Leaded Petrol vs Unleaded Petrol
Leaded Petrol and Unleaded Petrol are well known words for those who drives. Petroleum mixture, which is known as gasoline, gas or petrol, when used in cars or other vehicles, goes into combustion engine where it gets highly compressed. Because of this compression, it has a tendency to detonate on its own, or in layman’s terms, auto ignites, causing damage to engine. This is known as knocking (also called pinging or pinking). This lead to a research which finally culminated with leaded compounds being added to gasoline to prevent damage to engine. The gasoline is called leaded petrol. Before lead compounds being added to petrol, it was pure petrol known as unleaded petrol.
Petroleum companies began adding lead to petrol and this became a common practice around the world. Leaded petrol allowed car manufacturers to do innovation with engines and they came up with more powerful higher compression engines without any fear of petrol knocking the engine. It was in the eighties that environmentalists raised questions about lead being added to petrol that led to a waning of this practice. It is a fact that lead is a poisonous substance, also known as heavy metal, and has severe repercussions for human health and the environment.
With all car manufacturers switching to catalytic converters in new cars since mid seventies, the use of leaded petrol has been on the decline as it was found that leaded petrol was incompatible with catalytic converters. The practice also suffered a jolt with government levying differential taxes on leaded and unleaded petrol, and slowly and gradually, leaded petrol has been phased out in nearly all parts of the world.
In place of lead compounds, different additives are being used to prevent knocking of engine such as hydrocarbons, ethers and alcohol. Almost all countries of the world, knowing ill effects of lead on health and environment are drawing up plans to remove leaded petrol.
› Addition of leaded compounds to petrol makes it being called leaded petrol.
› Gasoline sold without lead compounds is called unleaded petrol.
› Lead additives prevented engine damage, but are being discontinued because of their ill effects.