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Aiden Jones
Aiden Jones

Gas Station

A filling station (also known as a gas station (US) or petrol station (UK)) is a facility that sells fuel and engine lubricants for motor vehicles. The most common fuels sold in the 2010s were gasoline (or petrol) and diesel fuel.

Gas Station


Gasoline pumps are used to pump gasoline, diesel, compressed natural gas, CGH2, HCNG, LPG, liquid hydrogen, kerosene, alcohol fuel (like methanol, ethanol, butanol, propanol), biofuels (like straight vegetable oil, biodiesel), or other types of fuel into the tanks within vehicles and calculate the financial cost of the fuel transferred to the vehicle. Besides gasoline pumps, one other significant device which is also found in filling stations and can refuel certain (compressed-air) vehicles is an air compressor, although generally these are just used to inflate car tires.

Many filling stations provide convenience stores, which may sell confections, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, lottery tickets, soft drinks, snacks, coffee, newspapers, magazines, and, in some cases, a small selection of grocery items, such as milk. Some also sell propane or butane and have added shops to their primary business. Conversely, some chain stores, such as supermarkets, discount stores, warehouse clubs, or traditional convenience stores, have provided fuel pumps on the premises.

In North America the fuel is known as "gasoline" or "gas" for short, and "gas station" and "service station" are used in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. In some regions of Canada, the term "gas bar" (or "gasbar") is used. In the rest of the English-speaking world the fuel is known as "petrol", and the term "petrol station" or "petrol pump" is used. In the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa "garage" and "forecourt" is still commonly used. Similarly, in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, the term "service station" describes any petrol station; Australians also call it a "servo". In India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, it is called a "petrol pump" or a "petrol bunk". In Japanese, a commonly used term is gasoline stand[Note 1] although the abbreviation SS (for service station) is also used.

The first known filling station was the city pharmacy in Wiesloch, Germany, where Bertha Benz refilled the tank of the first automobile on its maiden trip from Mannheim to Pforzheim back in 1888. Shortly thereafter other pharmacies sold gasoline as a side business. Since 2008 the Bertha Benz Memorial Route commemorates this event.[11][12]

In Russia, the first filling stations appeared in 1911, when the Imperial Automobile Society signed an agreement with the partnership "Br. Nobel". By 1914 about 440 stations functioned in major cities across the country.

In the mid-1960s in Moscow there were about 250 stations. A significant boost in retail network development occurred with the mass launch of the car "Zhiguli" at the Volga Automobile Plant, which was built in Tolyatti in 1970. Gasoline for other than non-private cars was sold for ration cards only. This type of payment system stopped in the midst of perestroika in the early 1990s.

Since the saturation of automobile filling stations in Russia is insufficient and lags behind the leading countries of the world, there is a need to accommodate new stations in the cities and along the roads of different levels.[14]

The increase in automobile ownership after Henry Ford started to sell automobiles that the middle class could afford resulted in an increased demand for filling stations. The world's first purpose-built gas station was constructed in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1905 at 420 South Theresa Avenue. The second station was constructed in 1907 by Standard Oil of California (now Chevron) in Seattle, Washington, at what is now Pier 32. Reighard's Gas Station in Altoona, Pennsylvania claims that it dates from 1909 and is the oldest existing filling station in the United States.[15] Early on, they were known to motorists as "filling stations". These filling stations were known to wash your windows for free.

The first "drive-in" filling station, Gulf Refining Company, opened to the motoring public in Pittsburgh on December 1, 1913, at Baum Boulevard and St Clair's Street.[16] Prior to this, automobile drivers pulled into almost any general or hardware store, or even blacksmith shops in order to fill up their tanks. On its first day, the station sold 30 US gallons (110 L) of gasoline at 27 cents per gallon (7 cents per litre). This was also the first architect-designed station and the first to distribute free road maps.[17] The first alternative fuel station was opened in San Diego, California, by Pearson Fuels in 2003.[18]

The majority of filling stations are built in a similar manner, with most of the fueling installation underground, pump machines in the forecourt and a point of service inside a building. Single or multiple fuel tanks are usually deployed underground. Local regulations and environmental concerns may require a different method, with some stations storing their fuel in container tanks, entrenched surface tanks or unprotected fuel tanks deployed on the surface. Fuel is usually offloaded from a tanker truck into each tank by gravity through a separate capped opening located on the station's perimeter. Fuel from the tanks travels to the dispenser pumps through underground pipes. For every fuel tank, direct access must be available at all times. Most tanks can be accessed through a service canal directly from the forecourt.

