Audi develops new green synthetic fuel
German premium car maker Audi is developing a new environmentally-friendly fuel for the internal combustion engine. This synthetic diesel is produced with a combination of carbon dioxide and water, with the first e-diesel samples produced earlier this month in Dresden.
The fuel, which is referred to by the company as 'blue crude', gathers electricity from renewable resources such as solar energy, wind or hydropower. This electricity is then used to make hydrogen, which is then mixed with water to produce a liquid that can power a car. The process's green credentials are further enhanced by the fact that the fuel can be created by capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air, thus taking harmful greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere.
Sunfire, the company developing the fuel with Audi, says tests demonstrate that the synthetic diesel is better than fossil fuel and does not damage the environment. Audi claims that the energy efficiency of the fuel creation procedure is about 70%. Sunfire's chief technology office, Christian von Olshausen, said: "The engine runs quieter and fewer pollutants are being created. If we get the first sales order, we will be ready to commercialise our technology."
The pilot scheme in Dresden will be able to manufacture around 42 gallons of the fuel per day; however, the plan is to build a bigger plant. Audi has built vehicles with an eye on environmental impact for some years now and this scheme is yet another step on the path to greener motoring.