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Audi to expand production of synthetic diesel made from water and carbon dioxide.

Thu 09 November 2017 | Back to news list

Audi has announced plans to expand production of synthetic "e-diesel" from its plant in Laufenberg, Switzerland. The company says the fuel allows cars to run in a way that is almost carbon neutral.

The German car maker, a unit of Volkswagen, says that it plans to build a new pilot facility. The production process at the facility will use electrolysis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is released into the air, while the hydrogen is combined with carbon dioxide to make hydrocarbons. The carbon dioxide can be drawn from the atmosphere, Audi said.

These hydrocarbons are then separated to produce the synthetic diesel fuel, as well as waxes Audi says can be used by the food, cosmetics and chemical industries. The whole process runs on surplus hydroelectric power, and heat generated during manufacturing can be captured and routed to homes or businesses.

Audi is in partnership with Ineratec GmbH and Energiedienst Holding AG in the project. The planned facility will have a capacity of around 400,000 litres (87,987 gallons) per year.

The plant will be Audi’s second partnership in a pilot facility that operates according to the power-to-liquid principle. The company has been working with an energy technology corporation, Sunfire, in Dresden since 2014 exploring manufacturing e-diesel using a similar principle to the Lauffenberg plant, but involving different technologies. 

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