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How Gasoline Is Used For Power The Average Automobile Within An Internal Combustion Engine

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Introduction

I will describe in my own terms how gasoline is used to power the average automobile within an internal combustion engine. I will describe this process from the perspective of thermodynamics. The reason I feel this an interesting topic is the automobile has become such a steady presence in the daily life of society over the past century that we often take for granted the amount of science and engineering that go into them. The thermodynamics involved are a direct daily application of the topics we covered in this course, it also applies concepts we learn in other courses. It’s also an important discussion, because what makes gasoline the most common fuel, how do the alternatives stack up? Or should we look at engines that
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As the piston reaches the low point in this stroke the valves are closed. This is the end of the Intake stroke
Compression
Next is the compression stage, the crankshaft and connector rod following a circular motion causes the piston to move upward within the cylinder, the valves are closed and the volume begins to decrease which compresses the fuel air mixture. Increasing both pressure and temperature of the mixture within the cylinder.
Combustion (Power) As the piston reaches the top of its cycle and the mixture is properly compressed the spark plug is fired. This ignites the highly pressured fuel air mixture, this ignition of the fuel source is a chemical reaction. Simply put it’s a contained explosion that even further increases the pressure within the cylinder, the gas wants to expand with all this energy so it pushes the piston downward in the cylinder, rotating the crankshaft by its attachment through a connector rod. This is the stroke that does most of the work which is why it’s often referred to as the power stroke
Exhaust
The piston is now at the bottom of the cylinder, which is filled with exhaust gases left over from the chemical reaction in the combustion cycle, the rotating crankshaft now pushes upward on the piston, as the piston moves upwards exhaust valves open, allowing the pistons movement to push the gas out of the cylinder so that the engine can start the 4 stroke cycle
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