Carbon-neutral diesel fuel. You probably thought you would never read those first two words paired with the last two. Thanks to German luxury car manufacturer Audi and clean technology company Sunfire, however, this seemingly unrealistic product is now a reality.
If that wasn't enough to get your interest, maybe the fact that it's made from only water, carbon dioxide, and renewable energy sources will. Using wind, solar, and hydropower, Sunfire uses the energy to split water into oxygen and pure hydrogen.
'Blue Crude,' as the company calls it, is made from a mixture of the extracted hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The two compounds react at high temperatures under heavy pressure to create the hydrocarbons required for fuel.
Once refined, the new diesel fuel can be mixed into current diesel or used on its own to power vehicles in a more sustainable, eco-friendly manner. Sunfire analyses have demonstrated that the synthetic diesel fuel is not only more environmentally friendly, but also has superior combustion compared to traditional diesel. They report that the energy efficiency of the e-diesel is 70%.
While all of this seems too good to be true, there is a snag. The factory that currently produces the diesel is only turning out 42 gallons per day; not enough to make an impact in the marketplace. Audi and Sunfire plan to construct a larger facility for production, and once scaled up, the new fuel will still be inexpensive enough to sell to the public for a competitive price against standard diesel.
For more information on how the fuel is made, check out the video below.