What is an internal combustion engine? Name the various types

An internal combustion engine is one in which the fuel is burnt within the engine. It is usually of the reciprocating type. Combustion of the fuel and the conversion of the heat energy from combustion to mechanical energy takes place within the cylinders. Internal combustion engines can also be of the rotary type, such as the gas turbine and the rotary engine developed by Dr Felix Wankel.
Reciprocating internal combustion engines may be of the spark-ignition or compression-ignition type. Spark-ignition engines use gaseous or volatile distillate fuels and work on a modified Otto cycle. They operate on the two- or four-stroke cycle. Compression-ignition engines may also be of either two- or four-stroke cycle type. They use distillate liquid fuels or, where conditions allow, a blend of distillate and residual fuels. This type of engine is usually designed to operate on the dual-combustion cycle or a modification of it. In some cases the cycle is such that the whole of combustion takes place at constant volume.
Some engines are designed for dual-fuel operation and may use either liquid or gaseous fuel. When gaseous fuel is used a small amount of liquid fuel is injected to initiate combustion. _ __
Note Different names are used for compression-ignition engines. Nomen¬clature was discussed by a committee of distinguished engineers in 1922 and is still a matter of discussion and argument today. The name Diesel is in common use and has reached the point where it is often spelt with a lowercase ‘d’. The modern oil engine bears little resemblance to the engine developed by Dr R. Diesel, but more closely resembles the engine developed by H. Akroyd Stuart at Bletchley, near London, in about 1890 – some few years before Dr Diesel took out patents for the engine he developed at Augsburg in Germany. In using the name Diesel we must not forget the work done by Akroyd Stuart.

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