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High-octane fill-ups command premium prices

Premium gasoline consumers are paying even more than they usually do as the price difference widens between regular and higher-octane fuels, new government data shows.
by Adam Wilmoth Modified: April 25, 2013 at 9:09 pm •  Published: April 26, 2013
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Today, octane is raised primarily by adding ethanol. Most gasoline sold in the United States today is e10, which is a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline. Fuel ethanol has an average octane rating of 115.

Refiners typically produce 84-octane gasoline that is blended with ethanol to make regular, 87-octane e10, and 88-octane gas that mixes to create 91-octane e10.

There are other octane boosters, but they are more expensive. More of those costly additives are needed to boost the pre-blended fuel four more points to 88.

These expensive octane additives also are much of the reason why 100 percent gasoline without an ethanol blend tends to cost more than e10.

I am looking to replace my 15-year-old Chevy Lumina. One requirement I have in a new vehicle is that it does not have a fancy engine designed for high-octane fuel.

by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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