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Motor Gasoline (Petrol) is manufactured from several blending components that save different chemical and physical properties, and consist of a wide range of hydrocarbons. Gasoline also contains non-
Gasoline is manufactured to have a different volatility at certain times of the year to meet changing seasonal requirements (summer & winter grade). This is to ensure that the fuel, when used in a motor vehicle will readily ignite in a cold engine and maintain good combustion characteristics during warm up and extended running. Oxidation Stability (or Induction Period) is a specification requirement, and is widely mused as an indication of the storage stability of a gasoline (chemical stability), for its intended lifetime. The most significant issue with the long term storage of Petrol is the evaporative loss of volatile components, and the performance deterioration that this can lead to. As a generalisation gasoline should be used within approximately 12 months of its purchase date, although some specific guidance notes are detailed below.
Typically, in the retail forecourt and vehicle fuel tanks, the fuel stocks are turned over and replenished within a matter of weeks and therefore no deterioration is seen in the fuel quality due to oxidation or loss in volatility.
If the vehicle or appliance is to be left unused for some time, then filling the fuel tank to about 95% of its capacity with fuel, rather than leaving the fuel tank low, is advisable. This minimises; the tank-
Non volatile residues are often observed in the fuel tank, delivery system and/or carburettors in cases of severe evaporative loss of a gasoline. The reside can manifest itself as either a gum or lacquer-
We do not advise storing fuels in vehicles for more than 6 months. You should also take into account the differences between summer and winter grades of petrol. Petrol has a higher volatility in the winter in order to enable cold starting. For this reason it is better to fill the tank with a winter grade fuel (16 October – 14th April) rather than a summer grade.
Fuel stored in lawnmowers or outboards over the winter months or for periods greater than 6 months may have deteriorated due to storage conditions, or may be the wrong grade of fuel for the time of year. However in these cases, where good driveability is not of prime importance, the fuel may still be good for use. If difficulty in starting the engine or poor running occurs, diluting the existing fuel with fresh fuel is likely alleviate the problem.
If volumes of petrol are to be stored separately to the fuel in the vehicle tank, then should be done in accordance with the Regulations 1929 1982 containers, which are labelled accordingly. The maximum volume allowed be stored in metal vessels is 10 litres, and for suitable plastic containers is 5 litres. The storage regulations should be available from thePetroleum Spirit (Motor Vehicles etc.), and the Petroleum Spirit (Plastic Containers) Regulations. Briefly, these state that petrol should only be stored in suitably designedPetroleum Licensing Officer, the Local Fire Service, or Trading Standards.