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rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? #5108607
05/18/19 04:34 PM
05/18/19 04:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 9,508
Pennsylbammyvania
dailydriver Offline OP
dailydriver  Offline OP

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 9,508
Pennsylbammyvania
Is there any actual functional reason (claimed environmental, or otherwise) for certain states limiting the upper number (91 vs. 93) of the premium fuels sold there? shrug

I do NOT want this thread to turn to verboten topics, at all, with some insisting on inserting their particular worldviews into it, and will request that the mods delete it if it does!! wink

Just looking for some answers on why this is so, that's all. wink


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Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: dailydriver] #5108617
05/18/19 04:47 PM
05/18/19 04:47 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 785
N.A.
Onetor Offline
Onetor  Offline

Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 785
N.A.
Higher octane levels are not needed at high elevations. Due to lower oxygen content/combustion. That is something I read many years ago. I did not index the internet. Just from memory. But, there are much better scientific minds on this forum.


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Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: dailydriver] #5108623
05/18/19 04:53 PM
05/18/19 04:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,135
Buffalo, NY
Nickdfresh Offline
Nickdfresh  Offline

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,135
Buffalo, NY
^^+1 Yeah, it's more about elevation than any EPA policies:

Quote
Squeezed
Q:
I live in Arizona and use 87-octane regular. In Utah, Idaho and Nevada, stations were selling 85-octane as regular gas. This forced me to pay more for midgrade 87-octane. Is this the latest petroleum-industry scam to get more of our money? Will my car run okay on this bogus 85-octane regular?

A:
Octane is the ability of a fuel to resist knock, and high-compression engines tend to knock more. The obverse of that is that lower-compression engines can run on lower-octane gas. Air is thinner the higher above sea level you go. Less air going into the cylinders means less pressure at top dead center when things go bang. It's a lot like lowering the compression ratio in the engine, reducing the need for high octane. Cars will run just fine on lower-octane fuel when they're well above sea level--and all of those states are. Hopefully, by the time you get back down to denser air, you've burned off most of the low-octane stuff, and can refill the tank with higher-grade fuel.


https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a5308/4345737/

Last edited by Nickdfresh; 05/18/19 04:58 PM.
Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: dailydriver] #5108628
05/18/19 04:56 PM
05/18/19 04:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,402
USA
slacktide_bitog Offline
slacktide_bitog  Offline

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,402
USA
I don't think it's actual state law limiting available octane in high altitudes. Rather, it is not always needed due to the thinner air, so gas stations and their customers won't spend the extra money on 93 over 91. However, with regular, the cars that don't require premium, many recent cars now require 87 regardless of altitude since modern engine management can compensate for the thinner air.

The only non-high-altitude state I know of that doesn't have 93 available is California, and that is due to their strict environmental standards in regards to emissions. The cheapest ways to make California-compliant 93-octane are under patents held by a company that went out of business.

Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: dailydriver] #5108635
05/18/19 05:02 PM
05/18/19 05:02 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 12,563
Santa Barbara, CA
bdcardinal Offline
bdcardinal  Offline

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 12,563
Santa Barbara, CA
California for the most part only has 91 and most of the state doesn't have elevation to deal with.


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Opinions expressed are my own.
Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: dailydriver] #5108642
05/18/19 05:10 PM
05/18/19 05:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 119
WA
vw7674 Offline
vw7674  Offline

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 119
WA
Could be related to emissions at the point of fuel production.(the 'cracking tower' at the refinery.
No idea that burning 93 octane is any dirtier than burning 87. Catalysts should be able to scrub both really clean.

Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: slacktide_bitog] #5108646
05/18/19 05:19 PM
05/18/19 05:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,907
Illinois
javacontour Offline
javacontour  Offline

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,907
Illinois
This is what I was thinking. I don't think the STATE is limiting it. It is more likely a choice by those who sell fuel.

If you are at a higher elevation, you MAY not need the higher octane fuel.


Originally Posted by slacktide_bitog
I don't think it's actual state law limiting available octane in high altitudes. Rather, it is not always needed due to the thinner air, so gas stations and their customers won't spend the extra money on 93 over 91. However, with regular, the cars that don't require premium, many recent cars now require 87 regardless of altitude since modern engine management can compensate for the thinner air.

The only non-high-altitude state I know of that doesn't have 93 available is California, and that is due to their strict environmental standards in regards to emissions. The cheapest ways to make California-compliant 93-octane are under patents held by a company that went out of business.


network down, IP packets delivered via UPS -BOFH
Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: dailydriver] #5108683
05/18/19 06:20 PM
05/18/19 06:20 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 19,013
Apple Valley, California
Chris142 Offline
Chris142  Offline

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 19,013
Apple Valley, California
California only allows 91 octane. Many places are at and even below sea level.


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Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: dailydriver] #5108738
05/18/19 07:51 PM
05/18/19 07:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 161
southeast texas
meadows Offline
meadows  Offline

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 161
southeast texas
Kinder Morgan changed the spec on the main California pipeline to 91 octane.

Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: dailydriver] #5108748
05/18/19 08:01 PM
05/18/19 08:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 3,389
Atlanta,GA
BMWTurboDzl Offline
BMWTurboDzl  Offline

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 3,389
Atlanta,GA
Emissions


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Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: slacktide_bitog] #5108818
05/18/19 09:00 PM
05/18/19 09:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,196
San Antonio, TX
das_peikko Offline
das_peikko  Offline

Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,196
San Antonio, TX
Originally Posted by slacktide_bitog
I don't think it's actual state law limiting available octane in high altitudes. Rather, it is not always needed due to the thinner air, so gas stations and their customers won't spend the extra money on 93 over 91. However, with regular, the cars that don't require premium, many recent cars now require 87 regardless of altitude since modern engine management can compensate for the thinner air.

The only non-high-altitude state I know of that doesn't have 93 available is California, and that is due to their strict environmental standards in regards to emissions. The cheapest ways to make California-compliant 93-octane are under patents held by a company that went out of business.


Does that mean that 93 octane doesn't burn clean enough for California? I wonder how octane is related to emissions.

Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: dailydriver] #5108847
05/18/19 09:15 PM
05/18/19 09:15 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 161
southeast texas
meadows Offline
meadows  Offline

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 161
southeast texas
Unocal had the patent on the gasoline, Chevron bought Unocal and the patents should have followed.

Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: dailydriver] #5108850
05/18/19 09:16 PM
05/18/19 09:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 161
southeast texas
meadows Offline
meadows  Offline

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 161
southeast texas
Would someone please tell me which California law limits the octane?

Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: dailydriver] #5108852
05/18/19 09:18 PM
05/18/19 09:18 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 119
WA
vw7674 Offline
vw7674  Offline

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 119
WA
Apparently it has to do with devoting crude to production of more mid-grade gasoline. Thereby stretching reserves.
Check Slate.com about : Is premium premium?

Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: dailydriver] #5108853
05/18/19 09:19 PM
05/18/19 09:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 161
southeast texas
meadows Offline
meadows  Offline

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 161
southeast texas
Again, I would like the law quoted

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