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At first glance, it doesn't make any sense at all.

But when you look at it overall, it makes perfect sense.

Engine development and gasoline development go hand-in-hand: if you can't get good fuel that doesn't cause knock when it's burned, you can't make powerful engines. Knock tears engines apart.

The people who make engines figured out how to make engines that require gas with high resistance to knock faster than the people who make gas figured out how to make that fuel. Enter a man named Thomas Midgley, who learned how to make lead soluble in gasoline. This "tetraethyl lead" (so called because there are four ethyl groups surrounding each lead atom) came packaged with lead scavengers to keep the lead from accumulating in the engine, and when added to fuel it made the antiknock index go up faster, and cheaper, than it would have by just using petroleum distillates. Gasoline that's SUPPOSED to have lead in it is about 60 octane before they put the lead in it.

Later, the oil refiners learned to make high-quality chemicals from oil. They could have used these chemicals to make unleaded gas that won't tear your engine apart, but there's more profit in specialty chemicals than in gasoline.

So...the answer to your question is, "unleaded gas contains more costly ingredients than leaded gas did, so it needs to be more expensive."

AnswerWhen leaded gas was first introduced, you were getting something extra that cost more to produce, so leaded gas cost more. When the government started requiring non-leaded fuel almost all fuel being produced contained lead. The regulations were so strict that if leaded gasoline had ever been in a tank no unleaded gas could be stored in that tank. So, in order to produce unleaded gas the whole refining, transportation, and delivery system had to be duplicated.

Another answer is: unleaded was something Americans introduced along with catalytic converters in the 1970's. Europeans and the rest of the world's countries didn't use any other standard gasoline than leaded until mid-1980. It was still standard well up in to the 90's. USA banned leaded gasoline in 1986. In Europe unleaded was unusual. Most cars could run on unleaded, but it was recommended use leaded to get higher octance rating and less engine wear. Some people cared for the environment themselves and used unleaded or even bought a car with a catalytic converter. Therefore the demand for leaded, which was standard everywhere, but in USA, was still high.

Not all European stations had unleaded until mid or late 1990. Some European governments increased taxes on leaded gasoline and later made catalytic converters a requirement for new cars to enforce unleaded use of gasoline. In the late 1990's, most European service stations had added potassium as a lead-substitute, but this is also being phased out.

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โˆ™ 2011-09-14 09:48:57
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Q: When there was leaded gas why did it cost less when the lead had to be added and unleaded was higher when it came unleaded in the first place?
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