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Two Audi A3 TDIs Running on 100% FT Diesel for 1,000-Mile California Drive

Two Audi A3 TDIs will run exclusively on Rentech, Inc.’s synthetic RenDiesel (produced via a Fischer-Tropsch process) during the ‘Eureka! Diesel Driving the Future’ 1,000-mile journey in California, beginning 18 October. The tour will span the state of California, beginning in Eureka and ending in San Diego.

Rentech’s Rialto Project (earlier post) is designed to produce approximately 640 barrels per day of renewable synthetic fuels, primarily RenDiesel, and approximately 35 MW of renewable electric power (RenPower) from urban green waste diverted from landfills.

Both of these products will have low carbon footprints and help California reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, consistent with the State’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Renewable Portfolio Standard. The project is a candidate for a US Department of Energy loan guarantee.

RenDiesel is biodegradable, exceeds all global sulfur requirements and has virtually no aromatics. When compared to traditional petroleum-derived low sulfur diesel, tailpipe emissions from RenDiesel generate lower amounts of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx) and carbon dioxide. Also, when compared to traditional diesel fuels, RenDiesel has higher hydrogen content, heating value and cetane index.

The renewable RenDiesel to be produced from waste at the Rialto Project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis by up to 97% over conventional diesel fuel, and by a comparable amount over electric vehicles (depending upon the power generation technology), according to the company.

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.



Back to WWII times.


Back to Otto-cycle engines fueled by gasogenes? Very different technology, but a very similar result.

I have to wonder if the same diesel engines co-fueled by gasified wood would achieve the goals of the test, whatever they are.


I'm surprised that theres hasn't been a further take up of the technology to produce fuels from this kind of process and thermodepolyerisation, so that much lesss municipal waste is used to a better end (fuel and power) than producing methane in a landfill.


I think you would have higher efficiency using the syngas in a CCGT than you would using the FT process to make diesel, but the diesel route is much better financially.


If the syngas can be burned in a CCGT at the same 60% efficiency of NG, electric gets a lot more to the end-use than F-T. But you're right, the relative price of oil and electricity makes the thermodynamically "wrong" option very attractive. This will go on until transport gets (re)electrified.


Not back to WWII times.

The FT process was developed in the 1920s. The first commercial plant operated in Germany in the mid 1930s well before WWII.

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