10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Gasoline

Fuel pump

Considering we use it everything, most of us know surprisingly little about gasoline. Here are 10 things you probably didn't know:

1. Gasoline contains 10% ethanol. Why? In the early 90s, the US-issued Clean Air Act required gasoline be 'oxygenated' with ethanol in an effort to reduce emissions.

2. The US accounts for 44% of the world's gasoline consumption despite having only 4.4% of the world's population.


3. One gallon of gasoline contains 31 million calories of energy! According to Forbes, the average human burns one million calories a year. That means that - if a human could convert gasoline to energy - a few cups would be enough to get you thru the year. Our advice? Don't drink gasoline, and not just because it's high calorie.

4. The diesel engine wasn't named after the fuel. It was actually named after its inventor, Rudolf Diesel, who designed his engine to run off peanut oil.

Model T

5. The original Model T got about 25 mpg. Not bad considering it debuted in 1908!

6. A barrel of oil is 42 gallons. An oil refinery can only refine 19 gallons of gasoline from a barrel - the rest of the oil is converted to diesel and heating oil, jet fuel, some misc. products, and asphalt.

7. If all the world's corn and soybean production was used to create corn ethanol and soy biodiesel, it would only meet 12% of gasoline demands and 6% of diesel demands.

8. Norway has the most expensive gas in the world, topping off at $6.53 a gallon. The cheapest? Venezuela at $.02 a gallon. That may have something to do with their massive oil reserve of 298 billion barrels!

9. The US's first oil well is in Titusville, PA, and was dug in 1859. For reference, James Buchanan was the president that year, Oregon was admitted to the union as the 33rd state, and the modern elevator was patented.

10. “Petroleum” literally means “rock oil.” It's derived from the Greek word “petra,” meaning rock, and the Latin word “oleum,” meaning oil.

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