In an internal-combustion engine, introduction of fuel into the cylinders by a pump rather than by the suction created by the movement of the pistons (see piston and cylinder). On diesel engines, which lack spark plugs, the heat created by compressing air in the cylinders ignites the fuel, which has been pumped in as a spray. In engines with spark ignition, fuel-injection pumps are often used instead of conventional carburetors. Fuel injection distributes the fuel more evenly to the cylinders than does a carburetor; more power can be developed and undesirable emissions are reduced. In engines with continuous combustion, such as gas turbines and liquid-fueled rockets, which have no pistons to create suction, fuel-injection systems are necessary.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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