Audi Starts Engine Tests with Non-Fossil Fuel

Global Bioenergies and Audi to develop non-fossil fuels 1 photo
Photo: Audi
Slow progress at Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt when it comes to the carmaker’s research into alternative fuels. Back in 2015, Audi announced it had produced the first batch of this synthetic fuel, but only now, three years later, a big enough quantity to begin engine tests has been manufactured.
Officially called e-fuel, the new substance will be made available in both e-gasoline and e-diesel versions sometimes in the distant future. The fuel is, in fact, a liquid isooctane produced from biomass in a two-step process.

The fuel is manufactured by combining gaseous isobutene with hydrogen. What comes out at the other end of the ensuing chemical reaction is a fuel that is, says Audi, free of sulfur and benzene. Having created enough for a test run, Audi engineers are currently testing the solution to check for combustion and emission performances.

The little thing that might turn the fate of the entire planet around is that, according to the Germans, sufficient research might make it possible to produce e-gasoline pretty much out of thin air, using only CO2 and hydrogen as source materials.

Cars using this type of fuel could, in theory, have 80 percent less CO2 level emissions. The resulting fuel economy would also reduce the volume of other harmful particles coming from combustion engines.

“Like all Audi e-fuels, the new fuel has many advantages,” said Reiner Mangold, head of product development at Audi.

“It isn't dependent on crude oil, it is compatible with the existing infrastructure, and it offers the prospect of a closed carbon cycle.”

The four-ringed brand has no immediate plans to include this new type of fuel into its offering. For now, the single type of alternative fuel for the Audi models is compressed natural gas (CNG), used on several models like the A3 Sportback, A4 Avant or A5 Sportback.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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