Rentech's synthetic RenDiesel, a biodegradable fuel made by gassifying biomass, presented no problems for the pair of Audi A3 TDI's that participated in Green Car Journal's 1,000-mile long 2010 Green Car of the Year Tour. In fact, it's safe to say that the diesel-fed Audi's sipped the RenDiesel without flaw.
How did they do mileage-wise? Driving the length of California, one RenDiesel-fueled A3 managed 39.7 miles per gallon and the other hit 43 mpg during the tour, numbers which line up with A3s running on a more conventional diesel diet. During the drive, the A3s were fed nothing but RenDiesel, proving that advanced synthetic fuels, which promise to reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 97 percent compared to crude-based conventional diesel, are a viable solution and easily used in today's crop of clean diesel models.
Photos Copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL
[Source: Audi, Green Car Advisor]
Audi A3 TDI® Performs Flawlessly in First-Ever Extended Drive on RenDiesel® Synthetic Fuel
- 'Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future' drive raised awareness with California political leaders, consumers on 1,000-mile drive
- The journey was a crowning moment for the Audi A3 TDI as the '2010 Green Car of the Year®'
- Two cars on the tour averaged 40 and 43 mpg on RenDiesel
HERNDON, Va., Oct 25, 2010 - Two Audi A3 TDI models running on Rentech, Inc. (NYSE AMEX: RTK) synthetic RenDiesel® fuel flawlessly completed the 1,000-mile 'Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future' tour spanning the length of California.
The endurance drive, part of the '2010 Green Car of the Year Tour', started in Eureka, California on Monday, October 18 with the intent of demonstrating that today's diesel technology and advanced synthetic fuels each offer significant green advantages. Clean diesel engines can make significant contributions in the push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption to make America less reliant on imported oil. Combining clean diesel technology with ultra-clean synthetic fuels can further reduce both greenhouse gases and tailpipe emissions.
Currently available in the market, the Audi A3 TDI provides environmental benefits by producing about 30% less greenhouse gas than a car powered by a comparable gasoline engine, with up to 50% better fuel economy.
The potential of clean-burning synthetic diesel, such as RenDiesel, to produce even less emissions, indeed points to a bright future ahead for Audi TDI technology as a viable green solution.
"The benefits of modern clean diesels like the Audi A3 TDI are apparent on many levels, from improved environmental performance to providing the kind of driving performance people expect," said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and editor of GreenCar.com. "Operating on advanced, clean burning fuels like synthetic RenDiesel simply makes the diesel equation even more compelling."
"We are proud to have partnered with Audi and Green Car Journal on this successful 1,000 mile journey which demonstrated that domestically produced synthetic RenDiesel is a viable solution today to reducing vehicle tailpipe and greenhouse gas emissions," said D. Hunt Ramsbottom, President and CEO of Rentech. "The environmental and performance benefits of RenDiesel seen while driving the Audi A3 TDI show promise for a clean diesel energy future," Mr. Ramsbottom added.
The two Audi A3 TDIs on the demonstration tour are representative of the clean diesel technology that earned the prestigious Green Car of the Year award at last year's Los Angeles Auto Show. The vehicles ran the entire route, from the farthest reaches of northern California to southern California, on Rentech's synthetic diesel fuel, expected to be produced in commercial quantities in a few years at the Company's new project in Rialto, California, that will produce synthetic diesel fuel from green waste and other organic materials diverted from landfills.
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. RenDiesel provides a viable solution that can be deployed to minimize the transportation sector's environmental impact. The renewable RenDiesel to be produced at Rentech's 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.
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 results were promising, demonstrating that RenDiesel synthetic fuel can operate for more than 1000 miles with no noticeable differences in performance compared to traditional fuels, and research is planned to confirm that this performance can persist over the full lifecycle of vehicles such as the Audi A3.
Audi of America, Inc. and its 272 U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. During 2009 Audi outsold all other luxury brands in Europe, while in the U.S. market Audi posted the largest market share gain of any luxury automotive brand. Between 2010 and 2012 the Audi Group is planning to invest around €5.5 billion, mainly in new products, in order to sustain the Company's technological lead. Visit www.audiusa.com or www.audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.
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.