Water Fuel To Replace Petrol?
Audi has helped create two revolutionary fuels from waste water that could replace petrol and diesel.
Audi has helped create two revolutionary fuels from waste water that could replace petrol and diesel. It has therefore worked with fuel specialists Joule since 2011 to perfect “e- ethanol” and “e-diesel”. The former, Audi says, “can power petrol vehicles with only minor modification”. The latter propels Audi TDI clean diesel engines with “no modification” whatsoever. The objective is to bring these fuels to market and reduce the world's dependency on fossil and bio-based fuels. The former, of course, is a diminishing resource and the latter requires crops to be cultivated on farmland that could otherwise produce food.So, how are the fuels created? Microorganisms – which only measure three thousandths of a millimetre - are injected into lengths of pipe containing waste or salt water. These organisms have been genetically modified not to replicate via sunlight-induced photosynthesis, but to convert CO2 and waste water into fuels they then secrete. These can be separated from the water and concentrated without any further manufacturing steps. Audi and Joule have therefore commissioned a demonstration facility in New Mexico (U.S.A.) which is producing sustainable e-ethanol. It will soon manufacture e-diesel too. That, however, might be the easy bit. Designing fuels is one thing... producing and selling on large scales is trickier. The financial investment alone must be staggering, and it could take time for motorists to trust the products. It sounds promising, though – watch this space.