Partly cloudy
25 °C
Germantown, Maryland
Partly cloudy

Sun Aug 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. 16.08.2018
    16.08.2018
    by      In
    Following extensive growth of the business, Beacon Solar (a division of Beacon Lighting Group) has changed its business (trading) name to Beacon Energy Solutions.
    Beacon Solar has been in the energy efficiency/solar market for more than 10 years, with the business initially offering residential... Read More
  2. 15.08.2018
    15.08.2018
    by      In
    BHP’s new $4.8 billion South Flank iron ore mine in the Pilbara is expected to create about 2500 jobs during construction and 600 ongoing roles. But local fabricators are quire rightly up in arms about the company’s decision to award the contract for 20,000 tonnes of structural steel work to... Read More
  3. 14.08.2018
    14.08.2018
    by      In
    The former Trade Commissioner of Denmark to Australia and New Zealand, Michael T Hansen has been named General Manager of Nilfisk in Australia.
    Originally from Denmark, Hansen has more than 25 years of experience in business development and sales.
    Over the last 9 years as Trade Commissioner, Hansen... Read More
  4. 14.08.2018
    14.08.2018
    by      In
    World-renowned physicist Dr Cathy Foley has been named CSIRO Chief Scientist with a brief to help champion science, its impact and contribution to the world. Dr Foley is best known for her work developing superconducting devices and systems that have assisted in unearthing over $6 billion in... Read More