Oxygen in gasoline

A popular myth about gasoline chemistry has crashed against the hard wall of science. The National Research Council, in a study for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, concludes that adding oxygen to reformulated gasoline harms more than helps air quality (OGJ, May 24, 1999, p. 39). Its findings puncture one of the most widely expressed yet scientifically questionable assumptions at work in the tortured politics of gasoline and the environment. The simple notion that oxygen makes gasoline "burn cleaner" has fostered a decade of confusion over reformulated gasoline. The notion is of course correct as far as it goes. But the extent of combustion, which oxygen certainly affe...

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