Learn about Energy with Diesel Dan - a resource for kids to learn about Diesel energy.
View and download the full "Learn About Energy with Diesel Dan" fact sheet here.
Q. What is diesel?
A. Diesel is both a type of engine and a type of fuel. Rudolf Diesel invented the first diesel engine in 1892. The original diesel engine ran on coal, but later began running on diesel fuel. Today, diesel engines still run on diesel fuel and can also be run using biodiesel, a type of diesel fuel made from vegetable oil.
Q. Is diesel the same as gasoline?
A. No. Like gasoline, diesel fuel is also made from oil, but diesel engines are more powerful and fuel-efficient than gasoline engines. You can't use diesel fuel in a gasoline engine or put gas in a diesel engine.
Q. Are there any diesel cars?
A. Absolutely! BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen all sell diesel cars and trucks in the U.S. Diesel cars are becoming more and more popular because they use less fuel than gasoline cars, which saves your parents money when driving.
Q. What else uses diesel?
A. Lots of things!
* In your home - Diesel construction equipment builds houses for families.
* At your school - Diesel school buses take millions of kids to school every day - maybe even you!
* During an emergency - Ambulances and fire trucks run on diesel. If your hospital loses power, a diesel generator provides back-up power in just 10 seconds. Pretty fast, huh?!
* At the supermarket - A diesel-powered truck delivers almost all the groceries to your local store.
* On the farm - Tractors plow fields and pumps bring water to the crops - both are diesel-powered!
Q. Why is diesel important for our country?
A. As you've learned, diesel is in our homes, our cars, our schools, our stores... everywhere! Do you remember that both gasoline and diesel are made from oil? Well, the U.S. does not make most of its own oil - instead we depend on other countries to sell us their oil. But diesel helps us conserve oil because it is more fuel-efficient, meaning that diesel helps reduce our dependence on other countries. Diesel also helps us improve our environment. How? Well, all engines put out different types of gases, and some of these gases contribute to air pollution. Just like computers keep getting smaller and faster every year, new diesel engines keep getting cleaner and more fuel-efficient.