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How do you determine what kind of octane analyzer you need?

The Shatox product offers excellent results for non-ethanol blended gasoline and petroleum based diesel fuels. In addition, Shatox produces several products to determine viscosity as well as other quality tests.

People often ask about testing aviation and racing fuels. Many times these gasoline type fuels contain heavy consitrations of Tetra-Ethel lead, or unusual chemical additives. It is important to understand that in these cases the only reliable method to use for measuring octane value is the CFR engine. Please inquire if we can accommodate your specific requirements by emailing us exactly what fuels you are working with.

If we are unable to provide a product to accomidate your requirments, you may want to consider an ASTM laboratory that speciallizes in fuel testing. You can expect to pay upwards of $600 per sample tested by these labs.

To help determine what analyzer you may require, we have created a table showing some of the pros and cons not only the analyzers we sell, but also comparing these products to the primary ASTM octane and cetane measurement products and procedures used around the world.


Octane Determination Methods
Detection Method

CFR Octane


This procedure uses a specialized internal combustion engine to acoustically determine when the combustion mixture in the engine begins to auto-ignite. The device can basically "hear" the precise instant the fuel mixture begins to ignite without the spark plug firing.

Combustion/ Acoustic

Primary ASTM method actually measures the octane value of the sample. Can be used to test many types of fuel. Most accurate!

Expensive ($200,000 - $500,000), complicated, laboratory bound. Laboratory skilled personnel needed to operate.

Gas/Liquid Chromatograph

This procedure uses a Gas or Liquid Chromatograph to determine the chemical make-up and the volumes of these chemicals. Then software extrapolates how this mixture would react in a CFR engine.

Electronic/ Chemical

Less expensive than CFR engine.

Still expensive ($50,000 - $250,000), complicated, laboratory bound. Laboratory skilled personnel needed to operate. Considered a secondary method.


Electronically determines the electrical properties of the sample.Then compares the value to known fuel mixtures and the expected octane value of those mixtures.


Most affordable ($2,000 - $4,000). No special skills needed to operate.

Limited to petroleum fuels and only fuels the device is calibrated for. Considered a secondary method.

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