The Elsbett engine is a 89 HP, direct-injection diesel engine designed to run on straight vegetable oil. The engine is also known as Elko engine (for "Elsbett Konstruktion") and was invented by Ludwig Elsbett.
The design limits the loss of energy as heat by a variety of technologies;
- the fuel charged is injected in such a manner as to 'blend perfectly with the air' and combust within a central core of hot air, not contacting the chamber walls, which is necessary for good air/fuel with other designs examined. The Elsbett engine has a deep bowl which has a slight lip
- the engine also doesn't use any water cooling. Instead, only oil is used as a coolant fluid. No water cooling of the engine block was required, and only an oil cooler was used to cool down the oil curculating.
It had a 25% fuel efficiency advantage over contemporary designs in the 1980s. Several revolutionary improvements were achieved in this design, such as a new piston design and combustion process.
The technology was adopted by some companies in the former Soviet Union and a major project by Grupo Garavello, which went bankrupt by their other business activities, was undertaken in Brazil. Although work continues on the dedicated multi-fuel Elsbett engine, the company now also sells conversion kits for existing diesel engines to run on vegetable oil.
( To do this, you will find a lot of useful information in the German (Deutsch) version of this article.)
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