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rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? #5108607 05/18/19 03:34 PM
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dailydriver Offline OP
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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 03:47 PM
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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 03:53 PM
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^^+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 03:58 PM.
Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: dailydriver] #5108628 05/18/19 03:56 PM
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slacktide_bitog Online Content
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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 04:02 PM
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bdcardinal Offline
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California for the most part only has 91 and most of the state doesn't have elevation to deal with.


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Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: dailydriver] #5108642 05/18/19 04:10 PM
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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 04:19 PM
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javacontour Offline
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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.


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Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: dailydriver] #5108683 05/18/19 05:20 PM
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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 06:51 PM
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meadows Offline
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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 07:01 PM
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Emissions


“It took untold generations to get you where you are. A little gratitude might be in order. If you’re going to insist on bending the world to your way, you better have your reasons.”

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Re: rationale for some states limiting the octane of premium fuel? [Re: slacktide_bitog] #5108818 05/18/19 08:00 PM
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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 08:15 PM
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meadows Offline
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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 08:16 PM
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meadows Offline
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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 08:18 PM
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vw7674 Online Content
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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 08:19 PM
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meadows Offline
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Again, I would like the law quoted

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