Audi e-diesel: Audi has successfully made Diesel fuel from Air and Water

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German car manufacturer Audi has reportedly invented a carbon-neutral diesel fuel, made from water, carbon dioxide and renewable energy sources.

The company's pilot plant is operated by German startup Sunfire in Dresden,Germany. And, produced its first batches of the "e-diesel" this month. German Federal Minister Johanna Wanka put a few liters of the fuel in her official car, an Audi A8 to appreciate the production of fuel of the future.

This pilot plant will pump out 160 litres of the synthetic diesel every day in the coming months.

The base fuel is referred to as "blue crude," It is created using a three-step process. The first step involves harvesting renewable energy from sources such as wind, solar and hydropower. They then use this energy to split water into oxygen and pure hydrogen, using a process known as reversible electrolysis.

This hydrogen is then mixed with carbon monoxide (CO), which is created from carbon dioxide (CO2) that’s been harvested from the atmosphere. The two react at high temperatures and under pressure, resulting in the production of the long-chain hydrocarbon compounds that make up the blue crude.

Once it's been refined, the resulting e-diesel can be mixed in with our current diesel fuel, or used on its own to power cars in a more sustainable way.

Sunfire analysis have shown that the synthetic fuel is not only more environmental friendly, but also has superior combustion when compared to fossil fuels. The overall energy efficiency of the e-diesel is 70 percent.

Audi says that the carbon dioxide used in the process is currently supplied by a biogas facility but, further adding to the green impacts of the process, some of the CO2 is captured directly from the ambient air, taking the greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere.

Sunfire anticipates that the market price for the synthetic diesel could be between 1 and 1.5 Euros per liter, which would be nearly competitive or a little more expensive than current diesel prices in Europe, but the actual figure will be largely dependent on the price of electricity.
Source: https://www.audi-mediaservices.com/publish/ms/content/en/public/pressemitteilungen/2015/04/21/fuel_of_the_future.html
Video/images credit: Sunfire / Audi

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