Did you know that there are around 20 different blends of gasoline? While it may seem like gas is gas when you’re filling up at the station, these blends are actually carefully formulated for different seasons in different states. Learn more about winter gas in today’s blog.
What’s the Deal With Winter Gas? Your Baltimore Mechanic Explains
Gas is formulated differently for summer vs. winter temperatures. This is because volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released into the air when gasoline is burned. In the summer, the trapped heat in the atmospohere makes pollution even more noticeable and additional VOCs make the problem of smog even worse. To combat this problem, gasoline producers formulate a special blend to use during the warm months that is designed to release fewer VOCs into the environment.
In order to do this, the gasoline blend is adjusted to result in a lower Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP). This measures how easily a gas transforms into a vapor and the higher the number, the more easily a gas can become a vapor. All gasoline glends are required to be below 14.7 PSI because this is the average atmospheric pressure. If a blend were higher than this then it would vaporize too easily.
Depending on your location, your summer gasoline blend will have an RVP of 9 PSI-7.8 PSI. For cities with serious smog problems, such as LA and New York, the number may be even lower. Unfortunately, this comes at a price: The extra work required to lower RVP causes the price of this gasoline to rise. Luckily, now that we are approaching cold weather, the winter gasoline blends are starting to hit the market. These blends are much cheaper because RVP standards are relaxed.
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