from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An apparatus for adding hydrocarbons to non-luminous or poor gases, for the purpose of producing an illuminating gas.
  • n. A hydrocarbon used for this purpose.
  • n. Also carburetter, carburettor.
  • n. Carbureters are also used for impregnating a current of atmospheric air with a mist or vapor from a liqnid hydrocarbon, so that it becomes a combustible or explosive mixture suitable for use in internal-combustion motors. In the early forms of carbureter the air moved over a surface like a wick, by the capillary action in which gasolene was evaporated into the air. In later forms the air was caused to bubble through a thin layer of liquid gasolene, or was blown over the surface of the latter. In those now in nse a small jet of gasolene is forced through a needle-hole, by difference of pressure, into the current of moving air at each aspiration of the working cylinder. In the float-carbureters the jet is controlled by a valve actuated by a float. As the float rises, when the float-chamber fills, the needle-hole is closed. In others the gasolene inlet is opened by the same difference in air-pressure which causes the air-valve to lift The same valve-surface may control and close both inlets. Carbureters may use alcohol or kerosene as sources of carbon, bnt with the less volatile liquids the carbnreters must be vaporizers as well as atomizers, that the fuel may not separate from the air by liquation or condensation. This vaporization is effected by using heat above that of the atmosphere, either from an outside flame or by conducting waste heat from exhaust gases. When the carbureter supplies too much fuel, the mixture bnrns badly in the cylinder, and unburned fuel in the exhaust gases makes them visible as smoke and produces an offensive odor. When the needle-hole becomes clogged, the motor gets no fuel and will not run.


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