While most manufacturers are now focusing on electrification and hybrids as the future, Audi is looking to extend the life of the internal combustion engine with their cleaner CO2-basede-gasoline and e-diesel fuels. To produce this cleaner CO2-based fuels, Audi will be turning into an almost abudant and renewable source, hydropower or simply water.
Starting with the synthetically manufactured e-diesel fuels, Audi already has plans to for a new pilot facility for the production of e-diesel, located at at Laufenburg, in Canton Aargau, Switzerland. Audi's e-diesel is said to make conventional combustion engines operate at a CO2-neutral, or having a net of zero carbon emissions.
In order to produce e-diesel, the power-to-liquid plant will convert surplus hydropower into synthetic fuel.To be more specific, Audi will produce hydrogen and oxygen via electrolysis from the surplus water at the hydroelectric power station. The hydrogen then reacts with C02, which is obtained from numerous sources, using 'an innovative and very compact microprocess technology'. With this, long-chain hydrocarbon compounds are formed, which are then separated into the end product Audi e-diesel and waxes, used in other industries such as food and cosmetics.
Audi expects to produce the first quantities of e-diesel as early as 2018. The German automaker, together with project partners Ineratec and Energiedienst AG will soon be submitting applications for the facility, with construction expected to begin in early 2018. The facility is said to be capable of producing approximately 400,000 liter of e-fuels per year.
No new details have been released regarding when e-gasoline will begin production. However, Audi was already able to produce the first batch e-Benzine (e-gasoline) back in 2015 but has yet to put it into full production.
Should Audi be able to mass produce this new CO2-neutral e-fuels, it might just give the diesel engine as well as other internal combustion engines a new lease on life.