Injecting Audi's Synthetic Fuel Into A Pressure Chamber Looks Alien

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While electric hybrids are one way of going forward, Audi is also experimenting with e-ethanol and e-diesel at its research facility in New Mexico. This image taken by a high-speed camera shows fuel shooting into a pressure chamber at up to 15 bar and 662 degrees Fahrenheit.

Audi's scientists are using microorganisms in water (brackish, salt or wastewater), sunlight and carbon dioxide to create high-purity fuels. The idea is simple. Pure fuels generate fewer emissions when burned thanks to their chemical properties. They do not contain any olefines or aromatic hydrocarbons, assuring a more effective mixture preparation process, cleaner combustion and lower emissions.


After the pressure chamber, they also tried their latest e-fuel prototype in a research engine, in which case a minute amount of fuel was shot into a glass cylinder to be compressed and ignited, with the exhaust gas expelled just like in a conventional petrol engine.


The latest result show that these e-fuels often perform better than their conventional counterparts. With that box ticked, Audi now has to further optimize the volume production process­ for e-ethanol and e-diesel. In the meantime, they also have an ongoing e-gas project with the aim of storing large amounts of green power efficiently and independently of location by transforming it into methane gas and storing it in the natural gas network.


I can't wait for an LNG R8...

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