Older stations tend to use a separate pipe for every kind of available fuel and for every dispenser. Newer stations may employ a single pipe for every dispenser. This pipe houses a number of smaller pipes for the individual fuel types. Fuel tanks, dispenser and nozzles used to fill car tanks employ vapor recovery systems, which prevents releases of vapor into the atmosphere with a system of pipes. The exhausts are placed as high as possible. A vapor recovery system may be employed at the exhaust pipe. This system collects the vapors, liquefies them and releases them back into the lowest grade fuel tank available.

The forecourt is the part of a filling station where vehicles are refueled. Gasoline pumps are placed on concrete plinths, as a precautionary measure against collision by motor vehicles. Additional elements may be employed, including metal barriers. The area around the gasoline pumps must have a drainage system. Since fuel sometimes spills onto the pavement, as little of it as possible should remain. Any liquids present on the forecourt will flow into a channel drain before it enters a petrol interceptor which is designed to capture any hydrocarbon pollutants and filter these from rainwater which may then proceed to a sanitary sewer, stormwater drain, or to ground.

If a filling station allows customers to pay at the dispenser, the data from the dispenser may be transmitted via RS-232, RS-485 or Ethernet to the point of sale, usually inside the filling station's building, and fed into the station's cash register operating system. The cash register system gives a limited control over the gasoline pump, and is usually limited to allowing the clerks to turn the pumps on and off. A separate system is used to monitor the fuel tank's status and quantities of fuel. With sensors directly in the fuel tank, the data is fed to a terminal in the back room, where it can be downloaded or printed out. Sometimes this method is bypassed, with the fuel tank data transmitted directly to an external database.

The underground modular filling station is a construction model for filling stations that was developed and patented by U-Cont Oy Ltd in Finland in 1993. Afterwards the same system was used in Florida, US. Above-ground modular stations were built in the 1980s in eastern Europe and especially in Soviet Union, but they were not built in other parts of Europe due to the stations' lack of safety in case of fire.

The construction model for underground modular filling station makes the installation time shorter, designing easier and manufacturing less expensive. As a proof of the model's installation speed an unofficial world record of filling station installation was made by U-Cont Oy Ltd when a modular filling station was built in Helsinki, Finland in less than three days, including groundwork. The safety of modular filling stations has been tested in a filling station simulator, in Kuopio, Finland. These tests have included for instance burning cars and explosions in the station simulator.[20][21]

Filling stations with premium brands sell well-recognized and often international brands of fuel, including Exxon/Mobil and its Esso brand, Phillips 66/Conoco/76, Chevron, Mobil, Shell, Husky Energy, Sunoco (US), BP, Valero and Texaco. Non-international premium brands include Petrobras, Petro-Canada (owned by Suncor Energy Canada), QuikTrip, Hess, Sinclair, and Pemex. Premium-brand stations accept credit cards, often issue their own company cards (fuel cards or fleet cards) and may charge higher prices. In some cases, fuel cards for customers with a lower fuel consumption are ordered not directly from an oil company, but from an intermediary. Many premium brands have fully automated pay-at-the-pump facilities. Premium stations tend to be highly visible from highway and freeway exits, utilizing tall signs to display their brand logos.

Discount brands are often smaller, regional chains or independent stations, offering lower prices on fuel. Most purchase wholesale commodity gasoline from independent suppliers or from the major petroleum companies. Lower-priced stations are also found at some supermarkets (Albertsons, Kroger, Big Y, Ingles, Lowes Foods, Giant, Weis Markets, Safeway, Hy-Vee, Vons, Meijer, Loblaws/Real Canadian Superstore, and Giant Eagle), convenience stores (7-Eleven, Circle K, Cumberland Farms, QuickChek, Road Ranger, Sheetz and Wawa), discount stores (Walmart, Canadian Tire) and warehouse clubs (Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's Wholesale Club). At some stations (such as Vons, Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club, or Sam's Club), consumers are required to hold a special membership card in order to be eligible for the discounted price, or pay only with the chain's cash card, debt card or a credit card issuer exclusive to that chain. In some areas, such as New Jersey, this practice is illegal, and stations are required to sell to all at the same price. Some convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven and Circle K, have co-branded their stations with one of the premium brands. After the Gulf Oil company was sold to Chevron, northeastern retail units were sold off as a chain, with Cumberland Farms controlling the remaining Gulf Oil outlets in the United States. 041b061a72




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