Anton Andres / Audi | March 14, 2018 15:12
Audi moves to next phase of synthetic fuel research and development
It could be said that the global automotive climate is slowly moving towards electric power. However, Audi has made progress into prolonging the life of the good old internal combustion engine. The German automaker has been investing and researching into manufacturing synthetic fuels since 2015 and have made a breakthrough three years on.
They made small batches of e-benzine three years ago but now, Audi has successfully made it in much larger quantities. Together with their technical partners, they have made 60 liters of synthetic fuel. Now, it may not sound like a lot and can only fill up one Audi A3 but the company says it opens the door for even greater production. With this new development, they are also testing e-benzine in their engines.
Audi engineers are examining the combustion and emission behavior of the renewable fuel in test engines. They add that the synthetic fuel is rated at 100 RON octane, giving it 'very good anti-knock properties' With that, the company says that it offers the possibility to further increase engine compression and thus boost efficiency. Eventually, they plan to manufacture these e-fuels with renewable resources and zero waste. The German automaker, together with project partners Ineratec and Energiedienst AG are working together to build the fuel manufacturing facility. Once completed, it is said to be capable of producing approximately 400,000 liter of e-fuels per year.
Besides delving into e-benzine, Audi is also in the midst of producing synthetic diesel fuel or e-diesel. The automaker claims that no petroleum was used in the making of both e-benzine and e-fuel. Instead, the key ingredient of these synthetic fuels are water, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, methane and, for e-diesel, waxes. Essentially water-based fuels, Audi aims to make conventional combustion engines operate at a CO2-neutral level, or having a net of zero carbon emissions.