Octane is one of a series of alkanes with from one to twelve carbon atoms and an appropriate number of hydrogen atoms. Octane has the chemical formula C8H18, and has a total of eighteen isomers. The bonds between carbon atoms in alkane fuels provide most of their energy.
The octane isomer 2,2,4-trimethylpentane (also known as isooctane) is the 100-point spot on the octane rating scale, a way to rank anti-knock petroleum fuels. Octane is unlikely to combust prematurely under pressure, making it ideal as a fuel for high-performance engines.
The octane rating measures the autoignition resistance of a gasoline (petrol) mixture used in internal combustion engines, and is based primarily on the amount of octane in the fuel. High octane fuels are not necessarily better for every engine; diesel engines, for instance, require low octane ratings and high cetane ratings.
The other alkanes in the series including octane are methane (CH4), ethane (C2H6), propane, (C3H8), butane (C4H10), pentane (C5H12), hexane (C6H14), heptane (C7H16), octane (C8H18), nonane (C9H20), decane (C10H22), undecane (C11H24), and dodecane (C12H26). All are volatile, but higher-numbered alkanes are more likely to be liquid at room temperature.
Web Resources On Octane
What does octane mean?
The Low-Down on High Octane Gasoline
Book Resources On Octane
Automated fuel road octane ratings by B. D Keller
Some new aspects of deposit effects on engine octane requirement increase and fuel economy by L. B Graiff