The relative economic value of gasoline and kerosene as fuel for a heavy duty engine

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Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute


A high compression type engine operates far more satisfactorily on gasoline than on kerosene.

Frequent oil changes are necessary when kerosene is used.

When burning gasoline the engine operated on fuel-air mixtures varying from 1 - 17.5 to 1 - 7.48 by weight. The most economical ratio was 1 - 15.2, with the intake air at 135° F. The most powerful mixture was a ratio of 1 - 12.3*, and intake air at 86.2° F.

Kerosene mixtures varied. from 1 - 7.41 to 1 - 16.75. Greatest economy was secured on a mixture of 1 - 15.62, air intake at 134° F. The most power was developed from kerosene on a mixture of 1 - 13.3*, and an air temperature of 80° F.

The efficiency of the engine on the most powerful mixtures was 19.75% for gasoline at 23.05 H.P.,and 25.7% for kerosene at 22.85 H.P.

The engine developed as much power from a pound of kerosene as from a pound of gasoline.

Gasoline and kerosene require practically the same external conditions for optimum operation.

Kerosene does not deposit a great deal more carbon than gasoline.

Heat added to the intake air gives greater engine economy, but at the same time decreases its capacity.

135° F. gave the most economy in both fuels.

Hot air and lean mixtures makes the engine knock on gasoline.

The engine knocked with kerosene at all heats on practically all mixtures. Speed above 1350 R.P.M.,and low water temperatures *Average of three mixtures used on power curve. minimize the “pinging”

The outlet water must be kept above 180° F when burning kerosene.

Oil “stands up” better while burning gasoline.

Nine gallons of kerosene produce power equivalent to that produced by ten gallons of gasoline.