Aug 15, 2009

fuel injection

Most automobiles in use today are propelled by gasoline (also known as petrol) or diesel internal combustion engines, which are known to cause air pollution and are also blamed for contributing to climate change and global warming.[14] Increasing costs of oil-based fuels, tightening environmental laws and restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions are propelling work on alternative power systems for automobiles. Efforts to improve or replace existing technologies include the development of hybrid vehicles, and electric and hydrogen vehicles which do not release pollution into the air.

Petroleum fuels
Main article: Petroleum fuel engine

Main article: Diesel engine

Diesel-engined cars have long been popular in Europe with the first models being introduced as early as 1922 [15] by Peugeot and the first production car, Mercedes-Benz 260 D in 1936 by Mercedes-Benz. The main benefit of diesel engines is a 50% fuel burn efficiency compared with 27%[16] in the best gasoline engines. A down-side of the Diesel engine is that better filters are required to reduce the presence in the exhaust gases of fine soot particulates called diesel particulate matter. Manufacturers are now starting to fit[when?] diesel particulate filters to remove the soot. Many diesel-powered cars can run with little or no modifications on 100% biodiesel and combinations of other organic oils.

Main article: Petrol engine
2007 Mark II (BMW) Mini Cooper

Gasoline engines have the advantage over diesel in being lighter and able to work at higher rotational speeds and they are the usual choice for fitting in high-performance sports cars. Continuous development of gasoline engines for over a hundred years has produced improvements in efficiency and reduced pollution. The carburetor was used on nearly all road car engines until the 1980s but it was long realised better control of the fuel/air mixture could be achieved with fuel injection. Indirect fuel injection was first used in aircraft engines from 1909, in racing car engines from the 1930s, and road cars from the late 1950s.[16] Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) is now starting to appear in production vehicles such as the 2007 (Mark II) BMW Mini. Exhaust gases are also cleaned up by fitting a catalytic converter into the exhaust system. Clean air legislation in many of the car industries most important markets has made both catalysts and fuel injection virtually universal fittings. Most modern gasoline engines also are capable of running with up to 15% ethanol mixed into the gasoline - older vehicles may have seals and hoses that can be harmed by ethanol. With a small amount of redesign, gasoline-powered vehicles can run on ethanol concentrations as high as 85%. 100% ethanol is used in some parts of the world (such as Brazil), but vehicles must be started on pure gasoline and switched over to ethanol once the engine is running. Most gasoline engined cars can also run on LPG with the addition of an LPG tank for fuel storage and carburettor modifications to add an LPG mixer. LPG produces fewer toxic emissions and is a popular fuel for fork-lift trucks that have to operate inside buildings.