Octane Boosters: How They Work?
Octane boosters are products that are added to fuel in order to increase its octane rating. The octane rating of the fuel is defined as the measure of how slow the fuel burns. In other words, it is the measure of how much the fuel is able to resist engine knock at high compressions. This means that when the octane rating of a fuel is high, it can withstand more compressions before it explodes within the combustion chamber. In order to achieve these properties, octane boosters contain anti-knock additives. When the product is added to fuel, it increases the fuel’s ability to resist detonation and pre-ignition which can be catastrophic to engines unless an ignition suppression is included.
However, a guaranteed improvement in the performance and fuel consumption of vehicles once in use of octane boosters may not be entirely true. The effectiveness of the product depends on a range of factors. First, the booster itself has to be of high quality. This simply means that it should deliver the octane rating as indicated on the bottle. This is not usually the case with some products which do not deliver anywhere close to the measure they claim. Secondly, the engine driving the vehicle. A substantial increase in the performance of the vehicle is inclined towards modern engine models. For an engine that has been designed to run on a 98+ octane fuel and is turbocharged, the effect would be felt unlike in an old carbureted engine where the effect felt would be trivial.
The injection of fuel with a higher octane rating into the engine makes it possible to realize a higher compression ratio without having to worry about pre-ignition. The compression ratio of an engine is the ratio of the volume of gas in its cylinder when the pistons are at the top of their stroke (top dead center, TDC) to the volume of gas when they are at the bottom of their stroke (bottom dead center, BDC). By regulating pre-ignition, octane boosters can give the impression that the engine is more powerful.
The Working of an Octane Booster
These products are poured directly into the fuel tank of the vehicles. They are sold in bottles and cans from different brands to suit different applications. It is recommended that the booster is added when the fuel tank is almost empty before a fuel refill is done. This enables the booster and the fuel to form a perfectly formed mixture inside the tank.
Octane boosters work in the following ways to improve the performance of race cars as well as other vehicles looking for an improved output from their vehicles.
1. They increase the octane rating of the fuel being used
Octane boosters are sold with different ratings on different brands. The rating on the bottle or can dictate the effect the booster will have on the overall octane rating of the fuel. A higher octane effect in the product, the greater their inflicted impact on the overall performance and engine combustion of the vehicle.
It should be noted that some octane boosters are advertised using the point system to represent their octane levels. This can be so misleading to the consumer since a 10 points octane level using this system translates to 1 octane level. For higher and better performance, it is best to go to the point level that is high and within a range of recommendation by the owner’s manual.
2. They increase the engine combustion which increases the fuel burning efficiency of the engine
The primary chemical ingredients that make up the composition of standard octane boosters are ethanol, methyl propanol, and glycerol. These ingredients form a product that has the property to increase the combustion of the engine. A higher engine combustion translates to an increased fuel burning efficiency of the engine. When the fuel to air ratio within the engine chamber is satisfied, the spark plugs of the vehicle create a spark which ignites this mixture which gives the vehicle its power. The introduction of the octane booster into the fuel increases the burning of this mix, therefore, achieving a higher engine power.
3. These products reduce the emissions by the engine
Octane boosters have a chemical composition which gives the fuel entering the engine cylinder a higher combustion capacity. This property makes the engine very efficient in its burning process, therefore reducing the number of emissions that are released by the engine. More of the fuel is burnt in the chamber significantly reducing the amount of unburnt fuel that makes it to the exhaust system of the vehicle.
More question to see: Does Octane Booster Work?
It should be noted that buying a higher octane gas does not translate to improved performance as earlier stated, most cars on the market are recommended to use regular octane gas. According to the owner’s manual, the use of higher octane gas on this vehicles may result in low or no difference in performance at all. It is therefore very important for car owners to understand how these products work, and to use them as required or advised by their vehicle owner’s manual. This ensures that the benefits of the product are maximized to the good of the vehicle engine.
Octane boosters may also lead to engine damage when used in large amounts due to the fact that some are prone to leave deposits in the fuel system of the vehicle. For instance ethanol based octane boosters, due to the property of ethanol to absorb water from the air they tend to cause corrosion and algae formation in the fuel system of the vehicles. These boosters should be drained from the fuel tank, in any case, the vehicle would go without running for a while.