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Community Advocacy Organization

4 Fascinating Facts About Diesel Engines

4 Fascinating Facts About Diesel Engines

Diesel-engine powered vehicles go above and beyond. They’re more than just ways to get around town. They’re working vehicles, like trucks and vans, that can handle the great outdoors as well as the daily commute. They provide plenty of power for jobs like hauling and towing, without sacrificing power and performance. Here are four fascinating facts about diesel engines and what they’re capable of.

It All Begins With Rudolf Diesel

Rudolf Diesel was a mechanical engineer. Born in Paris in 1858, to Bavarian parents who immigrated to France, he was a brilliant inventor who created the diesel engine. Diesel experimented with different fuels for his engine, but finally landed on diesel fuel. Gasoline-powered engines work by mixing air with fuel, compressing it with a system of pistons, and then igniting it with spark plugs.

Diesel’s engine compressed air then mixed it with fuel. As the air compresses, it heats up and ignites, powering the engine. Both diesel engines and diesel fuel were later named in his honor. Sadly, he died under mysterious circumstances on the ship S.S. Dresden. Evidence suggests that he committed suicide, but this is uncertain.

An Efficient Engine

Did you know that diesel engines are more efficient than gasoline-powered ones? Diesel engines make better use of their fuel, compared with gasoline-powered ones that use only 20 percent of the gas they take in to provide locomotion. Diesel engines use at least 40 percent of their fuel to drive and perform their duties.

With proper care and upgrades, you can get plenty of horse power out of a diesel engine. So why aren’t more cars diesel powered? Simply put, diesel engines cost more. That’s why they’re worth the investment in trucks, which consistently pull heavy loads over long distances.

Diesel Fuel Burns Cleaner

It’s probably hard to imagine a truck as being eco-friendly, with all that belching exhaust. But the truth is while most fuel-burning systems aren’t totally eco-friendly, diesel fuel is cleaner than in years past. Diesel fuels today contain less sulfur, and compared to gasoline, release fewer toxins into the environment. Its efficiency also puts less of a strain on natural and non-renewable resources.

It Takes All Kinds

Here are the last of our four fascinating facts about diesel engines. Diesel fuel comes in different forms and classifications. It all depends on viscosity and can reflect performance at different temperatures.

Lower viscosity diesel fuel is also diesel 1D. Diesel 1D is excellent for driving in winter when the temperatures drop below freezing. Diesel 2, on the other hand, has a higher viscosity and is great for hot weather. Lastly, biodiesel is made of vegetable oil, food grease, and animal fats, which makes it a renewable substance. Research continues to find other alternatives and more efficient diesel fuels.

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