Fuel of the Vehicle


The fuel of the vehicle can be varied, from the traditional petrol and diesel one to the newly alternative fuel vehicle as well. As the Wikipedia puts it, an alternative fuel vehicle is a vehicle that runs on a fuel other than “traditional” petroleum fuels (petrol or diesel). The technology includes the electric car, hybrid electric vehicles and solar powered. In the following, we will discuss what are they and the pros and cons of them in a combination factors, such as environmental concerns, the cost of the fuel and the emission of CO2.


The petrol engine

As the most typical family transport , people choose the petrol car rather than the diesel car. So what is the characteristic of a petrol engine? A petrol engine, also known as a gasoline engine, is an internal combustion engine with spark-ignition. The petrol and air are pre-mixed before compression. The spark plugs initiate the combustion process. Compared with the diesel engine, a petrol engine has a lower compression ratios, which leads to a lower efficiency. However the petrol one can run at higher speeds than diesels, for petrol burning faster than diesel and its lighter pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft, which is efficiency by lower compression ratios.

In return, the lower compression ratios of a petrol engine makes its efficiency lower than a diesel engine. So what is a DIESEL ENGINE?


Diesel engine

The official definition of a diesel engine, also known as a compression-ignition engine, is an internal combustion engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition and burn the fuel that has been injected into the combustion chamber. Due to its very high compression ratio, it has the highest thermal efficiency, which can be used for provide energy for train and ship. The statistics shows that diesel engines are typically over 45% efficient while the petrol engine can just convert 30% of the fuel energy into mechanical energy. Besides, the diesels tend to be heavier and more withstanding than an equivalent gasoline engine, due to its stronger automobile parts.

But the diesel engine can bring a huge inconvenience to its owner in winter, it requires a slow start in cold weather. And more over, if they contain glow plugs, diesel engines can just start when its glow plugs is heated up.

Despite of all the difference of the two types of vehicle fuel, the conventional diesel and petrol are both produced from non-renewable energy resources– mineral oil, with different refining methods. And the tailpipe emission CO2 and so on contaminated gas can have bad effect to the environment.  The new ones of alternative fuel vehicle is the new field waiting to be explored.


[1]Wikipedia.com Alternative fuel vehicle [on line] available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_fuel_vehicle#Bioalcohol_and_ethanol

[2]Wikipedia.com, diesel engine[on line] available at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_engine#Major_advantages

[3]Howstuffworks.com, if diesel engines are more efficient why do most cars have gasoline engines?[online] available at: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question399.htm

[4]Wikipedia.com, Petrol engine[on line] available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrol_engine

[5]U.S. Department of Energy/ energy efficiency&renewable energy Alternative fuels data center, benefits and consideration of electricity as a vehicle fuel.[on line] available at: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity_benefits.html

[6]ACEA.be european automobile manufacturers’ association. What are the main difference between diesel and petrol http://www.acea.be/news/news_detail/what_are_the_main_differences_between_diesel_and_petrol/



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