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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to find out how much a litre of petrol weighs. So far I've discovered that the specific gravity should be between 720 and 775 Kg/m^3 or to put it another way between 0.72 and 0.775 Kg/Litre. Why the variation?

The trouble is I never weighed the 5 litre plastic petrol container before I started, my thinking being that it would be insignificant compared to the weight of fluid. Oh well, you live and learn. Or not, in this case. :D



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I assumed because the volume changes with temperature but that shouldn't change the sg (or does it). How about the grade of petrol affecting the sg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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petrol grade might affect it, also additif levels?

I mean a litre of leaded petrol should weigh more than unleaded. (I know that a litre of lead based white paint weighs a sight more than the non lead based stuff. but how relevant is that? not very, sorry...):thumbup:
 

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to quote :-

Petrol in the UK is sold under the BS EN 228 specification which permits the density of the fuel to lie anywhere between 0.720 and 0.775kg/litre. This flexibility is necessary because petrol is not a single substance but is made up of many different hydrocarbons, depending on crude oil source and the configuration of the refinery producing the fuel.

Density may also alter during the year as a result of blending changes needed to produce fuels of different volatility for winter and summer for example. There is thus a considerable range of fuel density, but in practice most petrol will have a density lying in the range 0.735 to 0.76kg/litre.

Or to simplify, you can get away with lighter ends in winter (it's colder so you can use more volatile components without it evaporating), but can't get away with that in the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmmm, just done some checking on the weight that I measured, which was 4.4 Kg of plastic petrol can and petrol (filled to the 5 litre mark on the can).

At 0.72 Kg/Litre, I should have 6.1 Litres

At 0.775 Kg/Litre, I should have 5.7 Litres.

Doing the calculation the other way, I get the density as 0.88 Kg/Litre.

Either I have a very, very heavy plastic petrol container or something does not add up. Confused. :confused:



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five litres at 0.735 kg / litre = ( about 3.7 kg ), plus 0.7 kg for the can itself ( less than a bag of sugar ).
 

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P.S. don't add aforementioned sugar to petrol can ;)
 

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P.S. don't add aforementioned sugar to petrol can ;)

Spoilsport.....

As I recall from Chem days, cracked fuels (where heavier longer carbon chains are 'cracked' into lighter fuel types) can also have a difference. We were told that this was something that Jet used a lot of and that service vehicles weren't allowed to use it.

How much of that is still accurate I've no idea, I was at school and did O levels (remember them).....
 

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True, different refineries are able to turn different grades of crude ( [email protected] ) into varying quantities and grades of fuel, depending on the refinery setup, presence of a cracker unit and type ( FCC, hydrocracker )etc.

It all gives slight differences, none of which is particularly useful in determining how heavy your fuel can is if you forgot to weigh it before you started :grin:
 

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im surprised nobodys asked the obvious question yet-

why do you want to know?

if you really need to know, pour a litre into a measuring jug and weigh it
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It all gives slight differences, none of which is particularly useful in determining how heavy your fuel can is if you forgot to weigh it before you started :grin:
Yeah, I'd worked that one out for myself. :D

im surprised nobodys asked the obvious question yet-

why do you want to know?

if you really need to know, pour a litre into a measuring jug and weigh it
As with a lot of things, there's a long and a short answer to this.

The long answer is -

Since I've taken my tank off to deal with a little corrosion on the underside of it, I had to drain the fuel out. So, I thought I'd measure how much there was actually in it. Then when I pour it back in and nip down to the petrol station, to fill it up, I will then know exactly how much I can get into the tank - rather than Mr Honda saying the Transalp has a 19.6 Litre tank.

Then I can amuse myself to my heart's content squeezing every last mile out of a tankful - or constantly running out of petrol. ;)





The short answer is -

Because. :D



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The variance is due to the temperature.
One reason they say fill up in the morning as the petrol is denser.
One litre of water is approx. one Kg, four litres of petrol are approximately Three Kgs.
Container weight is imperceptible, so 5 litres of petrol in a container should be about 4 Kgs.
 

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yet another Dave
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As with a lot of things, there's a long and a short answer to this.

The long answer is -

Since I've taken my tank off to deal with a little corrosion on the underside of it, I had to drain the fuel out. So, I thought I'd measure how much there was actually in it. Then when I pour it back in and nip down to the petrol station, to fill it up, I will then know exactly how much I can get into the tank - rather than Mr Honda saying the Transalp has a 19.6 Litre tank.

Then I can amuse myself to my heart's content squeezing every last mile out of a tankful - or constantly running out of petrol. ;)
this is getting bizarre!

your talking volume not weight. run the bike as low as you dare or at least so youve got less than 5ltrs in it, then siphon the tank dry or use the fuel tap/hose, into a greeny. then use a measuring jug to put it back in noting how much there is.
go and brim it at the station and add that amount to what was already in there.
i dont see where weight gets involved at all?
or if the tanks off fill it with water a measuring jugful at a time, since a litre of water is the same as a litre of petrol.

you can get 27ltrs in hondas "25ltr" varadero tank, i think they err on the side of safety for splashing, and also have an airspace for expansion when you leave it in the sun. but if im on a long run and there will be constant suction through the vent for a while then i usually brim it. GS owners have been known to drill a vent hole in the inner filler tube to allow the air to come out but that wont give you much on a varadero (its got a pointier tank with less of an air gap) so i havent bothered. TA will be different again, so it might be worth a look?
 
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