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A toxic colourless oily liquid made synthetically and used as an anti-knock agent in leaded petrol.
Chemical formula: Pb(C₂H₅)₄‘For most of the twentieth century, metallic sodium was heated with lead to form an alloy as the first step in the production of tetraethyl lead, an antiknock gasoline additive.’
- ‘When added to gasoline in minute amounts, tetraethyl lead prevents engine knock and increases the gasoline's octane rating.’
- ‘In fact, tetraethyl lead in unleaded gasoline is replaced with a mixture (with antistroke properties) of benzene and its homologues (despite the fact that benzene does not exceed 1% in unleaded gasoline).’
- ‘Organic lead compounds include tetramethyl and tetraethyl lead, which were heavily used as a gasoline additive, but this use has been drastically reduced in the US beginning in the late 1970s.’
- ‘The advantage of tetraethyl lead was that it allowed auto manufacturers to use lower quality materials in the production of engines.’
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