Possible mechanisms for smoke formation in the diesel engine are discussed. Emphasis is placed on the effects of some engine and fuel factors on carbon formation during the course of combustion, including cetane number, fuel volatility, air charge temperature, and after-injection.The tests were made with a single-cylinder, open chamber research engine, with three fuels, covering a wide range of inlet air temperatures and pressures.There is evidence that smoke intensity increased with increase in the cetaine number of the fuels with inlet air temperatures near atmospheric. Increase in the air charge temperature caused an increase in smoke intensity for volatile fuels and had an opposite effect on less volatile fuels for the open chamber engine used. The smoke intensity was found to increase dramatically with after-injection, with all other parameters kept constant.The concept that flame cooling is the main cause for smoke formation is examined. The experimental results obtained in the study indicate that the chemical properties of the fuel are the main controlling factors in smoke formation.