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2. a ship, locomotive, lorry, etc., driven by a diesel engine
3. Informal short for diesel oil (or fuel)
4. South African Slang any cola drink


Rudolf . 1858--1913, German engineer, who invented the diesel engine (1892)



an internal-combustion engine with compression ignition. Ignition occurs in the cylinder of a diesel when fuel is injected into air heated to a high temperature as a result of compression by the piston. The diesel is named after the German engineer R. Diesel, who built the first engine with compression ignition in 1897. The diesel operates on fuel that is considerably cheaper than gasoline. There are also gas engines that operate on the diesel cycle.

Diesels are among the most economical heat engines. The specific fuel consumption of the best diesels is about 190 g per kilowatt-hr [g/(kW·hr)J, or 140 g per hp-hr [g/(hp·hr)], but for most types of diesels it does not exceed 270 g/(kW·hr), or 200 g/(hp·hr), at nominal power. Such fuel-consumption figures correspond to an efficiency of 31–44 percent (the efficiency of carburetor internal-combustion engines is usually 25–30 percent). The speed of shaft rotation in a diesel is usually 100–3,000 rpm, and only in isolated instances does it reach 4,000-4,500 rpm. Increases in the speed of rotation of a diesel are limited by the time required for carburetion and combustion of the fuel. Detonation does not occur in a diesel, so that the cylinder diameter is virtually unlimited, and in ship diesels it may be as great as 1 m; the power of a single unit exceeds 30,000 kW (40,000 hp). The weight per unit of power in a diesel is 3–80 kg/kW (2-60 kg/hp). The service life of a diesel is 5,000-80,000 hours.

Diesels are classified in terms of their combustion chamber design. In diesels with an open combustion chamber, the fuel is evenly distributed throughout the chamber in the process of carburetion by a large number of jets. In swirl-chamber diesels a stream of air is twisted as it is forced into the swirl chamber in the compression process, and the fuel is injected into the rapidly spinning vortex. In precombustion diesels, carburetion is produced by the entry of air and fuel to the main combustion chamber from the precombustion chamber, which is caused by the onset of combustion and the increased pressure in the precombustion chamber. Carburetion from a film is typical of the “chamber-in-piston” design, where fuel is supplied to the wall of the chamber and its vapors are caught up by the swirling air and well mixed.

Diesel engines are of various designs. Switch engines and ships in the USSR use V-12 diesels with water cooling and gas-turbine supercharging. The main diesel locomotives are vertical in-line two-stroke diesels with uniflow scavenging. Slow-speed ship diesels are the largest: for example, a two-stroke, in-line diesel with combined valve-and-port scavenging made by the Burmeister og Wain firm in Denmark has cylinders 840 mm in diameter, a piston stroke of 1,800 mm, a weight of 885 tons, and a height of 12.1 m. Ship diesels are often of the crosshead type. They sometimes operate without crankshafts. Less frequently, W-shaped or X-shaped diesels are used—that is, instead of two cylinder blocks as in a V-shaped diesel, these engines have three or four blocks. There are also star-shaped diesels with radially placed cylinders, and even multistar types (blocks of stars) with up to 42 or more cylinders.

Diesels are widely used. Their most extensive use is in tractor construction; their use is becoming more widespread in motor-vehicle design. About 50 percent of the locomotives in the USSR are diesels, as are most locomotives in the USA. Motor ships with diesel and diesel-electric drive have virtually replaced steamships in the river fleet. Diesels power mobile military equipment, such as tanks and rocket launchers. They are extensively used as mobile and stationary power generators in regions far from electric power lines. Diesels are being improved by increasing unit power, speed of revolution, reliability, and service life and by expanding the assortment of fuels used (multifuel engines).


Dizeli: Spravochnik. Edited by V. A. Vansheidt. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
Ustroistvo i rabota porshnevykh i kombinirovannykh dvigatelei, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970.
Ricardo, H. R. The High-speed Internal-combustion Engine. London, 1955.


References in periodicals archive ?
Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center, renewable diesel's high combustion quality results in similar or better vehicle performance compared to conventional diesel, while California Air Resources Board studies show that renewable diesel can reach up to 70 percent greenhouse gas reduction compared to petroleum diesel.
Blending the products does not pose any risk, as the chemical structure of renewable diesel is identical to petroleum diesel.
By focusing on the production of the 100 percent bio-based fuel, this bill will shut down, once and for all, any remaining opportunity for the abuse known as 'splash and dash,' in which oil companies add a few drops of biodiesel to their petroleum diesel just to qualify for the tax credit," the release said.
While motorists are gnashing their teeth over skyrocketing gasoline prices, the price of biodiesel - the greener cousin of petroleum diesel - has gone up even more because of the materials used.
Clearly, biodiesel will not be replacing petroleum diesel in terms of usage in the foreseeable future.
The petroleum diesel fuel base must meet ASTM D975 specification.
Fernando added that it has been proven in Europe and now in the United States that biodiesel is a good alternative to pure petroleum diesel and is here to stay.
Biodiesel, which is produced from vegetable-based oils derived from renewable resources such as North American-grown soybeans, is used in various processed mixes with standard petroleum diesel.
Biodiesel emits 78 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than petroleum diesel, according to the National Biodiesel Board, but it's not necessarily squeaky green.
recently approved the use of B5, a blend of five percent biodiesel and 95 percent standard petroleum diesel, in its full line of on- and off-highway engines.
Emissions on vehicles using this fuel far exceed those using petroleum diesel.
Their target is fleets, especially government fleets, that are running on blends--that is, two percent to twenty percent biodiesel blended with petroleum diesel.

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