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Re: Toluene vs. Toulene

It seems I owe an apology to Mike.  My negative reaction to what I regard
as misinformation was ill expressed.  Sorry, Mike.  

Warning:  Pedantic alert!  Be warned.  <Delete> now?

That, however, does not change my evaluation of the information presented.
Toluene (and xylene) is (are) hydrophobic (water fearing) and do not mix
significantly with water.  Toluene will evaporate moderately fast.  Not as
fast as some other components of gasoline but also faster than some others.

Substance:	BP:
Toluene	108C	
o-xylene	144C
m-xylene	139C
p-xylene	138C
Kerosene	175C-225C
gasoline	 40C-205C

These later boiling ranges rather than a specific boiling temperature
indicate the presence of a many component mixture.

Sunoco may well have said that toluene has limited usefulness as an octane
booster.  I suspect that the limited effectiveness may be more related to
the presence of other "octane boosters" already there and therefore little
additional effect will be seen.

What an octane booster does is slow the ignition/detonation process to more
of a whoosh rather than a BANG!.  This is accomplished by the presence of
specific molecules in which free radicals are formed more easily that in
others.  The -CH3 of C6H5-CH3 is such a position.  Also so is a tertiary
hydrogen of 2,2,4-trimethylpentane (isooctane).  BTW, this is the "octane"
of our beloved octane ratings.  A fuel mixture which burns as if it were
94% isooctane and 6% n-heptane has an octane rating of 94.  There might not
even be any isooctane in it.  All that is needed is for the complex mixture
to behave in the same way that the specific mixture of isooctane and
n-heptane behaves.

Uh...  Let's see...  Free radical: a species characterized by the presence
of a single unpaired electron.

First step in ignition:

C6H5-CH3 + O2 --->  C6H5-CH2.  + HOO.  (two free radicals)  This and a
couple of succeeding steps are what are made easier by the presence of
octane enhancers.  It makes the ignition easier to commence and thus
(contrary to what you might think) easier to control.  Milder conditions
are requires so the process doesn't get out of hand.

At 11:05 AM 09/01/1999 EDT, MCTXR4@aol.com wrote:
>In a message dated 09/01/1999 1:29:54 PM !!!First Boot!!!,
>> t 08:14 AM 09/01/1999 EDT, you wrote:
>>  >They are probably the same just a misprint somewhere.
>>  Indeed.
>>  >Toluene is a volatile additive that can boost various grades of gasoline 
>>  >to 20 points. Usually used in drag racing only because it is corrosive
>>  >fuel lines and is very hygrophilic (sp?) that is, it attracts water. 
>>  Negative!  It is hydrophobic.  A certain very small amount of water will
>>  sometimes be found in it.  It is my understanding that significant levels
>>  of toluene are found in most European gasolines.  Any of you from across
>>  the pond care to confirm that?
>>  >When 
>>  >uncapping a can it should be done in low humidity conditions and used 
>>  >Otherwise it loses it's effectiveness through water absorption from the 
>>  >atmosphere and it vaporizes very quickly.
>>  Negative again!  It does evaporate fairly quickly.  It boils at 108C.  A
>>  trace amount of water will only help achieve the desired effect of
>>  increasing fuel octane ratings.  This is what is done with water injection
>>  into the intake manifold.
>>  >A few SCCA racers I know have tried this with less than spectacular 
>>  >mainly because the Toluene vaporizes out of the fuel mixture before the 
>>  >of a race, leaving them with only whatever grade gas they started with. 
>>  If true, then there must be some other reason - 108C BP?  This compares
>>  quite well with many common components of gasoline.
>>  >If I remember correctly, SUNOCO has this information on their Racing 
>>  >website.
>>  >
>I never said my memory was perfect... but I do specifically remember the
>about rapid vaporization from the Sunoco site and the remark about limited 
>usefulness. I do not now, nor have I ever, represented myself as an expert
>fuels. I refer any and all listers to the Sunoco website as the authority. 
>The Sunoco site also covers other additives people have tried to get cheap 
>Mike Torio
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