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Petrol, or Gasoline, in technical terms is called Motor Spirit (MS), or Automotive Gasoline. It is a complex mixture of over 500 hydrocarbons with smaller amounts of alkane cyclic and aromatic compounds.

Petrol is most often produced by the fractional distillation of crude oil, with further treatment to enhance its Octane rating (number).

The octane number of Petrol is a measure of its resistance to knock. The octane number is determined by comparing the characteristics of a Petrol to iso-octane. Iso-octane is assigned an octane number of 100. It is a highly branched compound that burns smoothly, with little knock. On the other hand, n-heptane, a straight chain, unbranched molecule is given an octane rating of zero because of its bad knocking properties.

Straight-run gasoline (Petrol) (directly from the refinery distillation column) has an octane number of about 70. In other words, straight-run petrol has the same knocking properties as a mixture of 70% iso-Octane and 30% n-Heptane. Many of these compounds are straight chain alkanes. Cracking, isomerization, and other refining processes are used to increase the octane rating of gasoline to minimum 91. Anti-knock agents are also added to further increase the octane rating.

Most automobiles use Petrol of the minimum grade of 91 Octane available in India, unless they are specifically required to use a higher octane Petrol. Using higher Octane grades do not necessarily provide any extra power or extra mileage.

An oxygenate, ashless organic compound (such as alcohol or ether) can be used as a fuel supplement. Petrol is sold at HPCL retail outlets and is directly delivered into the automobile fuel tank.

In India, emission standards (equivalent to Euro-III & Euro-IV) BS-III & BS-IV have necessitated oil refineries to drastically reduce level of sulphur in Petrol, in view of the National Auto Fuel Policy of the Govt. of India. BIS has published specification for “Petrol with 5% Ethanol” blends for marketing in select towns / cities of India. In some select pockets, even 10% Ethanol blending in petrol is being done.

The Petrol marketed by HPCL meets the Indian Standard governing the properties of motor gasoline & gasoline – oxygenate blends IS 2796 : 2008 (4th Rev).

 Filter Paper Test (Petrol), Density Test (Petrol & Diesel), Quantity Check.

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