Diesel Engines And Its Effects On The Environment

3267 words - 13 pages

Introduction"There is nothing free in the world except air." We often hear this from people who complain that prices are getting high. It is ironic because air is such a vital part of the world and yet we tend to take it for granted. Have we ever stopped and actually thought of the importance of air? Only few of us will probably say yes. Air is so passive and inert that we actually forget that it exists. Of course strictly speaking we can never forget that it exists because it is the air that we breathe. We live in its expense. Instead of returning our gratitude we destroy it. We have become selfish human beings who only think about himself. Over the years our lives got more and more complicated. Here came the Renaissance period that brought vast improvements in technology. Leonardo da Vinci appeared and introduced machines and mechanical devices that were praised as great achievements. This advancement came in the price of environment. We took up Environmental Science last year and we saw how troubled our air is. Its quality is fast deteriorating because of our own doing. Why did we have to let it reach this far? We cannot just sit and watch the air die because if we do, then it is we who are going to die in the end. As one mother from New York said, "Our children would like to play baseball, but they can't because they can't breathe."In relation to this advancement in technology, we will discuss one kind of engine. We will see how it works and how its emissions affect the air quality.The diesel engineIn 1892, Rudolph Diesel, a German engineer developed the "diesel" engine. Unlike the gasoline engine, the diesel engine is capable of spontaneous combustion of liquid fuel without requiring spark ignition. The chief advantage of the diesel engine over the gasoline engine is its fuel economy and durability. Known as a "workhorse" the diesel engine became the engine of choice for heavy construction machinery, mining equipment, forklifts, heavy trucks, buses and trains. And it is also now used in some automobiles.Diesel engines convert chemical energy contained in diesel fuel into mechanical power. Under optimal conditions, fuel is self-ignited as it is injected into air that has been heated by compression and during the process emits carbon dioxide and water. However, under normal conditions, diesel engines not perfectly tuned emit harmful by-products of combustion. This waste material is made up of approximately 99 per cent of substances found in the normal atmosphere (carbon dioxide and water) and one per cent of toxic substances. It is these by-products that are hazardous to the health of workers and to the environment.Main difference between gas and diesel engineThere are several differences between gas and diesel engines. A diesel engine does not need spark plug to ignite the fuel. It takes in air, compresses it then injects fuel into the compressed air. The high air temperature ignites the fuel. On the other hand, a gas engine takes in a...

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