They’re not turning water into wine… probably because it’s illegal to drink and drive now. But clean diesel might just be what the world needs right now in this day and age.
The German automaker is taking an innovative approach towards a new concept of harnessing hydropower to deliver what it nicknamed “e-diesel.” It’s not working on this alone, as it joined forces with Ineratec GmbH and Energiedienst Holding AG, looking to set up a new facility in Laufenburg, in Canton Aargau in Switzerland, specifically tasked at delivering this type of clean diesel from the renewable source of hydropower. And the plans are quite important – approximately 400,000 liters of the eco-friendly fuel each year, linked to its larger strategy to create climate-friendly fuels in the form of e-gas and e-petrol.
“At the project in Laufenburg, thanks to a new technology we are able to handle the production of e-diesel efficiently in compact units, making it more economical. The pilot facility offers scope for sector coupling, and makes it possible to store renewable energy,” explained Reiner Mangold, head of sustainable product development at Audi AG. Audi e-diesel is a synthetic fuel and might become even cleaner by converting surplus hydropower via a chemical principle – the green power generated on-site in the hydroelectric power station already delivers hydrogen and oxygen from water by means of electrolysis. The companies than take the hydrogen and mix it with CO2 using a microprocess technology. The CO2 can be sourced from atmospheric air or waste gases and is the only source of carbon. Long-chain hydrocarbon compounds once formed are separated into the e-Diesel and sustainable waxes which are used for other purposes.