What is External Combustion Engine? How coal is used as a fuel in it?

Today we take back you to the 80’s and 90’s century where we use coal as a fuel in our source of transport that is Train. How the coal is used as a Fuel in it. What type of engine is used. How it works. Let us study about this.

Trains are the main source of our transportation because it has heavy multiple Wagon to carry lots of passengers. A single combustion engine is used to pull these wagons by using coal as its fuel. The steam engine is invented by Thomas Newcomen around in 1712.

Why coal is used as a fuel?

Coal was the main source of energy because it is a carbon compound in addition with sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen oxygen. It is a great source of energy because of carbon, carbon in the coal combines with oxygen in the air giving off large amounts of heat. This heat energy is then used in our other mechanical tools to work. It is also the cheapest and abundant source of energy at that time

What is a Combustion Engine?

A complex machine that uses heat energy as its power by burning fuel to produce thermal energy.This thermal energy than used to do our mechanical or electrical task. The famous name in a combustion engine is the steam engine which was used in the conventional locomotive trains.

How does the steam engine and also External Combustion Engine work?

For a steam engine to work we need steam from coal, so we get it in steps

  1. We need a fire where we will burn our coal
  2. Water, because steam is the process of water.
  3. A container with lots of water to heat up for making steam.
  4. Now a cylinder and piston the basic parts of a bicycle. This generated steam is taken out through a pipe into a cylinder,  this causing piston to move in alternative ways. This makes train moves.

In brief: As the coal heat up it will give an intensive fire which is used to boil a large amount of water in a boiler that will generate steam. This steam is taken from a pipe to the cylinder that pushes a tight piston back and forth. A rod with piston attaches to wheels that make them move due to mechanical pressure by the piston. Because of train momentum rod will move back that take the piston again before position. Again steam comes and piston moves this process repeated and our locomotive train run.

This process is very simple but hard to think that how this small process makes that bulky bogies move. But if we apply it with a large chamber with a large heat out of it that converted into steam and make that pressure for a piston to move then we find how this simple process can make the train run.

Also read: World’s Fastest Water Heater Reaches 100,000 Degrees in 0.000 000 000 000 075 Seconds

It is also interesting to know from where that Choo- choo sounds come?

We always represnt a train sound by choo choo. When it starts to run this sound comes, it comes from pressure. How? When the valve of a cylinder open to release steam then steam comes with high pressure and makes a sound of choo. This sound comes with every step of the train when the train run in speed. This will make the sound choo choo.

Nowadays we move our attention from using coal trains. Basically, we use diesal or electric trains because of high carbon content in coal. Coal burn as a result of which carbon gas released in the air which is very hazardous for human and also for the atmosphere.

Source Credit: Real engineering


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