Even though it is simply regarded as something responsible for making vehicles operate, a lot of chemical processes must be undertaken before it becomes readily available at the gas station. It all begins by digging deep under the ground to obtain precious petroleum or crude oil. This oily substance was formed from plant and animal remains buried underground for millions of years. This explains why it is commonly referred to as “Fossil fuels.”
Chemically speaking, these are hydrocarbons linked together in different lengths and properties. It is then processed through a distillation process thereby extracting the various chains. The end result is a variety of petroleum liquids and gases while several specific chains are blended together to form gasoline. But before it goes to the gasoline stations, each oil company add their own blend of chemicals such as Ethanol, anti knock compounds, additives and more to get an edge over their competition and to have the best performing fuel on the market.
Gasoline and the Internal Combustion Engine
While gasoline was around before the invention of the internal combustion engine, for many years it was considered as a useless byproduct of crude oil. Back then; kerosene was more valuable as it powered lamps through much of the 19th century. But it wasn’t until the development of the four-stroke internal combustion engine in 1876 by Nikolaus Otto that made gasoline very essential to the automotive industry. Today, almost all gasoline that’s manufactured worldwide is used to fuel vehicles, while only a small percentage goes to agricultural equipment and aircraft use.
Typical Gasoline Manufacturing Processes
- Crude Oil Extraction
- Fractional Distillation
- Refining Petroleum
- Addition of Additives
- Rating Gasoline
Gasoline and the Economy
Factors that causes its volatile price
Why is it Expensive?
The continuous increase is caused by high crude oil prices. Being the main ingredient, this accounts for 72 percent of the price of gasoline. The remaining 28 percent comes from distribution, refining, and taxes. Any movement in the world prices of oil directly affects gas pump prices.
Three Major Causes of High Gas Prices
- International Supply and Demand
- Commodities Traders
- Current Dollar Value
What can be done to reduce oil prices?
- Reduce our usage of fuel by driving less or increasing fuel efficiency
- Promote alternative means of transport that does not rely on fuel
- A drastic decline in total world demand for oil will lead to lower oil prices.