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Elsbett 3-cylinder straight motor
Elsbett 3-cylinder straight motor block

The Elsbett engine is a design of diesel engine designed to run on vegetable oil. It's also known as Elko engine and was invented by Ludwig Elsbett.

The design limits the loss of energy as heat by a variety of technologies; using lube oil as coolant too, no water cooling of the engine block is required, though an oil cooler is needed. 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 Elsbett engine has a deep bowl which has a slight lip. The main difference is that 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 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.

Elsbett AG is based in Thalmaessing, Bavaria, Germany.

Note: Vegetable oil should not be confused with Biodiesel which is chemically altered vegetable oil.

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( To do this, you will find a lot of useful information in the German (Deutsch) version of this article.)