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The current status of research programs on the storage stability of gasoline sponsored by the Office of the Chief of Ordnance and being conducted by the Bureau of Mines and Stanford Research Inst. is reviewed, together with some of the more pertinent recent literature on liquid phase oxidation of other hydrocarbon distillates. These studies, taken all together, strongly suggest that components present in small amounts (1 per cent or less) in the fuel are responsible for the major changes in properties that occur during storage. Those components so far identified as probable reactants include hydrocarbon, sulfur-containing and nitrogen-containing molecules. Since it will be a difficult analytical task to determine such small quantities of specific compounds in a fuel, it will also be difficult to develop predictive test methods based on straight analytical procedures. On the other hand, the knowledge of the chemistry of the pertinent reactions now being developed will be useful in modifying present procedures so that they can do an adequate job. It may turn out that a combination of analytical and semifunctional methods will prove to be the best way of predicting the storage behavior of gasolines.
Bender, R. O.
Assistant Director, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., Inc., Wilmington, Del.