Gasoline fuel


  • Production of gasoline
  • Octane number (RON)
  • Bioethanol (E5 and E10)

Production of gasoline:
Gasoline is extracted from petroleum. Petroleum originated from small animals and plants that died in the seas centuries ago. These sank to the seabed and were covered with mud and sand over the centuries. This created layers hundreds of meters thick. Under the influence of the enormous pressure of those layers and the seawater, layers of salt, solid and also porous rock were formed. In the porous rock, the petroleum was formed from the organic residues through bacteriological processes, high temperatures and high pressures. Crude petroleum is a mixture of hydrocarbons. It consists of 84-87% carbon, 11-14% hydrogen, 3% oxygen, 1% sulfur and 0,5% nitrogen. Atmospheric distillation separates the hydrocarbons with different boiling points from each other in a distillation column. This creates gas, motor gasoline, kerosene, diesel oil and heating oil.

Octane Number (RON):
The octane number is indicated by the RON number. It indicates the knock resistance of the petrol. (RON = Research Octane Number). There are two types of petrol for sale in the Benelux: RON (Euro) 95 and RON 98 (Super). In Germany we also find unleaded petrol with the octane numbers 91 and 102.

The octane number indicates the extent to which gasoline is resistant to detonation.

  • The lower the number, the higher the ignition readiness of the gasoline.
  • The higher the number, the lower the ignition readiness is.

This means that a car that is suitable for RON 98 may only be refueled with RON 98. When refueling RON 95, the mixture ignites earlier than desired. The engine may then detonate (ping). The piston will then compress an already ignited mixture. The consequences are overheating and the risk of serious damage to the engine (eg hole in the piston, burnt valves). The other way around is allowed, instead of RON 95 RON 98 may be refueled. In most cases the engine does not run better or faster and it is a lot more expensive. This makes it possible to avoid bioethanol containing fuels (E10).

Bioethanol (E5 and E10):
Euro 95 makes way for E10: petrol containing between 7,5 and 10% bioethanol. Previously, this percentage was a maximum of 5%. The introduction of bioethanol is intended to reduce CO2 emissions. With the transition from 5 to 10% bioethanol, emissions will be reduced by 2 percent. Since 1 October 2019, filling stations with multiple filling installations are obliged to offer E10 for at least half of their filling pistols. This is indicated at the gas station with the designation: Euro 95-E10.

Bioethanol contains less energy than petrol. The engine management system will make up for the shortage of fuel by means of the fuel trims. As a result, more fuel is injected per work cycle and the engine therefore consumes more fuel. Where an engine management system corrects the injection amount itself, problems arise with engines equipped with a carburettor: the carburettor does not compensate for the mixture. 
An engine with a carburetor can therefore run lean. Heat generation and fuel consumption increase even more. In addition, there is an increased risk of contamination and defects. We will come back to this later in this section.

Another property of bioethanol is the knock resistance: E10 has an octane number of 98,9 due to the blending of bioethanol.

From the moment ethanol was mixed with petrol, the necessary problems arose, which have only increased with the introduction of E10. The problems with bioethanol arise on the one hand because the current engine parts cannot withstand it well, on the other hand because of the shelf life and the fact that ethanol attracts water.
This ensures that contamination, sludge formation and lacquer formation can take place in the entire fuel route. Here is a summary of the most common problems:

  • in all vehicles (including where E10 is a prescribed fuel) and motorized lawn mowers, chainsaws, etc. that are used again after a long period of inactivity, e.g. after winter storage, injection problems can arise due to corrosion of the ethanol, deterioration of rubber and plastic parts and clogged injectors.
  • petrol engines that have start-up problems, such as restarting for a long time before the engine starts, can suffer from bioethanol. In most cases, refueling with a premium fuel (RON 98 E5) makes a difference after just one fill-up.
  • certain engines where parts are not resistant to bioethanol are guaranteed to have fuel problems after a short period of time. See the website:
The premium fuel offered (RON 98 or Shell V-power) is labeled: E5. This means that up to 5% bioethanol may be mixed in the fuel. However, this need not be the case. It does not have to contain bioethanol, although E5 is stated on the tank installation. At the time of writing (January 2020) on the BP . website to read that they do not add bioethanol to Ultimate 98. Also adds Shell in the V-power petrol (RON 98) no bioethanol is allowed for the time being. If they do offer this in the future, they will make this known in advance. This will of course also be mentioned on this site. Owners of old-timers and/or motorcycles that have been standing still for a longer period of time should avoid the bio-ethanol during the last one or two refueling sessions. There are also additives (under the name dopes, storage fuel and classic car fuel) that can be added to the fuel to neutralize the acids, prevent condensation and to clean the fuel system.
error: Alert: Content is protected !!