Audi and renewable diesel

In the past, diesel fuel has always given off the impression of uncleanliness, loud and reserved for hauling. In the past, that was all true. With recent advances in diesel engines that burn more cleanly - while still generating the torque they have always been known for - diesel is starting to become more prominent in North America with Audi leading the pack offering 6 unique models with a diesel engine (A3, A6, A7, A8, Q5 and Q7). Announced earlier this week, Audi has taken clean diesel a step further and has reportedly invented a carbon-neutral diesel fuel made from water, carbon dioxide and renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric, wind and solar.

The base product which they have named 'blue crude' is created using a three-step process that starts with using renewable energy sources to split water into oxygen and pure hydrogen. The hydrogen is then combined with carbon monoxide that is created from atmospheric carbon dioxide and reacted under high pressure and temperature. Upon refinement, the 'e-diesel' can be used alongside current diesel fuel or independently.

Compared to traditional diesel, the synthetic fuel has superior combustion with an overall energy efficiency of 70 percent. Although only 160 litres is being produced daily at the pilot plant set up by Audi and Sunfire in Dresden, Germany, e-diesel is anticipated to sell to the public for between 1 and 1.50 Euros per litre once production scales up. The e-diesel produced is currently being used to power the Audi A8 owned by Johanna Wanka, the country's Federal Minister of Education and Research.