Audi embarks on further carbon neutral dropin efuels research …

11 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Audi embarks on further carbon neutral dropin efuels research … отключены
Audi e-gas

Audi embarks on further carbon neutral drop-in e-fuels research with Global Bioenergies

Hydrogen, electricity, biofuels, e-fuels. One of these energy sources will emerge as the future of personal mobility, powering our cars while emitting little or no harmful emissions into the atmosphere. The million-dollar question is ‘which one?’

Like many automakers, Audi doesn’t claim to know the answer – nobody does for absolute certain – and so is keeping a number of RD projects on the boil. One of them is e-gasoline, which along with e-diesel, e-ethanol and e-gas is part of a quartet of carbon-neutral fuels that operate in the same way that fossil fuels do but with far less emissions both during operation and acquisition. These fuels are also collectively known as drop-in fuels, as they require no serious modifications to existing engines and can be blended in any ratio with standard fuels.

As such, Audi has recently announced a tie-up with French company Global Bioenergies to develop e-gasoline technology further.

“We’re taking another step closer to carbon neutral mobility with our partners at Global Bioenergies,” said Audi’s head of sustainable development, Reiner Mangold. “We are supporting an innovative technology here which can be used to produce renewable fuel. This process does not create competition with food production and farmland.”

These e-fuels use pre-existing carbon dioxide to produce energy-rich compounds rather than fossil fuels, and so represent a halfway point between what we have now and complete sustainability.

The process to create e-gasoline may well be similar to that of Audi s e-gas project, which is already in full swing. The company already has an e-gas plant in Werlte, in northwest Germany, where carbon neutral electricity separates water into oxygen and hydrogen. In years to come that hydrogen could easily be used to power fuel cell vehicles such as the new Hyundai Tucson. but for now it’s reacted with carbon dioxide to produce synthetic methane – or Audi e-gas, as the company calls it.

Audi e-gas

The Audi A3 Sportback g-tron uses tanks of compressed methane

Unlike a pure electric or hydrogen fuel cell car, a vehicle running on e-gas will unavoidably emit carbon dioxide during operation. However, Audi argues that since carbon dioxide is bonded during the production of the its own e-gas – specifically when it is reacted with hydrogen to produce methane and water – then driving the company A3 Sportback g-tron can be considered carbon neutral.

Audi says that the A3 Sportback g-tron emits as much carbon dioxide on the road as is used during the production of synthetic methane – a boast that would apply to any plant using renewable electricity.

The company also says that the A3 Sportback g-tron emits 152g/mile carbon dioxide on its own, but that figure drops to 31g/mile when the e-gas production is taken into account. While that figure means the g-tron isn’t technically carbon neutral, it does factor in the carbon footprint of building and operating an e-gas plant. With than in mind, we consider it to be a remarkable figure.

Audi anticipates that e-gas from Werlte will power a A3 Sportback g-tron for 9,320 miles of carbon neutral driving each year.

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