Working of carburetor
Fuel plus air equals motion—that’s the basic science behind most of the vehicles that travel on land, over sea, or through the sky. Cars, trucks, and buses turn fuel into power by mixing it with air and burning it in metal cylinders inside their engines. Exactly how much fuel and air an engine needs varies from moment to moment, depending on how long it’s been running, how fast you’re going, and a variety of other factors. Modern engines use an electronically controlled system called fuel injection to regulate the fuel-air mixture so it’s exactly right from the minute you turn the key to the time you switch the engine off again when you reach your destination. But until these clever gadgets were invented, virtually all engines relied on ingenious air-fuel mixing devices called carburetors (spelled “carburettor” in some countries and often shortened to just “carb”).
How engines burn fuel
Engines are mechanical things, but they’re chemical things too: they’re designed around a chemical reaction called combustion: when you burn fuel in air, you release heat energy and produce carbon dioxide and water as waste products. To burn fuel efficiently, you have to use plenty of air. That applies just as much to a car engine as to a candle, an outdoor campfire, or a coal or wood fire in someone’s home.
With a campfire, you never really have to worry about having too much or too little air. With fires burning indoors, air is in shorter supply and far more important. Having too little oxygen will cause an indoor fire (or even a fuel-burning device like a gas central-heating furnace (boiler) to produce dangerous air pollution, including toxic carbon monoxide gas.
What is a carburetor
“The carburetor is called the ‘Heart’ of the automobile, and it cannot be expected that the engine will act right, give the proper Horsepower, or run smoothly if its ‘heart’ is not performing its functions properly.”
Gasoline engines are designed to take in exactly the right amount of air so the fuel burns properly, whether the engine is starting from cold or running hot at top speed. Getting the fuel-air mixture just right is the job of a clever mechanical gadget called a carburetor: a tube that allows air and fuel into the engine through valves, mixing them together in different amounts to suit a wide range of different driving conditions.
Who invented the carburetor
Carburetors have been around since the late 19th century when they were first developed by automobile pioneer (and Mercedes founder) Karl Benz (1844–1929).
This diagram, which I’ve colored to make it easier to follow, shows the original Benz carburetor design from 1888; the basic working principle (explained in the box below) remains the same to this day.
A carburetor (American English) or carburettor (British English) is a device that mixes air and fuel for internal combustion engines in the proper air–fuel ratio for combustion. It is sometimes colloquially shortened to carb in the UK and North America or carby in Australia. To carburate or carbureted (and thus carburation or carburetion, respectively) means to mix the air and fuel or to equip (an engine) with a carburetor for that purpose.
Carburetors have largely been supplanted in the automotive and, to a lesser extent, aviation industries by fuel injection. They are still common on small engines for lawn mowers, rototillers and other equipment.