The Physics
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Ignition Temperature of Gasoline

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Glossary and Definitions. Associated Information Technology. 21 May 2003. "The most commonly known flammable liquid is gasoline. It has a flash point of about -50° F (-65° C). The ignition temperature is about 495° F (232(232° C) [sic], a comparatively low figure." 553 K
Hazardous Locations. 2000. US Motor. 22 May 2003. "Gasoline, also Class I, Group D, has an approximate ignition temperature of 280°C." 553 K
Multimedia - Ignition Temperature. Encarta Encyclopedia. 24 May 2003.
 Piloted Ignition TemperatureSpontaneous Ignition Temperature
 °C° F°C° F
530 K
Properties of Fuels [pdf]. 25 May 2003.
Autoignition Temperature, °F495
530 K
Ignition Temperature. Taftan Data. 1998. "Each fuel should be brought above its Ignition Temperature for starting the combustion process. An appropriate air-fuel ratio is also necessary. The minimum ignition temperature at atmospheric pressure for some substances are: carbon 400 C, gasoline 260 C, hydrogen 580 C, carbon monoxide 610 C, methane 630 C." 533 K

Ignition temperature is the minimum temperature at which a material will burn or explode. It is the temperature at which a mixture of flammable vapor and air would ignite without a spark or flame. The term ignition temperature is also used to describe the temperature of a hot surface that would cause flammable vapors to ignite. Gasoline is the most common flammable liquid and the main cause of injuries among teenage boys. The ignition temperature of gasoline ranges from 530 and 553 K.

There is no direct correlation between explosive properties and ignition temperature. Therefore, materials can have the same physical properties and similar explosive properties while having ignition temperatures that vary greatly. The ignition temperature is affected by the chemical properties of the flammable liquid. When a flammable liquid is in its liquid state, it will not ignite. It will only burn when in its gaseous state.

In addition to ignition temperature, other properties associated with the flammability of a liquid are its flash point, flammable range, and vapor density. The flash point is the temperature at which a flammable liquid vaporizes and is therefore able to ignite. Liquids with a flash point under 40 °C are considered combustible liquids. Gasoline has a flash point of about -45 °C. The flammable range of a liquid is the ratio of the flammable liquid to air that would create a volatile mixture. The flammability range of gasoline is between 1.4 and 7.6%. If the ratio of gasoline to air is less than 1.4%, then the mixture is to thin to burn. The mixture cannot burn when it contains more than 7.6% gasoline because it is too rich to burn.The vapor density is the weight of a vapor relative to the weight of air. The vapor density of gasoline is heavier than air and therefore will sink when in air.

Shani Christopher -- 2003

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