The refined products such as petrol or diesel have been successfully used since the introduction of automotive internal combustion engines. Both of them are a mixture of hydrocarbons and additives. The only difference is in the individual characteristics and temperature. 35 to 2000 degrees for gasoline or 180 to 3600 for diesel.
Petrol is a high-boiling liquid hydrocarbons, which are released during the processing of solid fuels, distillation of oil and drainage of natural gas. The main criterion is the detonation resistance, which is characterized by an octane number. The higher it is, the higher the petrol’s resistance to detonation is. The worst performance is in paraffin hydrocarbons and the best in aromatic. Special additives are introduced to improve the properties.
The second important criterion is the degree of compression. The higher it is, the higher the engine power, but also the higher the fuel consumption. It is important that the degree of compression and octane number correlate with each other.
The fractional composition of petrol directly affects the engine start, warm-up, efficiency, durability and absence of steam plugs. On this basis, petrol is classified as winter and summer: adapted to specific temperature conditions.
Diesel fuel is a product that is based on distillate fractions in the direct distillation of oil. The main components are cetane and methylnaphthalene. It is an easily flammable liquid and a poorly flammable additive. Flammability is the main characteristic that is expressed in the cetane number. This is an octane analog for petrol.
The diesel’s ability to pump determines its ability to circulate through the system. It depends on the limiting filtering temperature, the turbidity temperature and the freezing point. Water or mechanical impurities must also be taken into account.
All over the world, there is a growing interest in alternative fuels: more economical, environmentally friendly and efficient. They are made from inexhaustible natural resources and produce less emissions.
Here are some of them:
- Natural gas. Available almost everywhere, it emits less toxic substances than petrol or diesel, completely burns when being used.
- Electricity. Electric cars are being improved every year. For charging, they are plugged into a power source. The electrochemical reaction in the engine does not pollute the environment.
- Propane. Liquefied petroleum gas is a by-product of the oil industry. It is already used in everyday life and for heating systems.
- Hydrogen. It is used in systems with natural gas and electric fuel elements.
- Methanol. Wood methyl alcohol is not yet suitable for use in cars, but can eventually become a promising alternative source.
- Ethanol. Ethyl alcohol is mixed with petrol to increase octane fuel and minimize toxic emissions.
- Biodiesel. Made from vegetable or animal fats, including food waste. Biodegradable.
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