01-03-2008, 07:28 PM #1
Fuel Octane Rating between Countries
Coming from Australia, trying to compare our Fuel to what is talked about and used in USA/Canada... here is a good reference to compare fuels for people outside the USA and Canada
The most common type of octane rating worldwide is the Research Octane Number (RON). RON is determined by running the fuel in a test engine with a variable compression ratio under controlled conditions, and comparing these results with those for mixtures of isooctane and n-heptane.
There is another type of octane rating, called Motor Octane Number (MON) or the aviation lean octane rating, which is a better measure of how the fuel behaves when under load. MON testing uses a similar test engine to that used in RON testing, but with a preheated fuel mixture, a higher engine speed, and variable ignition timing to further stress the fuel's knock resistance. Depending on the composition of the fuel, the MON of a modern gasoline will be about 8 to 10 points lower than the RON. Normally fuel specifications require both a minimum RON and a minimum MON.
In most countries (including all of Europe and Australia) the "headline" octane that would be shown on the pump is the RON, but in the United States, Canada and some other countries the headline number is the average of the RON and the MON, sometimes called the Anti-Knock Index (AKI), Road Octane Number (RdON), Pump Octane Number (PON), or (R+M)/2. Because of the 8 to 10 point difference noted above, this means that the octane in the United States will be about 4 to 5 points lower than the same fuel elsewhere: 87 octane fuel, the "regular" gasoline in the US and Canada, would be 91-92 in Europe. However most European pumps deliver 95 (RON) as "regular", equivalent to 90-91 US (R+M)/2, and even deliver 98 (RON) or 100 (RON).
The octane rating may also be a "trade name", with the actual figure being higher than the nominal rating.
It is possible for a fuel to have a RON greater than 100, because isooctane is not the most knock-resistant substance available. Racing fuels, straight ethanol, AvGas and liquified petroleum gas (LPG) typically have octane ratings of 110 or significantly higher - ethanol's RON is 129 (MON 102, AKI 116) reference. Typical "octane booster" additives include tetra-ethyl lead and toluene. Tetra-ethyl lead is easily decomposed to its component radicals, which react with the radicals from the fuel and oxygen that would start the combustion, thereby delaying ignition. This is why leaded gasoline has a higher octane rating than unleaded
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