Published on May 21st, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Audi’s ‘e-benzin’ sees production, possible alternative fuel source
As much as we promote and champion the use of green technology like electric cars and hybrids, some of us we are still staunch supporters of the internal combustion engine in all it’s environment polluting glory. There’s little that can compare to the throaty noise of a performance oriented engine, even if cars like the Tesla Model S have jaw dropping acceleration figures.
But perhaps Audi may have come to the rescue, with a suitable replacement to fossil-fuel derived energy sources. Petrol will inevitably run out, and up until now we have dreaded the day that we would all have to swap to electric powered vehicles to get around. This ‘e-benzin’ substane has a RON rating of 100, making it more stable than most of the fuels on our market.
In addition to this, it doesn’t have any sulphur or nitrogen compounds, making it a cleaner fuel – something that European and Japanese regulations are picky about. The researchers in charge of the project aimed at making it carbon neutral, meaning that production relies on sunlight or other forms of natural renewable energy. The components of ‘e-benzin’ are naturally occurring: water, hydrogen, and CO2, making it cost effective.
Global Bioenergies S.A. operates a pilot plant for the production of isobutene, the starting material for Audi “e-benzin”, in the French town of Pomacle, near Reims. Isobutene is produced there from renewable raw materials rather than the usual petroleum. Another project partner is the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes (CPB) in Leuna, Saxony-Anhalt. Researchers there use hydrogen to transform the gaseous isobutene into liquid iso-octane. Global Bioenergies is building a demonstration plant at the Fraunhofer Center that will begin producing larger quantities in 2016.