What Is Diesel

6 03 2009

I realized I’ve been writing a lot about biodiesel and diesel engines, but I’m not entirely sure how diesel is different from gasoline. Here’s what I learned:

The diesel engine was created in 1892 by Rudolf Diesel who considered vegetable seed oil as fuel for his invention.

Air Compression in Diesel Engine

Air Compression in Diesel Engine

A diesel engine is different because air is compressed (which heats it up) then fuel is injected. In a gasoline engine, both air and fuel are compressed together then ignited.

The compressed air reaches hotter temperatures in a diesel engine as opposed to a gasoline engine, thereby making the diesel engine more fuel efficient.

Fuel Injection in Diesel Engine

Fuel Injection in Diesel Engine

Biodiesel is very similar to petroleum diesel. It is made when plant oils are combined with methanol and chemically altered to make fatty acids.

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4 03 2009

United States:
Switchgrass

Switchgrass

Switchgrass

Soybeans

Soybeans

Soybeans

Corn

Corn

Corn

Brazil:
Sugar Cane

Sugar Cane

Sugar Cane

Europe:
Sugar Beet

Sugar Beet

Sugar Beet

Wheat

Wheat

Wheat

China:
Cassava

Cassava

Cassava

Sorghum

Sorghum

Sorghum

Southeast Asia:
Miscanthus

Miscanthus

Miscanthus

Oil Palm

Palm

Palm

India:
Jathropa

Jathropha

Jathropha

Learn more about: switchgrass, soybeans, corn, sugar cane, sugar beet, wheat, cassava, sorghum, miscanthus, palm oil and jatropha.