Audi and Joule develop photosynthesized wonder fuels

Article by Anita Panait, on October 4, 2012

Audi and its US-based specialist fuels partner Joule have developed new “wonder fuels” especially for the upcoming TFSI and TDI engines. The “wonder fuels” were developed using just lengths of ordinary-looking pipe, waste carbon dioxide, sunlight and microscopic organisms suspended in waste water.

Audi’s engineers and their counterpart in Joule employed photosynthetic microorganisms injected into waste water on lengths of pipe.

These microscopic organisms were genetically modified to prevent them from multiplying through the photosynthesis process. These microorganisms are stimulated to use photosynthesis to convert the waste carbon dioxide and the waste water into liquid fuels. These microorganisms then secrete the liquid fuels, which are then separated from the water and concentrated without undergoing further manufacturing phases.

These new “wonder fuels” are globally viable, since it only takes a remarkably simple and relatively inexpensive process to create them and the ‘feedstock' used to produce them is renewable. The process does not require the use of crop-based biomass, which has been a traditional key constituent of synthetic fuels. This means that these new “wonder fuels” could be produced anywhere, even on locations not near habitable lands.

Topics: audi, technology

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