How Avgas is produced

Almost all aviation fuels are derived from crude oil in refineries. Most refineries produce the kerosine type jet fuels for use in aviation turbine engines but only a handful of locations have the complex infrastructure required to create the more specialised grades of aviation gasoline (Avgas) used in spark ignition aviation piston engines.

The most fundamental refining process is distillation which separates the raw materials into various streams as defined by their boiling points (the components used to make Avgas have a typical boiling range of 40-170°C). The distillate streams are then further processed to remove any unwanted components, such as acids, sulphurs and metals, before they are selectively blended to yield the desired products. At this point additives are injected into many products to improve fuel performance and stability.

However, for Avgas production the story is a little different…

In contrast with the continuous production of most fuels, Avgas is manufactured in discrete batches, subjecting the raw refinery gasoline streams to specialist processes such as Alkylation and Isomerisation to generate the very high octane components required to produce this highly refined narrow cut fuel for aviation. 

Other bespoke components are included in the final mixture; Lead is added to improve Avgas octane quality. A coloured dye is used to differentiate Avgas grades from regular gasoline and other aviation fuels. Antioxidant is added to improve storage stability.

Most spark ignition piston engine aircraft are certified to operate solely on aviation gasoline (Avgas). As part of our commitment to aviation safety we will only provide dedicated aviation fuel and not motor gasoline (MoGas), which is designed for ground vehicles.  Click here for more information on the dangers of using MoGas.