Cloudy
26 °C
Germantown, Maryland
Cloudy

Tue Jun 19 2018
none

CARBON-NEUTRAL DIESEL FUEL NOW A REALITY

12-05-2015
by 
in 

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

The crystal clear “e-diesel” is already being used to power the Audi A8 owned by a prominent German Member of Parliament.

The creation of the fuel is a huge step forward for sustainable transport, but the fact that it’s being backed by an automotive giant is even more exciting.

Audi has now set up a pilot plant in Dresden, Germany, operated by clean tech company Sunfire, which will pump out 160 litres of the synthetic diesel every day in the coming months.

Their base product, which they’re calling “blue crude” 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 analyses have shown that the synthetic fuel is not only more environmentally friendly, but also has superior combustion when compared to fossil fuels.

The overall energy efficiency of the e-diesel is 70 percent, they report.

"The engine runs quieter and fewer pollutants are being created," said Sunfire Chief Technology Officer Christian von Olshausen in a press release.

Of course, with the initial factory only pumping out around 160 litres each day, the fuel isn’t going to have a huge impact on the market just yet.

But Audi and Sunfire now want to build a bigger factory, and anticipate that once production is scaled up, the e-diesel will sell to the public for between .70c-$1.05 a litre, dependent on the cost of renewable electricity.

With traditional diesel currently on the market for upwards of $1.10 a litre in Germany, this would make the fuel extremely competitive, and perfectly positioned to made sustainable travel accessible to everyone. 

"If we get the first sales order, we will be ready to commercialise our technology", said von Olshausen.

 

Source: Science Alert

Related news & editorials

  1. 18.06.2018
    18.06.2018
    by      In
    Queensland-based electronics design and manufacturing company, Hetech, is collaborating with selected local engineering companies to increase its design capacity of up to 20 engineers.
    With defence projects such as the LAND400: Phase 2 arriving in Queensland, collaboration between local engineers... Read More
  2. 15.06.2018
    15.06.2018
    by      In
    The NRMA has chosen Australian-made electric vehicle chargers from Brisbane-based Tritium to equip its $10 million network planned for New South Wales and the ACT. The network, which will be the largest in Australia, will comprise 40-plus charging stations that will be free to use for NRMA members... Read More
  3. 14.06.2018
    14.06.2018
    by      In
    Australia’s Collins Class submarine fleet is set to receive significant sonar upgrades this year in a project led by Raytheon Australia and Thales Australia.
    In announcing the commencement of the upgrade programme, Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said that as the... Read More
  4. 14.06.2018
    14.06.2018
    by      In
    Australian-founded Ainsworth Game Technology has expanded globally since being established in 1995, today representing the fifth-largest gaming manufacturer in the USA. The company boasts a new state-of-the-art US$40 million facility in Las Vegas, which produces thousands of gaming machines per... Read More