Eugenio Barsanti

Father Eugenio Barsanti (October 12 1821 - April 19 1864), also named Nicolò, was the Italian inventor of the Internal combustion engine.

Barsanti was born in Pietrasanta, Tuscany. Lean and low of stature, he studied in a religious scientific oriented institute near Lucca, in Tuscany, and became a novitiate in Florence in 1838 of the little known Piarist Fathers or Scalopi.

In 1841 Barsanti began teaching in the "Collegio San Michele", situated in Volterra. Here, during a lecture describing the explosion of mixed Hydrogen and air, he realised the potential for using the energy of the expansion of combusting gases within a motor.

Subsequently, when teaching in a college level institute in Florence he met Felice Matteucci, an hydraulic engineer. Matteucci appreciated the idea for the engine, and the two men worked together on it for the rest of their lives.

They patented their invention in London, on June 12 1854 as Italian law at that time could not guarantee sufficient international protection on the patent. The construction of the prototype was later completed in the 1860's.

The main advantage of the Barsanti-Matteucci engine was the use of the return force of the piston due to the cooling of the gas. Other approaches based on the pushing force of the explosion, like the one developed by France's Etienne Lenoir, were slower. The Barsanti-Matteucci engine was proven to be much more efficient, and won a silver medal from the institute of science of Lombardy.

In 1856 they developed a two-cylinder 5 HP motor and two years later they built a counter-working two-piston engine.

Barsanti thought that the new engine was a great improvement over the steam engine, it was much safer, less cumbersome and quick to operate. It was however not light enough for use as automotive engine. The main target was to provide mechanical energy in factories and for naval propulsion.

After some searching, Barsanti and Matteucci selected the John Cockerill foundry in Seraing, Belgium to mass-produce a four HP engine. Orders for the engine soon followed from many countries within Europe.

Barsanti died suddenly at Seraing of typhoid fever, on March 30 1864, and Matteucci alone was not able to lead the business. The development of the engine failed and Matteucci returned to his first occupation: hydraulics.

When Nikolaus Otto patented his engine, Matteucci unsuccessfully argued that he and his partner Barsanti were the originators.

ee also

* Reciprocating engine
* Two-stroke cycle
* Internal combustion engine
* History of the internal combustion engine

External links

* [http://www.keveney.com/Engines.html Animated Engines] - explains a variety of types
* [http://auto.howstuffworks.com/engine3.htm How Internal Combustion Works] - with animation


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  • Eugenio Barsanti — Pater Eugenio Barsanti (* 12. Oktober 1821 in Pietrasanta; † 19. April 1864 in Seraing, Belgien), auch Nicolò genannt, war ein italienischer Ingenieur, der gerühmt wird, der Erfinder des Verbrennungsmotors zu sein, aber der Patentantrag ging… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Barsanti — bezeichnet: ein Stadtviertel der italienischen Stadt Florenz, siehe Barsanti (Florenz) Barsanti ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Eugenio Barsanti (1821–1864), ein italienischer Erfinder Francesco Barsanti (1690–1770), ein italienischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Barsanti — is an Italian surname and may refer to:* Francesco Barsanti (1690 ndash;1772), Italian flutist, oboist and composer * Eugenio Barsanti (1821 ndash;1864), Italian inventor of the internal combustion engine * Alessandro Barsanti (1858 ndash;1917),… …   Wikipedia

  • Barsanti, Eugenio — SUBJECT AREA: Steam and internal combustion engines [br] b. 1821 Italy d. 1864 Liège, Belgium [br] Italian co inventor of the internal combustion engine; lecturer in mechanics and hydraulics. [br] A trained scientist and engineer, Barsanti became …   Biographical history of technology

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  • List of Italians — This is a list of notable Italians in alphabetical order.cientistsA FAntonio Abetti, astronomer *Maria Gaetana Agnesi, mathematician *Francesco Alberoni, sociologist and journalist *Giuseppe Averani, jurist and naturalist *Amedeo Avogadro (1776… …   Wikipedia

  • Felice Matteucci — (* 12. Februar 1808 in Lucca; † 13. September 1887 in Capannori) war ein italienischer Hydraulik Ingenieur und zusammen mit Eugenio Barsanti Erfinder einer Verbrennungskraftmaschine. Es ist nicht bekannt, ob sie die ersten waren, weil das… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Felice Matteucci — (February 12 1808 September 13 1887) was an Italian hydraulic engineer and co inventor, with Eugenio Barsanti, of the internal combustion engine.Born in Lucca, he studied hydraulic and mechanical engineering firstly in Paris then later in… …   Wikipedia

  • Matteucci, Felice — SUBJECT AREA: Steam and internal combustion engines [br] b. 1803 Italy d. 1887 Italy [br] Italian engineer, co inventor of internal combustion engines. [br] A distinguished hydraulic engineer, Matteucci is more widely known for his work on early… …   Biographical history of technology

  • Nikolaus Otto — Nikolaus August Otto Nikolaus Otto Born 10 June 1832(1832 06 10) Holzhausen an der Haide Died 26 January 1891(1891 01 26) (aged 58) …   Wikipedia


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