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  • 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!

The story of the man behind the diesel engine

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B1 diesel engine petrol fuel grave vegetable

The tragic story of the man who invented diesel - and why he would turn in his grave | BBC Ideas

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    Summer posted on 2020/11/01
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