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February 23, 1893 – Rudolph Diesel’s Patent

Posted February 23, 2007 1:46 PM by Steve Melito

On this day in engineering history, Germany's Imperial Patent Office granted Rudolph Diesel Patent No. 67207 for "a new efficient thermal engine". The pressure-ignited heat engine which bears Diesel's name required less fuel than Nikolaus Otto's compression-mixture engine and was more efficient than James Watt's steam engine. Unlike the Otto engine, which compressed a mixture of fuel and air during the intake stroke, the Diesel engine took in only pure air. This pure-air stream enabled a diesel cylinder to achieve a higher compression ratio, squeezing more mechanical energy from the heated, pressurized air. Fuel injection during a subsequent step produced a powerful but controlled explosion, proving that an air-fuel mixture could be ignited without a spark. Indeed, years later, Diesel was granted a separate patent for inventing an engine which compressed air to such a degree that the air's temperature far exceeded the fuel's ignition temperature.

Diesel's patent of February 23, 1893 was the first step on a long road to a working engine. With contracts from Frederick Krupp and other manufacturers, Rudolph Diesel experimented and tested multiple models. In August 1893, Diesel's prime model, a single 10-foot iron cylinder with a flywheel at its base, ran on its own power for the first time. Operating at 26% efficiency, the first diesel engine offered more than twice the efficiency of contemporary steam engines. Over the next two years, Diesel improved his design before unveiling a second engine with a theoretical efficiency of 75.6%. By 1898, Rudolph Diesel was ready to demonstrate his creation at Paris' Exhibition Fair. Powered by peanut oil, this diesel engine burned fuel only when necessary - a sharp contrast to fuel-hungry steam engines.

A respected thermal engineer, Rudolph Diesel was also a social theorist who sought to remake armies, industries, societies, and nations. According to its creator, the diesel engine would revolutionize naval warfare and maritime transportation, hasten the progress of developing nations, and provide power to independent craftsman who struggled to compete with large industries. Although Diesel did not live long enough to recognize his vision, the steps he took after receiving his first patent helped to shape the twentieth century and the world beyond.

Resources:

http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bldiesel.htm

http://www.todayinhistory.de/index.php?what=thmanu&manu_id=1376&tag=23&monat=2&year=2007&dayisset=1&lang=en

http://www.speedace.info/diesel.htm

http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0040-165X(196624)7%3A1%3C90%3ARDPOTA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-W

http://www.invent.org/hall_of_fame/42.html

http://www.ybiofuels.org/bio_fuels/history_diesel.html

http://library.thinkquest.org/C006011/english/sites/ottomotor.php3?v=2

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#1

Re: February 23, 1893 – Rudolph Diesel’s Patent

02/24/2007 5:01 AM

I have always admired Rudolph Diesel and his engine.

It is still the best engine for many purposes, and the only IC engine made in "large" sizes for ship propulsion, driving generators, etc.

Greg

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: February 23, 1893 – Rudolph Diesel’s Patent

02/26/2007 8:22 AM

What are your thoughts on diesel vehicles, Greg? I'm not in the market for a new car, but may "go diesel" the next time around. A former co-worker had a Volkwagon diesel that got 40+ mpg highway miles.

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Anonymous Poster
#3

Re: February 23, 1893 – Rudolph Diesel’s Patent

03/10/2007 5:03 AM

Unfortunately, it was not Rudolf Diesel who invented the 'diesel' engine. Herbert Akroyd Stuart, an Englishman, built the first 'diesel' engine in 1890 and had a patent on the design. Diesel did not actually build any engine until 1897, and this ran on coal dust, was quite different from what we call a 'diesel' engine today, and actually blew up and nearly killed him. By contrast Akroyd Stuart with the company Ruston Horsnby had been building engines and 'diesel' powered tractors for several years before Diesel built his first

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: February 23, 1893 – Rudolph Diesel’s Patent

01/02/2010 11:20 PM

You have got it all wrong diesel didn't use coal dust that is a fallacy he first used petrol and that is when it blew up he later used peanut oil the Akroyd Stuart engines are semidiesels and need an extra heat source

Diesel wanted to use a liquid fuel but could not get a reliable pump to get the fuel in to the combustion space that is when he went over to air blast injection which added more complication which he didn't want it was not until 1924 that Bosch made the first injector pump and injectors as we know them today that the diesel became available for automotive use and of course Diesel was dead by then

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#5

Re: February 23, 1893 – Rudolph Diesel’s Patent

01/02/2010 11:30 PM

Can anybody find for me a picture or cutaway drawing of a Thiokol Dynastar diesel engine please . I also think the engine was made as a petrol engine it is cross shaped 4 cylinder assy. like a radial and is I think a "split single" type of twostroke in other words a two piston one combustion chamber two stroke

A picture of either type of engine would be very acceptable.

I need the picture for an article I am writing for a car club magazine on W,X and Y type engines

Cheers Peugeot man

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: February 23, 1893 – Rudolph Diesel’s Patent

01/05/2010 7:26 PM

Thank you to the people who have replied to my request and I hope I get more pictures of the Thiokol engine to choose from plus a bit more description of how it works - does it have a turbo or supercharger for instance as i do not see it as a crankcase compression engine

Cheers for now

peugeot man

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: February 23, 1893 – Rudolph Diesel’s Patent

02/06/2011 8:46 PM

Not only can I get pic's, of the engine,. I can get you some with me by my engine.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: February 23, 1893 – Rudolph Diesel’s Patent

02/06/2011 10:42 PM

Are you talking about the thiokol engine???

Cheers

peugeot man

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Anonymous Poster
#9
In reply to #8

Re: February 23, 1893 – Rudolph Diesel’s Patent

02/06/2011 11:16 PM

Yes I AM!!!!

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#10
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Re: February 23, 1893 – Rudolph Diesel’s Patent

02/07/2011 12:36 AM

send me an email adress, and I'll send out a few pics

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#11

Re: February 23, 1893 – Rudolph Diesel’s Patent

02/10/2011 8:25 PM

HELLO PEUGEOT MAN: I am just checking back to see if you are interested in pic's of my Thiokol Dyna Star Diesel. Also Ed Weldon said he could still get some copies of his tech info. He was going thru some other issues at the time and forgot to follow up with you, but he still remembers you and where you are at. I am in North Dakota, USA. I seen your beach front property on the news a while back. We are waist deep in frozen water,[snow]. But I wouldn't trade you. I wish you all the best. PS: What is the title of your engine book, and is it available yet?

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