Diesel Fuel Information: Facts You Might Not Know!

Consider yourself a diesel fuel expert? Let’s put it to the test with these fun facts about this high-efficiency fuel:

  1. Diesel Is a Man’s Name (No, Not Vin.) — The Diesel engine was actually named after Rudolph Diesel, a German inventor. The first successful Diesel engine ran in 1897; the first commercial Diesel engine was installed in a German factory in 1898. Two other interesting facts: Diesel also designed engines that ran on peanut or vegetable oil without any modification as early as 1900! (And for what it’s worth, Vin Diesel’s real name is Mark Sinclair.)
  2. Diesel Engines Don’t Need Spark Plugs — In a conventional combustion engine, gasoline is mixed with air to make vapor, which is then compressed by a piston and ignited by a spark plug. Diesel engines operate differently: fuel is injected into a combustion chamber filled with hot, compressed air, which ignites the fuel. Because of their design, diesel engines must sometimes use a heating device called a glow plug in cold weather to keep compressed air temperatures high enough to ignite the fuel.
  3. Diesel Engines Are More Efficient Than Gasoline Engines — In an average diesel engine, about 40 percent of the fuel burned actually moves the vehicle—the rest of the energy is lost or used elsewhere along the way. Forty percent may seem like a low number but consider that gasoline engines can only achieve efficiencies ranging from 12 to 30 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
  4. Diesel is a Clean Burning Fuel — Modern diesel engines manufactured today are cleaner-burning than at any point in history. The EPA is constantly working to reduce exposure to the hazards of diesel exhaust from older engines, too, funding projects that reduce diesel emissions from existing vehicles.
  5. Diesel Fuel Works Best with Engines Running at Moderate Speeds — A diesel engine reaches peak power at speeds up to 65 miles per hour. It’s usually best to keep a diesel engine running below 2,000 RPM to maintain peak power (gasoline engines, by contrast, require much higher RPM—some as high as 6,700—to achieve maximum horsepower and acceleration.)

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