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Home » Atmosphere, BioRefineries, Business News/Analysis, Carbon Capture, Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Feedstock, Feedstocks, France, Germany, Process, R & D Focus, Sustainability

Audi Produces Its First Batch Of E-Diesel

Submitted by on April 24, 2015 – 6:48 pmNo Comment

(TopSpeed.com)  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, carbon dioxide levels are at an 800,000-year high, but what if we could pluck CO2 particles out of thin air to use as a raw material for a carbon-neutral fuel? It’s not a pipe dream, because it’s exactly what Audi is doing at a research facility in Dresden, Germany. Called e-diesel, the fuel is currently being produced (following an incredibly rapid commissioning phase of just four months) and already powering an A8 3.0 TDI.

Researched and produced in partnership with Dresden-based energy company Sunfire, the only raw materials needed to make e-diesel are CO2 and water. The method works using the power-to-liquid principle and primarily uses CO2 supplied by a biogas company. The secondary source of CO2 is even more impressive: Another Audi partner, Climeworks in Zurich, has developed a way to capture CO2 particles from ambient air. That means CO2 emitted from e-diesel cars (and anything else that emits CO2, including humans) can potentially be recaptured and reused as fuel, making it a carbon neutral energy source.

Unlike hydrogen and electricity, it also has the added benefits of being compatible with the world’s existing fuel infrastructure and eliminating the need for toxic batteries required by EVs, fuel-cell vehicles and hybrids.

Production of e-diesel requires heating water to 800 degrees Celsius to trigger a high-temperature electrolysis that breaks down the steam to hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen then reacts with CO2 in synthesis reactor, which results in a hydrocarbon compound, called blue crude. This blue crude is then refined to make e-diesel. It’s an energy-intensive process that Audi says is powered using green energy sources.

This synthetic fuel is free from sulfur and aromatic hydrocarbons, and its high cetane number means it is readily ignitable. As lab tests conducted at Audi have shown, it is suitable for admixing with fossil diesel or, prospectively, for use as a fuel in its own right.   READ MORE and MORE (International Business Times)

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