Audi has taken another step toward synthetic fuels, in this case, a type known as “e-gasoline.”
The German carmaker, a big believer in synthetic fuels, is launching a strategic partnership with Global Bioenergies. Audi announced it will work with the French biotechnology company to promote the development of non-fossil fuels.
In addition to the Audi e-gas and e-diesel projects, the company stated research into e-gasoline is part of Audi’s persistent efforts to find alternative fuels.
“We’re taking another step closer to carbon-neutral mobility with our partners at Global Bioenergies,” said Reiner Mangold, head of Sustainable Product Development at AUDI AG. “We are supporting an innovative technology here which can be used to produce renewable fuel. This process does not create competition with food production and farmland.”
Audi explained e-gasoline is part of the overall Audi e-fuels strategy. Audi is currently operating a research facility for the production of e-ethanol and e-diesel with its partner Joule in Hobbs, N.M. Meanwhile, the Audi e-gas plant in Werlte began feeding into the grid a few months ago. Synthetically produced gas is used in Wertle to store electric surplus energy.
Global Bioenergies explained its most advanced program consists in the production of bio-isobutene, a molecule with multiple applications, one of which allows its transformation into isooctane, the gold standard for gasoline engines (octane number 100).
As a 100 percent drop-in fuel, isobutene can be used in any blending ratio with all standard fuels for gasoline motors; it does not present the drawbacks associated with alcohol-based biofuels such as ethanol or isobutanol, which lead to limited blending ratios and lower mileage per gallon.
Global Bioenergies added the partnership with Audi is a two year collaboration agreement.