The Role of Chemistry in History

The Role of Chemistry in History header image 2

Isooctane Affects History

April 21st, 2008 · No Comments ·

 Introduction  – Origins – Significant People – Chemistry 

Isooctane Affects History – Advertising – The Future – References


  Isooctane led to the creation of higher efficient engines and is a cause of the major role that motor vehicles had in history. 


Anti-knock fuel for the internal combustion engines for the aircraft in World War I and in World War II were used.  It was extremely effective in many of the airplane models of the military aircraft.  High octane gasoline made it possible for military planes to have more horsepower and  to operate at a high performance 

Higher compression ratios increase the horsepower in an engine, and the more the gasoline is compressed before ignition, the more the engine puts out.  These higher compression ratios need higher octane premium fuels to be able to support the pressure without the problem of knocking.  Horsepower is most important for vehicles like airplanes and racecars, which continually run at full power often.  Airplanes and racecars were made possible over history because of engineering and high octane fuel. 

Design of Modern Cities 

 The invention of new automobiles caused an increased mobility and many people began to move out of urban areas and started to develop suburban communities.  Cars expanded many people’s boundaries, and they began to commute and travel more often than before.  California’s infrastructure consists of a grid of highways and boulevards, whereas Boston’s infrastructure consists of curving one way streets.  This is due to the invention of the automobile rapidly becoming popular in California while its infrastructure was getting developed.  The popularity of the automobile was not as great in Boston as it was in California.  Without the efficient fuel standardization method, due to isooctane, the automobiles popularity might not have grew so rapidly, and the urban infrastructures of western cities would have looked differently.


The popularity of automobiles greatly increased because the higher powered engines increased the mobility of the automobiles.  It became cheaper to create automobiles, and it became available to a lot more people.  Due to the extreme popularity of automobiles, the large amount of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases emitted have created pollution and contributed to global warming.   


Tags: Isooctane