How do Octane Boosters Work?

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How do Octane Boosters Work?

Let us first define what Octane is. Without discussing chemistry and delving into molecular bonding and hydrocarbon chains. Octane is simply a measure of how slowly gasoline burns. The higher the octane number, the slower the flame burns. Octane boosters promise users an “increase” of gasoline octane levels by certain points.

To understand how Octane boosters work, we must first understand why some people want to use them. One way to increase the horsepower of a car engine is by increasing its compression ratio. A higher compression ratio engine requires a higher octane level fuel.

Compression ratio is, simply, the number of compression strokes the car engine’s cylinder goes through before the fuel is ignited. The compression ratio of the car engine will determine the required octane level of the gas in the car. The problem with too much compression is the side effect of pre-ignition, most commonly known as “detonation”, “knocking” or “pinging.” This will definitely damage an engine unless the ignition or “spark” is held back. This is where a higher octane level fuel comes in. It allows the engine to run to full compression levels without pre-igniting, thus giving the illusion of a more powerful gas.

Octane boosters can be broken down into three categories based on their active ingredients:

  1. Methyl cyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT)
  2. Ferosene
  3. Alcohols or aromatics, such as Toluene, an aromatic circular hydrocarbon chain

These octane boosters yield different levels of research and motor octane numbers depending on the formulations. While some octane boosters have a short-term practical benefit, financially speaking, it doesn’t measure up to those beginning with a high level of octane gas. You may also find that octane boosters aren’t much better than mixes of pump and racing gas. In addition, consider the strength factor and they might not be as good a buy after all.



  1. on June 11th, 2009 at 3:26 am

    [...] how do it work I have some answer for this (1) Octane rating – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2) How do Octane Boosters Work? – But need a answer:What are the advantages and disadvantages of [...]

  2. Edd Brady said,

    on April 10th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    That’s all very nice to say that it’s better to use a mix of racing fuel, but that isn’t always practical when traveling long distances in a pre-emissions, high compression vehicle.