Friday, May 08, 2015

Diesel from Air and Water


Super Clean Diesel Oil
from just
Air and Water

Tesla Cars and Elon Musk have been hogging the Green Lime Light. And I say good luck to Mr Musk I admire his open patent on his battery technology.

Audi, yes the car maker, has recently been sounding trumpets and letting off fireworks in announcing it is a major investor / player along with two other companies ClimeWorks and SunFire in the advanced development of an alchemy to create very high quality diesel from just the air and water.

This is NOT a Spoof

A joke? No, no joke here, it has, to my nose, the smell of something far more substantial. If the hoopla is not overstated, it might just prove to be something REALLY BIG in green technology and in saving the planet.

A pilot plant is already producing approximately 160 litres or 35 Gallons of so called "Blue Crude" per day with a stated 70% overall efficiency figure. Nearly 80% of this Blue Crude can be converted into synthetic diesel.

Very High Quality Diesel 

This fuel – they are calling Audi e-diesel – is totally free of sulphur and aromatics. It also has a high cetane number, which means that it ignites very easily. This means the burn is very good and clean giving excellent results. The chemical properties of this oil facilitate its blending with regular diesel.

The Alchemy Step by Step

(1) Air in motion = wind. Wind turbines generate green electricity,
(2) The green electricity is used to to power the splitting water into it two components Oxygen and Hydrogen,
(3) A separate plant extracts Carbon Dioxide from the air,
(4) The Carbon Dioxide is processed into Carbon Monoxide,
(5) The Hydrogen and Carbon Monoxide are then put through two processes at very high pressure of 25 bar or 363 psi and high temperature of 220C. "Blue Crude" is what comes out the far end.
(6) The Blue Crude can be processed into various fuels etc. 

Not New Science 

The essential process is not a new concept. What is new is that this manifestation takes carbon from the atmosphere and uses water as the basic ingredients. The process was developed by Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch at the "Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Kohlenforschung" in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, way back in 1925.

The 1925 Fischer–Tropsch process is a series of chemical reactions that turns a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen into liquid hydrocarbons. The process has been explored by various researchers over time. It is only now it has gone fully GREEN and left the laboratory and been demonstrated as capable of proving a viable source of low sulphur diesel. 

The Possibilities 

If the Audi - SunFire - Climeworks process can be successfully up-scaled from a shed in the car park to a facility producing tens of thousands of litres a day and those factories replicated all over the world, while continuing to make use of the ClimeWorks extraction process of CO2 from the air as its raw material, it certainly could make an impact on global CO2 and be a major contribution to climate protection. Let's just say I am excited and hopeful that this one is a runner.

SunFire say that their analyses have shown that the synthetic fuel is more environmentally friendly, and additionally has superior combustion qualities when compared to regular fuel. This would possibly mean better starting and better running of the engine, much less pollution from the exhaust, better fuel efficiency, more engine power.

"The engine runs quieter and fewer pollutants are being created," SunFire Chief Technology Officer Christian von Olshausen says in a press release.

Cost of this New Super Eco Diesel?

The Audi announcements suggest that their e-diesel will sell to the public for between 1 and 1.50 Euros per litre, dependent on the price of Green Electricity. That should be able to favourably compete with normal diesel that is if governments don’t tax the ass off it.

"If we get the first sales order, we will be ready to commercialise our technology", said von Olshausen.


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