petroleum ether and liquefied petroleum gas engines, diesel engines do not use high-voltage spark ignition (spark plugs). An engine running on diesel compresses the air inside the cylinder to high pressures and temperatures (compression ratios from 14:1 to 18:1 are common in current diesel engines); the engine generally injects the diesel fuel directly into the cylinder, starting a few degrees before top dead center (TDC) and continuing during the combustion event. The high temperatures inside the cylinder cause the diesel fuel to react with the oxygen in the mix (burn or oxidize), heating and expanding the burning mixture to convert the thermal/pressure difference into mechanical work, i.e., to move the piston. Engines have glow plugs to help start the engine by preheating the cylinders to a minimum operating temperature. Diesel engines are lean burn engines, burning the fuel in more air than is required for the chemical reaction. They thus use less fuel than rich burn spark ignition engines which use a Stoichiometric air-fuel ratio (just enough air to react with the fuel). Because they have high compression ratios and no throttle, diesel engines are more efficient than many spark-ignited engines[clarification needed].
Gas turbine internal combustion engines can also take diesel fuel, as can some other types of internal combustion. External combustion engines can easily use diesel fuel as well.