Audi has completed tests on e-fuel
Audi has just finished testing the new synthetic 'e-fuel' at an installation in Ingolstadt. The German luxury car maker plans to have a range of the synthetically-engineered fuels available as a cost-effective alternative to petrol or diesel.
The head of Audi's sustainable product development, Reiner Mangold, revealed that the tests on the e-fuels proved that they burnt in a more efficient manner than fossil fuels and produced lower emissions.
The next step for Audi is to be able to produce enough 'e-ethanol' and 'e-diesel' for its cars. One of the main differences between fossil fuel and 'e' fuel is consistency. Synthetic fuel does not have any aromatic hydrocarbons or olefins, which optimises combustion.
Audi produces 'e-fuels' at its research facility in Hobbs in New Mexico. In partnership with synthetic fuel development company Joule, the fuel is produced as a by-product by metabolising carbon dioxide after it has been exposed to sunlight.
The tests that have recently taken place in Ingolstadt were focused solely on the process of combustion. One of the tests carried out simulated the exact conditions inside an engine and a camera recorded how the fuel reacted. In another test, an engine with a window made from quartz-glass was set up to enable company engineers to observe the interaction of the fuel with the flow of air in the combustion chamber.
Mr Mangold concluded: "We now know that our 'e-fuels' are the same as - or even better than - conventional fuels."