Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles The story of the man behind the diesel engine and why he'd be turning in his grave. Franco-German engineer Rudolf Diesel started by designing fridges. But in 1892, he patented a revolutionary compression ignition engine known as the diesel engine. Unlike steam engines or early petrol engines, it worked by squashing air inside a cylinder, making it hot enough to ignite the fuel and create a powerful explosion. It was a very simple and economic system. It was invented to run on a variety of fuels including coal dust and vegetable oils. One of his early devices was demonstrated at the 1900 world's fair in Paris. It ran on peanut oil and won a Grand Prix. His invention was more eco-friendly and power efficient than alternatives at the time. And farmers could literally grow their own fuel. Diesel became an evangelist for the use of vegetable oils as fuel. In 1912 he said... Diesel's new engine made him a millionaire by the time he reached his 40's. But his life, ended tragically. In 1913, while traveling from Belgium to England on a steam ship, he drowned at sea. There was strange circumstances surrounding his disappearance and death which encouraged conspiracy theories. While some people assumed he had killed himself, others thought he'd been murdered by foreign agents. There's little evidence however, and the case remains unsolved. After Diesel's death, crude oil became more widely available and his engine was adapted to use petrol as its only source of fuel. This type of petrol became known as petrol diesel or simply, diesel. The diesel engine went on to revolutionise the transport system after the First World War - powering trains, boats and buses. The first diesel lorries appeared on roads in the 1920s and '30s. The first production diesel car in the world was a Citroën Rosalie introduced in 1933. Until very recently, half of all new cars sold in Europe were diesel. But diesel's image has taken a big knock with the scandal over cheating in emissions tests. There's also more evidence and awareness about the potential health problems diesel can cause. Sales in Europe dropped 20 percent in 2018. Many cities in the world have banned or imposed heavy tolls on diesel vehicles. Maybe we should have stuck to Diesel's peanut engine. Thanks for watching! :) Don't forget to subscribe and click the bell to receive notifications for new videos. See you again soon!