When cars were originally being made and designed, why was “gasoline” used rather than crude oil, especially since it was what came from the Earth?

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Cars today run on “gasoline” which has the hydrocarbons that work with the air and make the combustion possible, but why design engines like this, especially since the refining process is so arduous? Would it not have been easier and more logical to try using the crude oil straight from the Earth?

In: 16

No there are many reasons as to why gasoline was and still is used. The most significant is that, while crude oil is flammable, it is nowhere close to as flammable as gasoline and doesn’t burn nearly as fast and not very cleanly. Making a car engine operate on a slow burning fuel that leaves large amounts of residue behind would be an engineering nightmare.

Two main reasons. The first is that most crude oil isn’t explosive the way gasoline vapors are. Internal combustion engines need an explosion, and a pretty good one at that, to work. Certain types of crude can explode if conditions are right, but it’s a lot harder to make crude explode than to make some if its refined products explode.

Second reason is that crude oil will gunk up an engine right quick, and much more maintenance will be necessary for an engine that will work with crude compared to an engine designed to run on refined products.

Crude oil is not flammable enough. People made torches by dipping wood in crude, it barely burns better than wood.

The first engines use kerosene, which was available in the lab at low cost because it was used in lanterns. Then they found that a more volatile substance, gasoline, produced more power in the engine.

At the time of the invention of the automobile, gasoline was a mostly unused byproduct of producing kerosene which was used for heating and lamps.

There were several types of cars being manufactured in the early days, so the internal combustion engine was only one type. Oil is flammable and helped lubricate the moving parts, but the engines required “small” explosions (it is ELI5) in the piston chambers to drive the cars drive train, etc. oil did not provide that crucial capacity. The oil companies were already producing kerosine for home lighting so it was not arduous to further refine into gasoline, especially as electricity became the dominant source for home illumination

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Cars today run on “gasoline” which has the hydrocarbons that work with the air and make the combustion possible, but why design engines like this, especially since the refining process is so arduous? Would it not have been easier and more logical to try using the crude oil straight from the Earth?

In: 16

No there are many reasons as to why gasoline was and still is used. The most significant is that, while crude oil is flammable, it is nowhere close to as flammable as gasoline and doesn’t burn nearly as fast and not very cleanly. Making a car engine operate on a slow burning fuel that leaves large amounts of residue behind would be an engineering nightmare.

Two main reasons. The first is that most crude oil isn’t explosive the way gasoline vapors are. Internal combustion engines need an explosion, and a pretty good one at that, to work. Certain types of crude can explode if conditions are right, but it’s a lot harder to make crude explode than to make some if its refined products explode.

Second reason is that crude oil will gunk up an engine right quick, and much more maintenance will be necessary for an engine that will work with crude compared to an engine designed to run on refined products.

Crude oil is not flammable enough. People made torches by dipping wood in crude, it barely burns better than wood.

The first engines use kerosene, which was available in the lab at low cost because it was used in lanterns. Then they found that a more volatile substance, gasoline, produced more power in the engine.

At the time of the invention of the automobile, gasoline was a mostly unused byproduct of producing kerosene which was used for heating and lamps.

There were several types of cars being manufactured in the early days, so the internal combustion engine was only one type. Oil is flammable and helped lubricate the moving parts, but the engines required “small” explosions (it is ELI5) in the piston chambers to drive the cars drive train, etc. oil did not provide that crucial capacity. The oil companies were already producing kerosine for home lighting so it was not arduous to further refine into gasoline, especially as electricity became the dominant source for home illumination