Because gasoline can be used with better effect than any other hydrocarbon compound as an explosive mixture in the cylinder of an internal combustion engine, an impression prevails that gasoline must necessarily be extremely explosive, says the "Automobile Mag-zine." In this respect the more inert kerosene is much more dangerous than gasoline. If a vessel partly filled with kerosene is left open, air sufficient to create an explosive mixture is likely to accumulate in the presence of the liquid, but gasoline stored under similar conditions gives off its gaseous emanations so freely that an air charged mixture does not accumulate.

The combustion of gasoline either in burning as a fuel or as an explosive in a cylinder is practically the same natural process as the combustion of any other fuel. The hydrocarbons of which it consists ombine with oxygen when raised to the proper tem->erature and produce water and carbon dioxide. In the ordinary combustion of gasoline the vapor passing from the liquid ignites at about 1500° Fahr., when combustion will proceed as rapidly as the admixture of combustible and oxygen can be combined. When the air and fuel are mixed in the proper proportion combustion becomes explosion; but the mixture is the same as that which goes on in the slow combustion process, producing water and carbon dioxide.

Gasoline, although very inflammable, produces an inert gas, unless it is mixed with the proper proportion of air or oxygen that makes it an explosive. The effective mixture of air from which the oxygen is drawn and the vapor of gasoline varies from 6 to 1 to 11 to 1. Mixtures above or below these proportions may be entirely useless for power purposes, and they would not cause an explosion in the open air or even in a confined chamber.

Gasoline is so volatile that if left in an open vessel or in a vessel having a vent, the gasoline vapor will force its way out, precluding any admixture of air. If sufficient heat is applied to ignite this escaping current of air, no explosions can happen, but the gas will begin to burn the same as a gas lighting jet. People become panic stricken about gasoline because they do not understand its peculiarities.