Alcohol and Petrol as Fuel.
Whilst alcohol is applied in motor engines in a similar manner to petrol, its vapour mixed with a proper proportion of air being drawn into the cylinder where it is compressed and ignited, it cannot be used with maximum efficiency by itself in engines such as are fitted to modern motors because it requires a higher degree of compression than petrol engines are usually designed to stand, and also because, unless special arrangements are made, a motor engine will not start readily from the cold with alcohol alone.
Thanks, however, to the efforts of automobile engineers, great improvements were now being effected in the petrol engine, and, although the certainty and trustworthiness of its action still left something to be desired, it provided the designers of flying machines with what they had long been looking for - a motor FIG.
For these reasons alcohol has not been used to any extent in petrol motors.
Their machines to begin with were merely gliders, the operator lying upon them in a horizontal position, but in 1903 a petrol motor was added, and a flight lasting 59 seconds was performed.
It consisted of the following parts: - (a) A system of aeroplanes arranged like the capital letter T at a certain upward angle to the horizon and bearing a general resemblance to box kites; (b) a pair of very light propellers driven at a high speed; and (c) an exceedingly light and powerful petrol engine.
Water-power and petrol largely compensate for the lack of coal.
The four-cylinder petrol engine was placed on the lower aeroplane a little to the right of the central line, being counterbalanced by the driver (and passenger FIG.
The subject received little attention in the United Kingdom, owing to the relatively high cost of home-produced alcohol as compared with that of imported petrol; and the use of alcohol in England for generating mechanical power was neither contemplated nor provided for by the Legislature before 1920, when, as the result of the consideration of the position by the Government, following on a report by a Departmental Committee appointed towards the end of 1918, clauses were inserted in the Finance Act of 1920 legalizing the use of alcohol for power purposes.
The engine was an eight-cylinder Antoinette petrol motor, developing 49 horse-power at 1100 revolutions a minute, and driving directly a single metal screw propeller.
In the years 1903 and 1904 petrol motors adapted for ploughing and other agricultural operations formed a prominent feature of the exhibits.
Mixing with benzol and/or petrol, or with ether in varying proportions, enables it, however, to be employed successfully in them, until such time as engines specially designed for its use are available.
In France, where large stocks of alcohol were left over from the manufacture of explosives during the war, it was unable to compete with petrol as regards price, and was only being used in comparatively small quantities, and mixed with benzol.
Petroleum, according to the report of the National Conservation Commission in 1908, was then the sixth largest contributor to the Petrol nations mineral wealth, furnishing about one-sixteenth eum.