How does a car engine work?

A century or so earlier people used to move around with the help of horse carts until the car came along.

Automobiles specially cars changed the entire way of transportation.

The car which came along first wasn’t in the form in which we see it today but rather it was just the engine which was mounted on a cart and which made the car to move.

The main inventor of the car engine was Nikolaus Otto.

The current design of the engine which is being used to this date as well was first invented by him.

Scientific analysis of a car:

Many of us know the car and the visual sense in which we can see the car but the car is actually a energy converter because the input to the car is in the form of gasoline and the output is in the mechanical moment we get which helps the car to move in the direction which we want.

The output is in the form of kinetic energy while the input is gasoline.

This means that car is actually an energy converter. This brings us to our next important question as to how does the car managed to convert the energy and produce kinetic energy which helps the moment of the wheels.

How does a car convert petroleum into kinetic energy?

Gasoline is a byproduct of petroleum which is found in the earth and which is refined by the numerous refineries which are present all around the world.

Petroleum consist of many other byproducts as well and therefore when petroleum’s first extracted from the earth it is sent to a refinery to separate the byproducts and some of the byproducts are gasoline, kerosene and other such petrochemicals and there are a very wide range of applications for such petrochemicals.
If you look at the different types of byproducts of petroleum you would realise that all of them consist something known as hydrocarbons and as the name suggest these are molecules which consist of hydrogen and carbon atoms. Almost each and everything which we can use for fuel is also consist of the same hydrocarbons.

The best way for deriving energy from these hydrocarbons is to burn them because when you bond them the hydrogen and the carbon atoms which are in the molecules release energy either in the form of heat or in some other form of energy. The most common example of this is that when you burn wood to gain heat the heat is actually generated by the breaking up of the hydrogen and the carbon atoms which are present in would.

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When you separate the hydrocarbons the carbon atoms which are present in the hydrocarbons combine with oxygen in the ear and form carbon dioxide where is the hydrogen atoms combine with oxygen as well and form water. The energy which is released from the breaking off of these atoms inside the hydrocarbon molecules is released in the form of heat and this process is known as combustion and this is the basic working principle of the car engine.

Actual working of the car engine:

car engine working

If you have seen the picture of a car engine then you would know that the car engine actually consist of many cylinders and depending on the very end of the card the number of cylinders which are consisted in the engine can also change. The cylinders are made from metals which can handle very high temperature and they consist of one inlet and one outlet and also a spark plug.

1.With the help of inlet, fuel and air is inserted into the cylinders. After the insertion of fuel as well as a are the inlet actually closes and this process is pretty quick and takes few microseconds at most and therefore the inlet should be made up in such a way that it is able to close and open rapidly.The piston which is then present in the cylinder compresses the air which has been inserted into the cylinder with the help of the inlet. The cylinder now consist of fuel as well as compressed air which make it a very highly inflamable mixture.

2.The actual fire is generated with the help of a spark plug which is located at the top of the cylinder and the spark plug generates a very small spark when the piston reaches the spark plug and therefore causing the mixture of fuel and compressed air to be on fire and this initiates the reaction in the fuel.

3.The fuel which was consisting of hydrocarbon gets split up into hydrogen and carbon but the main byproduct is the hot gas which is generated since the heat is generated due to the breaking up of the molecules. This heat pushes back the piston which is in the cylinder and this piston is directly connected to the crankshaft which powers of the gearbox which controls the wheels and the moment of the card.

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4.The byproducts of the inflammable process which has been triggered by the spark plug are let out by the outlet pipe which is present at the opposite side of the cylinder. This cycle repeats itself for a wide variety of times to generate the required power for the moment of the car.

The entire process which we explained up for the working of the car engine takes place within a fraction of the second and therefore during the entire journey it takes place for a very high number of times and that is why the mechanism in which the entire process is taking place should be very robust to handle high temperature as well as to move at a rapid pace as well and that is the reason that cylinders are actually made from very sturdy metal which can handle such a reactions almost each and every second.

If you notice the steps in the working of the car engine then you might notice that the actual power to the crankshaft is provided by the cylinder in only one of the steps out of the four. This is why in most of the cases cards at least have for cylinders to ensure that power supply to the crankshaft is proper to run the car. When there are for cylinders in the card there is at least one cylinder which is providing the power to the crankshaft.

If the car is to achieve a higher speed than the number of cylinders have to increase or that, simultaneously more than one cylinder is powering the crankshaft and that is why in most of the racing cars and the advanced cars the number of cylinders which are involved is more.

Are gasoline cars harming the environment?

Due to the byproducts of the reaction which is generated in the cylinders of the car, these byproducts actually affect the environment very badly and therefore when you’re speaking about gasoline cards the carbon dioxide which is released is very harmful for the environment and along with the carbon dioxide there are also a couple of other gaseous elements as well which are released into the environment in small quantities as well and therefore using gasoline-based cards is actually very harmful for our environment.

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Why do we still then use gasoline cars?

The process of combustion is so effective that no other renewable form of energy has been able to match the amount of energy which is generated in such a small cylinder with the help of combustion and therefore if you’re using some other technology to power the car then you would not be able to get the same amount of power and therefore the speed which you would be able to achieve and the kind of power which you would be able to achieve in that car which is driven by some other type of fuel would be significantly lower as compared to a car which is run by gasoline.

Slowly and slowly there are breakthroughs in other types of engines as well which are starting to match the power of the gasoline powered engines and it is just a matter of time before the engines which are run on more cleaner form of energy or on electricity can provide the same amount of power is that of a gasoline car.

New challenges for renewable car engines:

Earlier when there was significant research in the renewable and clean sources of fuel for the car engine, the major reason for the research was that the petroleum products were pretty expensive but with the recent fall in crude prices this advantage has been negated and therefore this is one more challenge for the renewable energy because these days the price of crude is almost the same as that of renewable sources of energy and therefore there is no economic advantage in trying to change the entire setup apart from the reduction in pollution. It remains to be seen whether renewable energy industry would be able to provide the customers with more important advantages to switch over to cards running on renewable and clean energy.