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Octane rating facts for kids

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Gas Station Pump Five Octane Ratings
A US gas station pump offering five different (R+M)/2 octane ratings

The Octane rating is a measurement of how well fuels (gasoline is a kind of fuel) resist detonation.

Modern engines use high degrees of compression. They therefore need fuel that does not detonate easily. Such fuel has a higher octane rating.

The rating is done by comparing the fuel to the mixture of iso-octane and heptane that would detonate in the same way. Such a mixture of 90 percent iso-octane and 10 percent heptane has an octane rating of 90.

Gas is available with lower octane ratings in the US than in Europe.

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