Gasoline in Brief

Issue 4 and Volume 141.

Gasoline in Brief Gasoline is the most common flammable liquid in the world. It’s very volatile, flammable, toxic, and irritating, and has a characteristic odor. It’s not a pure substance, but rather a mixture of hydrocarbon liquids, ranging from pentane to decane, with hydrocarbon additives that promote smooth burning in an internal combustion engine. In a spill, it burns like other hydrocarbon liquids, generating large amounts of heat, smoke, and carbon monoxide. Its flash point is -50° F; its ignition temperature ranges from 444° F to 853° F, depending on the grade; and its flammable limits are from 1.2 to 7.6 percent in air. Its specific gravity is 0.74, and it has a minimum vapor density (again, depending on grade) of 2.48. It boils at 140° F, freezes at -131° F, and is not soluble in water. Gasoline is moderately toxic to humans, both by inhalation and ingestion. The threshold-limit…

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