pentene, 2,2,3-trimethyl butane, 2,2,4-trimethylpentane (isooctane)

Once more, alkanes are amazingly inert since they have no space for the expansion of more carbon or hydrogen atoms. All alkane chains have a similar general structure for example CH4. Alkanes are hydrocarbon particle chains in which a carbon molecule’s bonds are between a couple of other carbon atoms and between a few hydrogen atoms to make a branch structure.

The carbon atoms toward the end of an alkane chain have one C bond and three H bonds. The carbon atoms in an alkane particle chain have two carbon molecule bonds and a few hydrogen iota bonds. 

Some alkane hydrocarbons have branches or circles. Be that as it may, each carbon particle in all alkanes has four bonds. Each carbon molecule either has one carbon bond and three hydrogen bonds or two carbon bonds and two hydrogen bonds respectively.

Carbon-to-Carbon Bonds Difference between Alkanes and Alkenes

So, the only difference between different alkanes is that how many carbon atoms are present in that chain and the number of carbon-to-carbon bonds. N-pentane, for example, has 5 carbon atoms. Three of the carbon atoms in n-pentane — those two at each end and three in between them— have one-one carbon bond and three and two hydrogen bonds respectively.

Roughly about fifty five percent of alkanes are made up of alkanes.  And, in that 55 about 17 percent of the alkanes in gasoline are n-alkanes. About 32 percent of the alkanes in gasoline are branched or complex alkanes. The number or percent of cycle-alkanes in gasoline is about 5% only.

The second largest sum of hydrocarbons in gasoline is aromatics. 

Aromatics (Alkynes) Present in Gasoline

Aromatics are unsaturated hydrocarbons. That implies that aromatics have space to procure more carbon atoms and more hydrogen molecules. In this way, aromatics effectively change their hydrocarbon structure easily. In that capacity, aromatics are profoundly unpredictable and volatile.

There are unmistakably progressively types of aromatics present in gasoline; however the most well-known aromatics are:

Benzene Present in Gasoline

Following types of benzene are present in gasoline

  • methylbenzene or Toluene
  • m-xylene or 1,3-dimethylbenzene
  • Ethyl benzene
  • Propyl benzene
  • Isopropyl benzene

Aromatics have lower vitality content that is energy than alkanes. While lower vitality content is a negative, aromatics normally have higher octane than alkanes. The higher the octane includes in the aromatics in gasoline, the higher is the octane tally of the gas. Therefore, the higher is the octane in gas, the more uncertain that a engine will thump.

Thumping — explosion — blast happens when various segments of an air-fuel blend touch off at various occasions. High octane powers explode consistently in the chamber of a motor. 

Before, lead was the part in fuel that stopped explosion. Moreover, adding lead to fuel builds its octane. Yet, in 1997, the expansion of lead to fuel to expand octane check got unlawful. Lead is a profoundly poisonous component that harms the air just as individuals, vegetation, and fauna.

To deliver high octane fuel without including lead, oil makers started expanding the level of aromatics in gas. Along these lines, aromatics are a basic segment in gas. In any case, there are downsides to aromatics. Aromatics produce burning buildup and harmful discharges. However aromatics are not as harmful as lead but are more harmful than alkanes.

“Aromatics in fuel are the new lead,” said by Carol Werner, the official chief of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, a Washington-based gathering that propels strategy answers for perfect and supportable energy. “It’s what keeps me up around night.”

Alkenes (Olefins) Present in Gasoline

Alkenes, as aromatics, are unsaturated hydrocarbons. That implies they are insecure, highly reactive and — and for absence of an increasingly spellbinding term — dirty. Alkenes, normally, have a considerably higher octane rating than aromatics. Furthermore, alkenes are conceivably much progressively harmful.

“Aromatics [and olefins] in fuel have high octane numbers. Be that as it may, aromatics and olefins may intensify motor tidiness, and furthermore increment motor stores, which is a significant factor for new advanced motors and after-treatment gadgets. 

Aromatics may prompt cancer-causing mixes in exhaust gases, for example, benzene and poly aromatic mixes. Olefins in fuel may prompt an expansion in the centralization of receptive olefins in exhaust gases, some of which are cancer-causing, poisonous or may build ozone-framing potential.”

The inquiry, “what is in gas?” is hydrocarbons. Notwithstanding, “what hydrocarbons are in gas?” is liable in a few different ways. The most explicit is alkanes, aromatics, and alkenes. In any case, that answer asks the inquiries, “Which hydrocarbons in gas are generally significant?”


 Alkanes are the hydrocarbons in gas that have the best weight and thickness and are the steadiest. As such, alkanes produce the most vitality and alkanes oxidize the cleanest. Along these lines, the inquiry, “what is the best fuel created on the planet?” is responsible by figuring out which locales produce the rawest petroleum which contain a high level of alkane.

Things to Do Onwards

Now we suppose, you know what gasoline is made of! So, know we present you our to-do list. These are the tasks the you are going to complete after reading this post.

  1. Take a field excursion to a neighborhood gas/petrol station. Help a friend or relative fill their vehicle’s tank with gasoline. What alternatives are accessible? What sort of gasoline do they regularly utilize? For what reason do they pick that specific kind of gas? What value contrasts exist between the various octanes of gas?
  2. Up for a test? Help fellows or relatives to calculate the gas mileage of their vehicles. For this reason you should fill the tank and reset the mileage. When the gas has been utilized, note the new mileage and this is the required mileage.
  3. Which country produce the greater part of the world’s oil? Get online to look at the World Oil Creation. Does the guide shock you? Why or why not? For what reason do you think the nations that produce the most oil do as such? Offer what you realize and learn with friends and members of your family.

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