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New clean super-fuel developed

All diesel engines could be ecologically sound within the next decade thanks to a new fuel breakthrough.

Scientists in Germany have successfully synthesised a new alternative fuel that is as clever as it is eco-friendly. A joint venture from Audi and US biotech company Joule, a small amount of the fuel, known as e-diesel, has been produced so far.

Needless to say the science behind creating e-diesel is rather complex, involving solar energy, industrial waste CO2, salt water and an army of microorganisms. So far, so immensely complicated. The more simple facts however, are that it is free of sulphur and aromatics and is also of a higher purity than standard, petroleum-based diesel.

Most interestingly though, is that switching to e-diesel will not require any modifications to be made to standard diesel engines.

James Douglas, Head of Audi UK fleet sales, told Fleet News: “This is a genuinely exciting development. The potential benefits for fleets are evident; we’re pleased Audi is spearheading pioneering development work of this kind.”

The ACFO, the organisation that represents fleet operators, has welcomed the discovery. ACFO chairman John Pryor added: “We’re always interested in advances that assist in reducing emissions.

“We don’t know enough about this new fuel to fully understand its implications for the fleet market, but we look forward to learning more about its potential benefits as soon as possible.”

The experts say that vehicles running on e-diesel are as eco-friendly as fully electric vehicles and that it should be ready for commercial markets early in the next decade.

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