German car company Audi has announced that it has successfully created a carbon-neutral diesel fuel using water, air and energy from the sun – and to prove it they asked a German government official to fill her car up with the stuff and drive to work.
For those of us in coal dust-choked America, it may seem bizarre, but Germany, along with other countries around the world, have become increasingly consumed with finding renewable energy solutions to climate change and oil addiction. It has led them to look to wind and solar at scales that environmentalists in America can only dream of. And guess what? It hasn’t killed jobs. The results have been just the opposite.
Audi, for example, has been toying with cheap, renewable energy to power its vehicles for years. Recently, they announced that they believe they finally cracked the code.
It operates according to the power‑to‑liquid (PtL) principle and uses green power to produce a liquid fuel. The only raw materials needed are water and carbon dioxide. The CO2 used is currently supplied by a biogas facility. In addition, initially a portion of the CO2 needed is extracted from the ambient air by means of direct air capturing, a technology of Audi’s Zurich‑based partner Climeworks.
Engineers also believe the efficiency of the fuel is at around 70 percent – compared to regular diesel’s mid-30’s.