Audi Creates Diesel Fuel from CO2 and Water


Google Common License

Audi makin' strides.

Mike Houle, Writer

Global warming has been looming over our heads menacingly for decades, and apart from the from very vocal proponents of denying something that has been scientifically proven time and time again, chances are you’ve thought at least once about what’s going to happen when we reach a point we can’t return from. At the very least that deadline has been extended a number of years, since Audi managed to synthesize diesel fuel from carbon dioxide and water. This might seem too good to be true, but Audi claims that their new “blue crude” e-diesel is already being used to fuel the Audi A8. The implications this has for the environment are massive, but how did they manage to make such an amazing discovery using such rudimentary materials? First, they need access to electricity, which comes from renewable sources such as wind, or solar. This energy is then used to take water and split it into its two main components, oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen is then mixed with carbon monoxide, which is created from carbon dioxide that’s been taken from the atmosphere. The two molecules react with each other at high temperatures, forming a long chain of hydrocarbon compounds that can apparently be used as diesel. That’s it. Just three steps using elements and technology that we’ve known about for years, and we’ve got ourselves a clean renewable replacement for fossil fuels. The current factory is only pumping out 160 litres per day, but Audi estimates that once they upgrade production, the e-diesel could sell for between 1 and 1.50 Euros per litre (1.08 – 1.63 dollars). So not only is this stuff environmentally friendly and 100 percent renewable, the materials needed to make it are in ready supply, and it’s going to end up saving you a crazy amount of money in the long run. Granted, the reported efficiency of the blue crude is 70 percent of classic diesel, but here’s hoping that a 30 percent decrease in efficiency is weighed as a necessary loss to continue having breathable air in the next century.