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The Renewable Energy Blog

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by Agostio Alvareznio

It’s hard to imagine the world without gasoline, or some type of oil product. Diesel or gasoline is made from petroleum products. The gasoline is burned inside an engine and this results in a force that moves the vehicle forwards. Originally, the majority of gasoline had lead in them.

As time progressed, many people developed illnesses and disease from the amount of lead present in the air. This led many governments to establishing laws against the production of leaded gasoline. Because of this, automakers began producing engines that would run on unleaded gasoline. Unleaded gasoline has become the most widely used liquid in cars, trucks, and work equipment across the globe.

Leaded Gasoline Leaded gasoline can still be found in some areas across the United States. It is used in some antique cars and trucks for purposes other than on-road use. Most of these cars can run off of unleaded gasoline as well. Leaded gasoline is highly regulated and can not be purchased at gas stations. However, this was not always the case, and many years ago lead was found to be an excellent component against engine deterioration. When gas was first used in automobiles, eventually the engine would break down and the owner would begin to hear a “pinging” noise.

With some research by a few men in England, it was found that by adding lead to gasoline, the engine would not break down as easily. Therefore, lead was added to almost every form of gasoline that was sold. Shortly thereafter, people began presenting with numerous types of blood deficiencies and disorders. It was discovered that the addition of lead in gasoline was being released into the atmosphere polluting the air we breathe. Large populations exhibited high blood levels of lead. These high levels of lead toxicity lead to complications of pregnancies, disease, and blood disorders. Gas could no longer contain lead.

Unleaded Gasoline After science discovered the inhospitable effects of lead, unleaded gasoline began being produced. By the late 1970s, no cars were using leaded gasoline in their engines. Ethyl would be added to gasoline to mimic the effects of lead. This seemed very agreeable and thus began the switch to unleaded gasoline. Since this switch in the 1970s, blood lead levels have fallen dramatically. There are virtually no complications that have arisen since the early 1980s that were considered the fault of lead poisoning through air quality. This has been considered one of the most positive decisions made to positively affect human kind. Currently, many governments are subsidizing research companies to even further reduce toxic chemicals in gasoline while some are looking to eliminate the use of gasoline altogether.

Unleaded gasoline still produces noxious fumes that are said to cause cancer in certain circumstances. With such a strong participation and positive outcome with the switch from leaded to unleaded gasoline, one would surely think that gas can be eventually eliminated at its current usage rate to ensure an even better quality of life for future generations.

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