German car manufacturer and 13 times Le Man winner, Audi, has announced that it has successfully designed a procedure for manufacturing synthetic diesel from just water and carbon dioxide.
While it may seem like the work of science fiction, Audi has revealed that it has not only been road tested in its vehicles but that the company plans to produce at least 160 litres of the fuel every day in the coming months.
The diesel, known as ‘Blue Crude’, is estimated to provide around 70% energy efficiency and thus greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the fuel. It is expected that the fuel would retail for between €1-1.50 per litre, which is only a little more expensive than traditional diesels.
Audi’s e-diesel is produced using renewable energies to produce hydrogen from water via reversible electrolysis. At present the carbon dioxide used in the process has been supplied by a biogas facility, but the company plans to use CO2 taken directly from the atmosphere in the near future.
The company is ready to commercialise the process if it receives enough interest.
While this isn’t nearly as green as the fuel used in FIA Formula E, it would create a closed loop system that would set motoring on the path to carbon neutrality.
I hope to see the fuel used in one of the marque’s future Le Mans entries to demonstrate its credibility and generate greater public interest, afterall motorsport is a renowned marketing platform for new technologies and this is one that could help change the world for the better.