Audi has announced that their investment in the research and development of a series of synthetic fuels is on track, with the company declaring that they have reached an important intermediate goal with the production of 60 litres of regeneratively produced e-benzin (e-petrol).
The approach is part of the company’s lead in e-gas, e-benzin and e-diesel, in each case of which the fuel concerned is synthetically produced.
“Like all Audi e-fuels, the new fuel has many advantages. It isn’t dependent on crude oil, it is compatible with the existing infrastructure and it offers the prospect of a closed carbon cycle,” said Reiner Mangold, Head of Sustainable Product Development at AUDI AG.
Audi collaborates with Global Bioenergies S.A. in Leuna (Saxony-Anhalt) for the process. E-benzin is essentially a liquid isooctane. It is currently produced from biomass in a two-step process. In the first step, Global Bioenergies produces gaseous isobutene (C4H8) in a demonstration plant. In the second step, the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical Biotechnological Processes (CBP) in Leuna uses additional hydrogen to transform it into isooctane (C8H18). The fuel is free of sulfur and benzene and is therefore especially low in pollutants when it burns.
While the Volkswagen group is investing heavily in electric technology, it seems pertinent that a group company is still investing in alternative fuels.