2010 Audi A3 TDI – Click above for high-res image gallery

Audi's A3 TDI took home the 2010 Green Car of the Year award. Green Car Journal jurors appreciated the A3's, "rakish styling, upscale appointments, and 42 mpg highway fuel efficiency – a 50 percent improvement over the gasoline A3 variant that makes the car very economical to operate with low relative CO2 emissions." Audi is now participating in a 1,000-mile long road trip, called the Green Car of the Year Tour.

The Tour, which kicks off October 18th in Eureka, CA, will supposedly showcase the role that advanced diesel vehicles will play in America's future. For the event, Audi has elected to run a pair of A3s fueled by Rentech's synthetic RenDiesel down California's coastline. RenDiesel can be produced from, "a variety of domestic resources using proprietary technologies to create sustainable and environmentally friendly diesel fuel." Basically, it's a biodegradable fuel made by gassifying biomass.

Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen emphasized the importance of diesel vehicles and advanced fuels, stating:
When you combine the reigning Green Car of the Year, our Audi A3 TDI, with advanced fuels, such as RenDiesel, you begin to see that the future for sustainable motoring is near at hand. These technologies have powerful near-term potential to answer some of our thorniest energy questions.
His words are justifiably biased, but the strengths of today's diesel-fueled vehicles show that oil burners have progressed tremendously during the past few decades and are now more than capable of providing efficient and exhilarating transport. Hit the jump for more info on Rentech's synthetic diesel and the 1,000-mile long Green Car of the Year Tour.

This post has been changed since publication to reflect the fact that there was no "like it or not" deal that forced Audi to participate in the tour as part of accepting the prize.

Photos Copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Rentech]


Rentech's Synthetic RenDiesel® Fuels Audi A3 TDIs for 1,000 Mile California Drive

'Eureka! Diesel Driving the Future' Clean Diesel Journey Part of Green Car of the Year Tour™

Rentech, Inc. announced that its synthetic RenDiesel® will fuel two Audi A3 TDIs during a four day, 1,000 mile journey beginning October 18th. The Audi A3 TDI® is Green Car Journal's 2010 Green Car of the Year®.

"Rentech is excited to participate in this Green Car Journal drive, celebrating innovation and clean diesel"

The clean diesel journey by Green Car Journal editors and invited VIPs is part of the magazine's Green Car of the Year Tour™, which this year focuses on the important role advanced clean diesel vehicles play in efficiency and CO2 reduction as well as the importance of sustainable non-petroleum fuels in America's future.

The two Audi A3 TDIs will run exclusively on RenDiesel® during the 'Eureka! Diesel Driving the Future' 1,000-mile journey. The tour will span the state of California, beginning in Eureka and ending in San Diego. Throughout the journey, press conferences will take place in Sacramento (October 19th), Rialto and San Diego (both on October 20th) and at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles for a Green Car of the Year Tour™ celebration event (October 21st) at the end of the journey.

"Rentech is excited to participate in this Green Car Journal drive, celebrating innovation and clean diesel," commented D. Hunt Ramsbottom, President and CEO of Rentech. "Diesel vehicles such as the Audi A3 TDI and fuel such as Rentech's synthetic drop-in RenDiesel® provide viable solutions to improving our environment. We commend the Green Car Journal for recognizing innovative technologies and embracing the future of America's fuels," Mr. Ramsbottom added.

"When you combine the reigning Green Car of the Year, our Audi A3 TDI, with advanced fuels, such as RenDiesel®, you begin to see that the future for sustainable motoring is near at hand," said Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. "These technologies have powerful near-term potential to answer some of our thorniest energy questions."

The event in Rialto, home to Rentech's proposed Rialto Renewable Energy Center (Rialto Project), will commemorate the City as "The Chosen City for America's New Fuels." The Rialto Project, which is anticipated to create over 1,000 direct and indirect jobs during the construction and operations phases, is designed to produce approximately 640 barrels per day of renewable synthetic fuels, primarily RenDiesel®, and approximately 35 MW of renewable electric power (RenPowerTM) 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 U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee.

Rentech's synthetic RenDiesel® can be produced from a variety of domestic resources using the Company's proprietary technologies to create sustainable and environmentally friendly diesel fuel. 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, making it very energy-efficient.

RenDiesel® provides a viable solution that can be deployed today to minimize the transportation sector's environmental impact. The renewable RenDiesel® to be produced at the Rialto Project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas 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.

The celebratory conclusion of the 'Eureka! Diesel Driving the Future' 1,000-mile journey will include a clean diesel panel discussion at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The panel will be moderated by Green Car Journal's Ron Cogan and Matt Petersen, President of Global Green USA. Executives from Rentech, Audi, Bosch and Argonne National Laboratory will discuss the latest advances that have made clean diesel vehicles feasible options for a sustainable future, and the role synthetic and bio-based diesel fuels will play in the marketplace.

"With many thousands of miles already behind the wheel of Audi's outstanding A3 TDI over the past year, Green Car Journal editors are well acquainted with the model's thriftiness and fun-to-drive nature," said Ron Cogan, Editor and Publisher of the Green Car Journal and Editor of GreenCar.com. "Running on a 100% low carbon fuel will make this 1,000 mile journey all the more satisfying," Mr. Cogan said.

About Rentech, Inc.

Rentech, Inc. (www.rentechinc.com), incorporated in 1981, provides clean energy solutions. The Company's Rentech-SilvaGas biomass gasification process can convert multiple biomass feedstocks into synthesis gas (syngas) for production of renewable fuels and power. Combining the gasification process with Rentech's unique application of syngas conditioning and clean-up technology and the patented Rentech Process based on Fischer-Tropsch chemistry, Rentech offers an integrated solution for production of synthetic fuels from biomass. The Rentech Process can also convert syngas from fossil resources into ultra-clean synthetic jet and diesel fuels, specialty waxes and chemicals. Final product upgrading and acid gas removal technologies are provided under an alliance with UOP, a Honeywell company. Rentech develops projects and licenses these technologies for application in synthetic fuels and power facilities worldwide. Rentech Energy Midwest Corporation, the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, manufactures and sells nitrogen fertilizer products including ammonia, urea ammonia nitrate, urea granule, and urea solution in the corn-belt region of the central United States. Rentech has been recognized by Biofuels Digest as one of the "50 Hottest Companies in Bio-energy" and has been named as one of the "Biofuels Digest Companies of the Year" for its recent innovations and achievements, particularly in aviation biofuels.

About the Green Car of the Year Tour™

The Green Car of the Year Tour™ is sponsored by Robert Bosch LLC, which manufactures the common rail piezo injectors, fuel pump, and sophisticated electronic engine controls that help clean diesel vehicles achieve their high fuel economy, low emissions, and 50-state emissions certification.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 about matters such as the Company's development of a proposed synthetic fuels facility in Rialto, California, the emissions profile of the renewable power and fuels to be produced at the facility and the characteristics of the renewable fuels to be produced. These statements are based on management's current expectations and actual results may differ materially as a result of various risks and uncertainties. \Other factors that could cause actual results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements are set forth in the Company's prior press releases and periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available via Rentech's web site at www.rentechinc.com. The forward-looking statements in this press release are made as of the date of this press release and Rentech does not undertake to revise or update these forward-looking statements, except to the extent that it is required to do so under applicable law.

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