How Does Gas Get to Gas Stations?

Written by  //  December 28, 2019  //  Construction Materials  //  Comments Off on How Does Gas Get to Gas Stations?

gas station

However, as often as we all perform this task, many of us don’t know how that gas got to be in the pump at all. Here is a simple description for anyone who’s ever wondered, “how does gas get to gas stations?”

The beginning

The journey gas takes begins even before manufacturers even make it. The process starts by mining for oil—this takes place all over the world. After extracting the oil, it moves through pipelines to arrive at refineries.

Refineries

At the refineries, the oil turns into other products. Some examples of products that started as oil include propane, petroleum, diesel, and, of course, gasoline.

After the oil becomes gasoline, manufacturers blend ethanol into it. Ethanol is grain alcohol. The reason we blend it with gas is to raise the octane level so the gas can satisfy the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oxygenated fuel requirements. All vehicle manufacturers in the U.S. approve gas with up to 10 percent ethanol blended in.

Pipeline travel

Once the gas is ready for consumers, it travels in batches through shared pipelines. The gas travels through the pipelines until it reaches a tanker or bulk terminal storage container. Since many tankers and containers share pipelines and nothing separates the batches, it’s common for commingling to occur.

Pipelines run throughout the country and are the most efficient way to transport gas. Pipelines must be structurally sound and go through regular inspections to ensure the safety of the areas surrounding the pipelines and the integrity of the product. Although there are many reasons for regular pipeline inspections, one of the main ones is to remain compliant with local and federal standards.

Interesting fact: Due to the commingling of the gases and oils, professionals must test the gas as it exits the pipelines to ensure its integrity stays within the requirements.

Truck transport

After the gas completes its journey in the pipeline systems, it sits in a container until a tank truck comes to pick it up and take it out to local gas stations. These trucks are large and designed to safely carry dangerous liquids such as gas. They are responsible for getting gas straight to the pump.

At the station

Once the gas arrives at your local gas station, sometimes the company decides to add a few ingredients, such as detergents. They do this to ensure they not only pass EPA requirements but surpass positively. After this process is complete, the truck pumps the fuels into the pipes connected to the holding tanks at the gas station.

Image Credit: gas station by Pixabay

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