The car maker has engineered a process in conjunction with US-based fuels specialist Joule to produce e-ethanol and e-diesel by combining wastewater with waste CO2, sunlight and genetically modified microorganisms.

The technology, which is undergoing final refinement, is due to enter commercial production shortly. The e-ethanol is capable of powering petrol vehicles with only minor modification, while the e-diesel can be used with Audi TDI clean diesel models.

The fuel refineries work by stimulating microorganisms to convert waste water and CO2 into liquid fuels which they then secrete. These liquids can then be separated from the water and concentrated without the need for any further manufacture.

Audi and Joule have commissioned a demonstration facility in New Mexico, US, to produce the e-ethanol which only requires to be blended with 15% of fossil-fuel petrol for use.

Plans are now underway to ramp up production at the same facility for the e-diesel which claims to give exceptional performance due to its high cetane value.

Maxine Perella

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