An environment-friendly fuel has been produced by car manufacturer Audi: it is made from carbon dioxide and water. Known as e-diesel, it is said to be carbon-neutral.
German car manufacturer Audi has revolutionised the meaning of diesel fuel: it has successfully concocted diesel from carbon dioxide and water, and renewable sources of energy. The fuel is being described as a “carbon-neutral diesel fuel”, also known as e-diesel.
The firm is behind a pilot plant (operated by the company Sunfire) in the country committed to produce 160 liters of synthetic diesel per day.
The ‘e-diesel’ is already being used to power the vehicle – an Audi A8 – of the Federal Minister of Education and Research of the country, Johanna Wanka.
In a world where the need for sustainable sources of energy is being made more and more pressing, the manufacture of the fuel is viewed as a great step ahead.
The base product is known as “blue crude”, created via a 3-step methodology, entailing the harvesting of energy from natural sources like the wind and the sun. The energy is then used to split water into oxygen and pure hydrogen. Thereafter, the hydrogen obtained is mixed with carbon monoxide, to create carbon dioxide. The two then engage in a high-temperature reaction under pressure, leading to the production of long-chain hydrocarbons that are part of the blue crude.
The blue crude is then refined to give the e-diesel. The latter can be used on its own to power cars, or mixed with the current diesel.
The e-diesel has been shown to be more environmentally friendly. Furthermore, it has superior combustion; its energy efficiency is 70 %.
“The engine runs quieter and fewer pollutants are being created,” said Sunfire Chief Technology Officer Christian von Olshausen in a statement.
To cater for more than 160 liters per day, Audi and Sunfire intends to create a bigger factory. It has even been forecasted that the e-diesel will be sold at 1 or 1.50 Euros per liter once production is increased.
“If we get the first sales order, we will be ready to commercialise our technology”, said von Olshausen.