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The diesel engine (also known as a compression-ignition engine) is an internal combustion engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition and burn the fuel that has been injected into the combustion chamber. This contrasts with spark-ignition engines such as a petrol engine (gasoline engine) or gas engine (using a gaseous fuel as opposed to gasoline), which use a spark plug to ignite an air-fuel mixture. The diesel engine has the highest thermal efficiency of any standard internal or external combustion engine due to its very high compression ratio. Low-speed diesel engines (as used in ships and other applications where overall engine weight is relatively unimportant) can have a thermal efficiency that exceeds 50%.