Audi has been working on new types of sustainable fuels for some time now. In fact, for the past few years, Audi has been in development of a few different alternative fuels, including natural gas. It’s even sold vehicles that can run on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), called g-tron models. Where its making its most important strides, though, is in the field of e-gasoline, or “e-benzin”. What e-benzin is, is essentially a new type of sustainable fuel that isn’t made from crude oil and is far cleaner to burn. And Audi, together with Global Bioenergies S.A. in Leuna (Saxony-Anhalt), just created the largest batch of e-benzin yet, 60 liters (15.9 US Gal).
“Like all Audi e-fuels, the new fuel has many advantages. It isn’t dependent on crude oil, it is compatible with the existing infrastructure and it offers the prospect of a closed carbon cycle,” said Reiner Mangold, Head of Sustainable Product Development at AUDI AG.
Audi “e-benzin” (e-gasoline) is essentially a liquid iso-octane. It is currently produced from biomass in a two-step process. In the first step, Global Bioenergies produces gaseous iso-butene (C4H8) in a demonstration plant. In the second step, the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical Biotechnological Processes (CBP) in Leuna uses additional hydrogen to transform it into isooctane (C8H18). The fuel is free of sulfur and benzene and is therefore especially low in pollutants when it burns.
As of right now, Audi engineers are testing Audi e-benzin to see how it performs. What they’ve learned so far is that this new e-fuel is a high-purity synthetic fuel with very good anti-knock properties. Thanks to its good anti-knock properties, Audi can increase compression, such as even turbo boost, and also boost efficiency. So it can actually create more power, while also being cleaner and more efficient.
This is a huge breakthrough, as we’ve never needed more efficient, cleaner fuel. With gasoline and diesel engines dying out for their dirty emissions, electric cars are becoming more and more prominent. But the infrastructure for electric cars just isn’t there yet. This Audi e-benzin fits our current infrastructure and can work as an incredible stop-gap between the internal combustion engine and the electric car. It can also prolong the internal combustion engine’s life, allowing us enthusiasts to stay happy for longer. So we should all be very excited by this and pushing for Audi’s success.