Reformulated Gasoline in St. Louis

Air Pollution Control Program fact sheet
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Ed Galbraith

Cleaner-burning gasoline: an improved gasoline formula
St. Louis area service stations started using a cleaner-burning gasoline formula in June 1999. This fuel, known as reformulated gasoline, helps cut down on dangerous air pollution in the St. Louis area. Reformulated gasoline (RFG) is required at stations in the city of St. Louis and St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin counties.

Health benefits from using cleaner-burning gasoline are significant
The switch to RFG means healthier air to breathe. Gasoline-powered vehicles and equipment contribute a major part of the pollution that makes St. Louis air quality a problem. Using RFG lowers emissions of pollutants that cause or contribute to health problems such as asthma and other heart and lung diseases. RFG greatly reduces the cancer risk from gasoline emissions by cutting benzene more than one-third and reducing many other toxic compounds.

Large emission reductions from using reformulated gasoline
RFG provides one of the largest emission reductions in St. Louis’ long fight for cleaner air by reducing smog-forming emissions from motor vehicles.  RFG must reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by at least 25 percent, nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by five to seven percent and air toxic emissions by at least 20 percent.

No change in performance
You can use RFG in your car exactly the same way as conventional gasoline. As a matter of fact, auto manufacturers recommend the use of RFG over conventional fuel. RFG also works just as well as conventional gasoline in mowers, garden equipment, boats and other gasoline-powered engines. RFG is available in the same octane levels as conventional gasoline.

Used extensively
RFG has been used since 1995 in 17 states and the District of Columbia and accounts for more than 30 percent of the gasoline sold in the United States. Billions of miles have been driven on cleaner-burning gasoline in the United States. Extensive use and testing has shown no increase in performance problems with the use of RFG.

Gas mileage
On average, RFG may result in a very small (less than one mile per gallon) reduction in gasoline mileage when compared to conventional fuel.

RFG costs a few cents more to refine. The price at the pump will greatly depend on market conditions: supply, demand and competition. These conditions can differ over time and by locality. Costs in other areas where RFG is sold currently average about 1 to 3 cents per gallon more than conventional gasoline.