History of the gas engine
28 October 2014
Engines and the Automobile Industry
Can you think of any more of an influential invention than the engine? The Chevy Motor Company and the whole car industry would not be where it is at today with out J.J. Estienne Lenoir and his creation of the internal combustion engine. Today, the gas engine has become a giant part of society and everyday life. The engine has been around since the early 1800’s, and it has been evolving greatly over the years into a great invention. Many thing would not be possible if it wasn’t for the invention and evolution of the gas engine. So many people use engines everyday either in a car bus or just mowing the lawn.
A gas engine is an internal combustion engine which runs on a gas fuel, such as coal gas, producer gas, biogas, landfill gas or natural gas. In the UK, the term is unambiguous. In the US, due to the widespread use of "gas" as an abbreviation for gasoline, such an engine might also be called a gaseous-fueled engine or natural gas engine. Generally the term gas engine refers to a heavy-duty industrial engine capable of running continuously at full load for periods approaching a high fraction of 8,760 hours per year. Unlike a gasoline automobile engine, which is lightweight, high-revving and typically runs for no more than 4,000 hours in its entire life (“Gas Engine”). There were many experiments with gas engines in the 19th century. The first practical gas fuelled internal combustion engine was built by the Belgian engineer Étienne Lenoir in 1860. However, the Lenoir engine suffered from a low power output and high fuel consumption. His work was further researched and improved by a German engineer Nikolaus August Otto, who was later to invent the first 4-stroke engine to efficiently burn fuel directly in a piston chamber. Otto met Eugen Langen who, being technically trained, glimpsed the potential of Otto's development, and one month after the meeting, founded the first engine factory in the world, NA Otto & Cie, in Cologne. In 1867, Otto patented his improved design and it was awarded the Grand Prize at the 1867 Paris World Exhibition. This atmospheric engine worked by drawing a mixture of gas and air into a vertical cylinder. When the piston has risen about eight inches, the gas and air mixture is ignited by a small pilot flame burning outside, which forces the piston upwards, creating a partial vacuum beneath it. No work is done on the upward stroke. The work is done when the piston and toothed rack descend under the effects of atmospheric pressure and their own weight, turning the main shaft and flywheels as they fall. Its advantage over the existing steam engine was its ability to be started and stopped on demand, making it ideal for intermittent work such as barge loading or unloading (Norback 6).
Now, there are many different types of gas engines. An internal combustion engine is an engine where the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer which is usually air in a combustion chamber that is an integral part of the working fluid flow circuit. In an internal combustion engine the expansion of the high-temperature and high-pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine. The force is applied typically to pistons, turbine blades, or a nozzle. This force moves the component over a distance, transforming chemical energy into useful mechanical energy. These types of engines are in most cars today. For example in most cars today, you have six cylinders, four cylinders and eight cylinders in an engine. These motors are the most efficient and reliable for everyday use. In motorcycles and quads you generally have either a 2 stroke or 4 stroke motor which have a very good weight to power ratio can get very good gas mileage. Also there are many different types of gasoline that these engines can run on for example they can run off unleaded gasoline, diesel fuel,