Gasoline Evaporation Rates in Tropical Climates

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Gasoline Evaporation Rates in Tropical Climates

Key Takeaways


Extensive searches across oil and gas websites and reports indicate that gasoline losses in India, a tropical climate countries fall below 1.5%, disproving the hypothesis that gasoline evaporative losses for gas stations exceed 1.5% in tropical climates.

Gasoline Evaporative Losses in India

  • Research findings based on many studies and petroleum dealer submissions in India, a tropical country, disprove the hypothesis that gasoline evaporative losses for gas stations exceed 1.5% in tropical climates. According to three submissions to Indian courts by gas station dealers, the average gasoline losses due to evaporation fell below 1.5%.
  • Based on the court submissions by Smt. Taseer Devi, Jaipur, a gasoline dealer in India, in 2020, the gas station witnessed erratic gasoline evaporative losses month-wise. In December 2019, the station lost 773 liters, while in March 2020 the evaporative losses declined to 717 liters.
  • Overall, the service station reported a 0.55% weight loss in gasoline due to evaporation in 2020, versus 0.60% in 2019. The findings concluded that gasoline evaporative losses are erratic and vary for a number of reasons depending on the climatic conditions and handling of the goods.
  • In another instance in 2018 involving Langer Auto Sales & Services that runs a petrol pump for Indian Oil Corporation, it was found out that gasoline losses due to evaporation during the year amounted to 0.756%, which was higher than the permissible limit of 0.60%.
  • According to Langer service station, the evaporative losses occur during several instances of handling the product. Among the key factors that contribute to the losses are weather conditions, evaporation at the time of filling petrol in storage tanks from tankers, and at the time of dispensing petrol to consumers from dispensers.
  • Another report examining design optimization of an automotive fuel tank to minimize evaporative losses found out that about 1.5% — 2% of gasoline is lost to the atmosphere due to evaporation when moved from producer to consumer. In this case, there are losses occurring at the production point, its transportation to service stations, and finally when it is dispensed to consumers. Therefore, the 1.55 — 2% is the cumulative loss from production to dispensation, findings that further nullify the hypothesis.
  • Findings from two case studies examining gasoline evaporative losses in Indonesia in 2019 revealed a range of 1.463 to 1.552 ton/year.

COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown Stock Losses — Calculation

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, gas station dealers in India complained losing up to 100 liters of gasoline idle stock to evaporation.
  • With pump capacities varying from 10,000 liters to 35,000 liters, the estimated percentage loss can be determined as:
      • 100 liters lost due to evaporation
      • So 100 liters of (10,000 – 35,000 liters) as a percentage
      • (100 ÷ 10,000) x 100% = 1%
      • (100 ÷ 35,000) x 100% = 0.285%
  • Therefore, it can be assumed that the losses at service stations due to evaporation range from 0.285% to 1%, which is still below the range in the hypothesis.

Research Strategy

Extensive searches through numerous reports on gas service stations and gasoline evaporative losses did not uncover precompiled information examining gasoline losses due to evaporation based on climatic regions. In this regard, studies about gasoline evaporation losses in select countries that lie in the tropics have been analyzed and their findings presented. Due to the lack of adequate data on the topic in the public domain, the research team decided to focus on individual countries that lies within the tropics; hence, the inclusion of studies in India and one excerpt from two case studies in Indonesia that quoted gasoline evaporative losses in tons/year. The findings presented for India have been scrutinized by the country’s law and span over three years, i.e., 2017 to 2020 and present more accurate data recorded by pump operators. Overall, the findings presented disprove the hypothesis that gasoline evaporative losses for gas stations exceed 1.5% in tropical climates.