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Audi says A3 TDI performed “flawlessly” in extended drive on Rentech FT fuel

Audi reported that two Audi A3 TDI models running on Rentech, Inc. synthetic RenDiesel fuel—a Fischer-Tropsch fuel—flawlessly completed the 1,000-mile (1,600 km) ‘Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future’ tour spanning the length of California. (Earlier post.)

The results of the driver were promising, Audi said, demonstrating that RenDiesel synthetic fuel can operate for more than 1,000 miles with no noticeable differences in performance compared to traditional fuels; further research is planned to confirm that this performance can persist over the full lifecycle of vehicles such as the Audi A3.

Throughout the ‘Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future’ demonstration drive, one of the Audi A3 TDIs achieved 39.7 mpg on average, while the other car averaged 43 mpg. The Audi A3 TDI has an EPA average highway fuel economy rating of 42 mpg on traditional clean diesel fuel.

The RenDiesel fuel used on this drive was produced from natural gas at Rentech’s demonstration plant in Colorado. RenDiesel can also be made from synthetic gas produced from biomass and waste resources.

Rentech says that the renewable RenDiesel to be produced at its Rialto Project is expected to reduce GHG emissions on a lifecycle basis by as much as 97% over conventional diesel fuel and by a comparable amount over electric vehicles. A vehicle using RenDiesel is also expected to be as much as two times more fuel efficient than one running on ethanol.

RenDiesel contains approximately 60% more energy per gallon than ethanol and diesel engines typically achieve 20-40% more miles per gallon than gasoline engines. RenDiesel also produces fewer volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions than ethanol or traditional diesel.


Henry Gibson

It has long been possible with the low price of semiconductor devices to cheaply measure the power at the drive shaft, and automobiles should have a constant display of the horse-power. Yes horsepower: because in the US kilowatts are confused with kilowatt-hours. A kilowatt is ten 100 Watt lightbulbs burning all the time, and they consume 24 kilowatt hours every day, and at ten cents a kilowatt-hour, it costs $2.40 to run.

When engines and engine fuels are compared, it should be pound of fuel per horse-power-hour delivered.

Since some diesels can run on vegetable oil, it is not amazing that they can run on carefully synthesized diesel as was made in Germany 70 years ago and more recently in South Africa. It is very good to make it from natural gas instead of wasting the gas in electric generators when coal can be used or other heat.

Diesel or JET-A should be the only cheap fuel available in the future and most cars should be converted to diesel range extender vehicles.

It is not well known by most people that the Charcoal operated car was perfected by TORSTEN KALLE before 1942 in Sweden. He could start the charcoal gas producer for the vehicle in thirty seconds and it had a range of 150 Km on a single filling and did not need relighting within five or six hours of being stopped. More fuel could be stored elsewhere in the vehicle. A good source is to search for "german ideas on improvements of wood gasifiers"

By adding a battery operated silicon-carbide igniter for starting and also fans and perhaps a small propane tank, a vehicle could start immediatly and run for 30 seconds on propane until the charcoal gas was in production. Petrol pump like dispensers of charcoal pellets can be made available for fast "recharging". Charcoal can be made from wood, leaves, or newspapers etc. at home if necessary. Much or all of the charcoal can be in the form of very small grains or dust even.

The prototype stored steam car of DLM is very interesting also. ..HG..


I thought Shell V-Power Diesel, sold in Europe was F-T'd natural gas.


Good news but not surprising. This is the promise of alternative liquid fuels. Next they need to run the same test with syngas from biomass. THAT is the reel goal.

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