Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)

Definition - What does Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) mean?

An Internal Combustion Engine is a heat engine that produces heat energy by combusting petroleum products within a confined engine cylinder. The engine then converts this heat energy into mechanical energy that drives the crankshaft, rotor and other moving parts and thus, drives the machine. The fuel used in an internal combustion engine can be:

  • Gasoline (or petrol)
  • Diesel
  • LPG
  • Compressed natural gas (CNG)

Petropedia explains Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)

Internal combustion engines are broadly classified into rotary engines and reciprocating engines. In rotary engines, power is produced and transferred further when a rotor rotates inside the engine. These engines do not have any pistons and thus, are at times referred to as pistonless rotary engines. An example of a rotary engine is the Wankel engine.

In reciprocating engines, the pistons reciprocate in a "to and fro" motion (top down top motion) inside a cylinder to compress the air fuel mixture which when ignited with the help of a spark plug ignites immediately inside the cylinder creating a burst of force in the form of heat energy that pushes the other connected equipment such as rotors, shafts, etc., to work.

Reciprocating engines can be further classified as either spark ignition engines or compression ignition engine. Spark ignition engines can be petrol or gasoline or LPG or CNG driven whereas, compression ignition engines are only diesel-driven engines. Compression ignition engines are bulkier and produce more power than spark ignition engines.

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