=chemistry =suggestion =chemical safety
Lead is still used in fuel for piston engine aircraft. That's unnecessary.
Leaded aviation gasoline could be replaced by a blend of ethanol-free premium motor gasoline and m-xylene, with a little bit of ferrocene and 2,3 dibromobutane. (p-xylene would also give a high enough octane rating, but it has a higher melting point and m-xylene taken from xylene isomerization plants should be cheaper.) Shell developed an unleaded avgas which is probably similar.
Many aircraft can actually use premium ethanol-free motor gasoline, but the pilots often use leaded gasoline anyway because that's often the only kind that airports sell. (Once, I tried suggesting that an airport should sell unleaded gasoline too, and the response I got was basically that the contractor in charge of gasoline sales at the airport decided that selling 2 kinds wouldn't be any more profitable.)
A big part of this problem was the FAA making it hard for companies to develop engines that could run on normal unleaded gasoline.
Lead pollution is bad enough that its effects can be seen in average IQ scores of areas. There are many more cars than aircraft, but aircraft burn more fuel, so the lead pollution from aircraft burning avgas is significant.
back to index