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    Fuel Energy Content & Octane Number
    Experiments, Labs, Theses and Dissertations, Patents
    For Science Fair Projects, Labs, Lesson Plans and Research
    For Elementary School, Middle School, High School and College Students and Teachers

    Experiments and Studies


      Octane rating or octane number indicates the resistance to knock of a motor fuel being compressed. Higher octane numbers indicate that more compression the fuel can withstand before detonating (knocking). Gasolines with a higher octane number are suitable for high-compression engines that in most cases have also a better performance.

      The specific energy content of a fuel is the heat energy derived when a quantity of it is burned (for example: a kilogram, etc.) and the heat is captured in a calorimeter and measured.

      Background Information

    • Octane ratings explained [View Resource]
    • Octane Number And Engine Performance [View Resource]
    • Properties of Fuels Table [View Resource]
    • Gasoline & Octane Ratings [View Resource]
    • Fuel energy content & unit conversions [View Resource]
    • Alternative Fuels Comparison Chart [View Resource]
    • Energy Content of Fuels in Joules [View Resource]
    • Tony's Guide to Fuel saving [View Resource]
    • Octane Calculator [View Resource]
    • Consumer guide gasoline octane facts and myths [View Resource]
    • Biomass [View Experiment]

      K-12 Experiments, Labs, Lesson Plans and Science Fair Projects

    • Which common gasoline alternative fuel is the most efficient in cost and caloric content including wood, vegetable oil, animal fats, and natural gas? [View Experiment]
    • Which has More Heat Energy: Vegetable Oil or Petroleum Oil? [View Experiment]
    • What Type of Fuel Has the Greatest Energy per Unit Mass? [View Experiment]
    • Energy content of fuels experiment [View Experiment]
    • Compare the heat of combustion of two different fuels - paraffin wax and methanol. [View Experiment]
    • The Energy Content of Fuels: A Physical Science Activity [View Experiment]
    • Lab: The Energy Content of Fuels [View Experiment]
    • Experiment 10 - Comparison of the Energy Content of Fuels [View Experiment]
    • Energy content of fuels Experiments [View Experiment]

      College Experiments, Labs, Studies and Articles

    • Effects of Pressure and Other Variables on Determinations of Octane Number [View Experiment]
    • Experiment: Analysis of Gasoline Components by Gas Chromotography [View Experiment]
    • Effects of oxygenated species on reforming gasoline range hydrocarbons [View Experiment]
    • Experimental Study of Exhaust Emissions & Performance Analysis of Multi Cylinder S.I.Engine When Methanol Used as an Additive [View Experiment]

      Theses and Dissertations

    • Method for determination of octane rating by flame quenching experiments [View Thesis]
    • Improvement of Gasoline Octane Number by Blending Gasoline with Selective Components [View Thesis]
    • Understanding and Modeling of HCCI Engines [View Thesis]


    • Unleaded aviation gasoline (US Patent 6238446, 2001) [View Patent]
    • Fuels for internal combustion engines (US Patent 6858048, 2005) [View Patent]
    • Production of motor fuels (US Patent 2921013, 1955) [View Patent]

      See Also

    • Energy Density of Fuels [View Experiment]
    Volumetric energy density of some fuels compared with gasoline

    Fuel type        MJ/litre        MJ/kg       BTU/Imp gal       BTU/US gal       Research octane
    number (RON)
    Regular Gasoline 34.8 44.4 150,100 125,000 Min 91
    Premium Gasoline Min 95
    Autogas (LPG) (60% Propane + 40% Butane) 26.8 34.4 114,570 95,475 110
    Ethanol 23.5 31.1 101,600 84,600 129
    Methanol 17.9 19.9 77,600 64,600 123
    Butanol 29.2 91-99
    Gasohol (10% ethanol + 90% gasoline) 33.7 43.54 145,200 120,900 93/94
    Diesel 38.6 45.4 166,600 138,700 25
    Aviation gasoline (high octane gasoline, not Jet fuel) 33.5 46.8 144,400 120,200
    Jet fuel (kerosene based) 35.1 43.8 151,242 125,935 15-25
    Liquefied natural gas 25.3 ~55 109,000 90,800
    Kerosene 38.3 43.1 160,800 134,000 15-25

    Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

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    Last updated: June 2013
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