Sunfire uses renewable energy to produce carbon neutral dieselMay 22, 2015
German startup has found a way to produce diesel that serves as a clean fuel
A startup in Germany called Sunfire has developed a way to produce carbon neutral diesel using renewable energy, carbon dioxide, and water. The company has built a facility in Germany through a partnership with automaker Audi. The facility is home to the technology that makes this process possible, which leverages the power of electrolysis. Carbon neutral diesel could be a useful resource for those interested in clean transportation, especially as automakers seek to distance themselves from fossil-fuels.
Process produces hydrogen fuel and combines it with carbon dioxide
Using the process of electrolysis, Sunfire first splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. Carbon dioxide is then introduced to the process, with the carbon dioxide combining with hydrogen to create hydrocarbon fuel. Each step of this process is powered by renewable energy, either derived from solar or wind power. Sunfire suggests that the fuel that it produces no harmful emissions and is considerably more efficient than conventional diesel. It can also be blended with existing fuels to make them more environmentally friendly.
Company will have to scale up production in order to determine commercial viability
Sunfire has proven that its process works, but whether or not it is commercial viable is still unknown. The company will have to scale up production and continue experimenting with the process in order to determine what must be done to accomplish future interests. Developing a larger facility and making use of more advanced technology may help reduce the cost of carbon neutral diesel. Reducing the cost of the process will likely make it more viable for commercialization in the future.
Carbon neutral diesel could be a new resource for the diesel vehicles already available
One of the attractive aspects of this process is that the carbon it produces can be used by the massive number of diesel vehicles that are already available. These vehicles are growing in popularity because they are considered more efficient than those that use conventional petroleum. The availability of carbon neutral diesel could further increase interest in these vehicles and help add more momentum to the clean transportation sector.