are octane boosters? Do they work? Why should
I buy high-octane gas when I can buy octane
boosters? These are just some of the questions
that we get from customers and potential
is the straight scoop. Octane boosters usually
contain one active ingredient, sometimes
diluted in a solvent (like toluene). Typical
active ingredients for octane improvers
are alcohols, ethers, manganese (MMT), or
tetraethyl lead (TEL).
and ethanol are alcohols which have been
used as octane boosters. They work since
both have a higher octane number than typical
street gasolines. They are more effective
in low octane gasolines than in high-octane
gasolines. Alcohols have an affinity for
water. This means that if there is a slight
amount of water in the bottom of your gas
tank, the alcohol can grab hold of the water
and separate from the gasoline, leaving
you with a water/alcohol mix at the bottom
of your tank with gasoline floating on top.
This is not good. And the last thing, even
if you mix octane improvers containing alcohols
with your gasoline, you will still not know
what octane you end up with.
TAME and ETBE are the most common ethers
available for gasoline use. They have higher
octane values than typical gasoline, so
like the alcohols they will increase the
octane quality of street gasolines. Ethers
do not have an affinity for water, will
not separate from gasoline, and blend like
a hydrocarbon. When ethers are used as additives,
the enthusiast still does not know what
his final octane number is.
referred to as manganese, or more correctly
Methyl Cyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl
(MMT). This can be an effective octane improver
at very low concentrations. You can gain
one or two octane numbers using the recommended
treat rate. Problems with emissions, injectors,
spark plugs, oxygen sensors, and catalytic
converters have all been traced to the use
of MMT, which is why it is not legal to
use by US Refiners in Reformulated Gasoline.
As indicated above with the alcohols and
the ethers, it is tough to know what octane
number you have attained.
Tetraethyl Lead, or TEL is known to be a
very effective octane improver used in many
racing gasolines and aviation gasoline.
It is extremely toxic in its pure form,
and is illegal to use in any street driven
vehicle in the US since 1/1/96 . It will
poison oxygen sensors and catalytic converters.
It is sold in a very diluted form by at
least one vendor but not in California because
of restrictions on metallic additives. Again,
one still does not know the octane number
of the final blend.
87, 89, 91, 92, or 93 octane that you buy
at the local service station is a good gasoline
to satisfy the government�s requirement
for improved fuel economy and reduced exhaust
emissions. It is a poor choice to make real
power at high RPM. Spending money to enhance
street gasoline with octane boosters is
a waste unless you are more interested in
satisfying octane needs than performance
needs. Read on for another (and better)
way to enhance performance with racing gasoline
alternate solution to using additives is
to use Rockett Brand 100 Octane
Unleaded Gasoline. This is a street legal
100 octane unleaded gasoline that can be
used in its pure form, or it can be blended
with any street gasoline. You will always
know what octane you end up with because
we can provide you with a blending chart
that helps you to determine that. In addition,
if the 100 octane gasoline is used in its
pure form, the engine will make additional
power due to the �improved burn� characteristics.
This is because Rockett Brand 100
contains a very select group of
hydrocarbons that vaporize and burn much
more readily than those found in conventional
street gasoline. When more of the gasoline
is burned in the combustion chamber, the
engine makes more horsepower. This phenomenon
is known as improved combustion efficiency.
equipped with nitrous oxide systems, turbochargers
or superchargers develop higher cylinder
pressures than normally aspirated engines
and therefore need a higher octane gasoline.
Higher cylinder pressures mean more horsepower.
More horsepower (cylinder pressure) can
translate into a destroyed engine if the
octane quality is not satisfactory. Rockett
Brand 100 can
be a significant benefit for these applications.
sensors are used on some engines to detect
detonation (also referred to as ping). When
the knock sensor is activated by detonation,
it sends a signal to the engine control
computer which electronically retards the
spark timing until detonation ceases. This
spark retard reduces engine efficiency which
reduces horsepower and fuel economy .
Rockett Brand 100 can
provide you with higher octane and therefore
solve the horsepower and fuel economy deficiencies.
racers and/or tuners think that they need
a slow burning gasoline to make good horsepower.
This is far from the truth. What we need
is a good fast burn gasoline to be able
to complete the burn in the time available.
An added benefit is that less spark timing
is required with a fast burn gasoline. The
reason is that peak cylinder pressure occurs
sooner with a fast burn gasoline. Too soon
is not good, so the spark timing can be
slightly retarded to take advantage of the
fast burn, still allowing peak power to
occur at the correct crankshaft position.
in mind that at 6000 RPM, each spark plug
fires 50 times per second .
At this rate, there is very little time
to draw the intake charge into the cylinder,
compress it, burn it, expand it, and exhaust
it. A good fast burn gasoline is very important
in making as much horsepower as possible
at this engine speed. The most horsepower
is developed when the gasoline is burned