Audi expanding production of ‘sustainable’ diesel made from water and carbon dioxide


Audi is expanding production of what it says is a nearly carbon neutral kind of gasoline and diesel from entirely renewable sources.

The German automaker, a unit of Volkswagen, said Wednesday that it plans to build a new pilot facility where it will make synthetic “e-diesel” in Laufenburg, Switzerland.

Audi says its e-diesel fuel allows cars to run in a way that is almost carbon neutral — meaning the fuel would not substantially add carbon emissions into the atmosphere, making the fuel potentially far more environmentally friendly.

The graphic below shows how the fuel is made. The process uses electrolysis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is released into the air, while the hydrogen is combined with carbon dioxide to make hydrocarbons. The carbon dioxide can be drawn from the atmosphere, Audi said.

Robert Ferris