The early evolution of today's modern drag racing vehicle was discovering the potential of nitro fuel for drag racing. In the early 1930s, a solvent derived from nitrous oxide was discovered that could safely burn with less air pressure than traditional gasoline. In order to burn with minimal air pressure, nitro fuel was burned at high temperatures, resulting in a clean burn and minimal smoke or fumes.
In order to effectively use nitro for drag racing, the fuel must be injected in a very precise pattern and at the right time. The fuel is mixed into the combustion chamber before ignition, typically with a nitrous oxide charge. The fuel is then ignited and burnt in a combustion chamber, thus creating exhaust that contains little smoke or sparks. Many engines now use a single fuel type – a nitro mixture – to avoid mixing different types of fuel.
The modern nitrous oxide (NOX) is usually found as a solvent in a tank or tankless format, but this has drawbacks such as limited capacity and the need to dispose of the solvent after the fuel is burned. In other words, a drag racer would have to dispose of the NOX tank, a process that many racers prefer to avoid. Instead, the nitrous oxide is injected into a chamber directly before ignition, which makes it easier to burn and keeps the tank clean.
Nitro racing engines have evolved significantly since their original inception. Some engines utilize a “bumpy” intake design, which allows the user to change the intake path, altering the airflow into the combustion chamber. Others use carburetors that provide consistent airflow to the combustion chamber, without changing intake paths. Other nitro engines use a carburetor that changing the flow direction, while still other engines use no carburetor at all, making the nitro fuel delivery system much simpler and easier.
While nitro fuel was initially used only for race vehicles, the fuel is now widely used in many cars as well as motorcycles and trucks. Some nitro fuel can even be used as a source of hydrogen for the production of a hybrid fuel. Hydrogen fuel is used to create an alternative to gasoline, which is often needed when hydrogen powered vehicles are needed.
Although nitro fuel is highly flammable, there are methods of controlling the flame of the fuel that reduces the risk of burning the fuel itself and creating harmful smoke. fumes. In addition, certain designs make use of a spray tank that contains a special foam that contains a catalyst that helps to reduce the possibility of combustion and produce minimal smoke or flames when the fuel is burned.