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[Shop-talk] Storing Gasoline; was: Re: OT--car won't start

Subject: [Shop-talk] Storing Gasoline; was: Re: OT--car won't start
From: dmscheidt at (David Scheidt)
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 16:29:45 -0600
References: <002501ccbff4$f7b4f9e0$e71eeda0$> <>
On Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 10:09 AM, Bob Spidell <bspidell at> wrote:

> I have some education/training in chemistry, but have never understood how
an organic compound like gasoline--or an inorganic compound, for that
matter--can be 'stabilized.' The only thing that seems rational to me is
gasoline is a volatile organic compound; some components will vaporize more
easily than others and change the composition of the fuel. Moral of the story:
store gas in a sealed (can) or nearly sealed (tank) in moderate temperatures.
Anything that purports to 'stabilize' gasoline would have to modify its
chemical makeup, and possibly its vapor pressure. Not a good idea in general.

Gasoline 'spoils' through two processes.  One is evaporation of the
lighter fractions.  The other is oxidation of the component parts.
You can add antioxidants to keep that from happening, which is what
sta-bil et al are, among other things.  Depending on what's in the
gasoline, the oxidation can produce gum and other nasty stuff (why bad
gas turns brown).  What's in gasoline depends largely on what the base
oil was, and what the refinery did.  There are rather substantial

(gasoline also gets contaminated with water, but that's different.)


David Scheidt
dmscheidt at

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