audi e-benzin

Audi has announced the development of “e-benzin,” a sustainable fuel produced synthetically without the use of petroleum. Produced by collaboration partner Global Bioenergies, the fuel is 100% iso-octane, which means it has a high octane rating of RON 100.

The fuel – which contains no sulfur or benzene – burns very cleanly, and the automaker says the high-grade fuel will enable engines to use high compression ratios for enhanced efficiency.

The fuel’s base material is isobutene, which is produced by Global Bioenergies at its pilot plant in Pomacle, France. The isobutene is made from renewable raw materials rather than the usual petroleum. Another project partner, the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes in Leuna, Germany, transforms the gaseous isobutene into liquid iso-octane with the aid of hydrogen.

Global Bioenergies is set to begin producing larger quantities of the new fuel in 2016, and Audi says it will be testing the new fuel both in the lab and in test engines. Both parties are also looking at modifying the process so that it requires no biomass, instead requiring just water, hydrogen, CO2 and sunlight.