In 1859, the first oil well was dug by Edwin Drake. Drake distilled the petroleum to make kerosene for lighting, discarding the other byproducts. More than 20 years later, with the invention of the automobile, gasoline was recognized as a valuable source of fuel. By 1920, more than 9 million gas-powered vehicles were on the road [for more gasoline news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Gasoline is one of the most widely-known and used commodities worldwide. It is primarily utilized for fuels, but can be also used for various reasons like a solvent to dilute paints. While we refer to the liquid as gasoline here in the states, many other parts of the world know it by the term petrol, or sometimes petrogasoline. From a chemical standpoint, this low-density fuel is very volatile, not only because of its natural makeup, but also because of the numerous additives that can be mixed in. Some of these additives include lead, ethanol, and dye [see also The Guide To The Biggest Companies In Every Major Commodity Sector].