What is Your Car’s Future Fuel? Audi Says Sugar from E. Coli.

By: | February 5th, 2014

Audi recently invested in Global Bioenergies, a French company that makes synthetic gasoline from sugar, in an attempt to take a huge step in its biofuel plans.

The fuel produced from sugar is called bio-isooctane and can be converted more efficiently and less costly than other biofuels on the market. Probably the most appealing aspect of bio-isooctane is that it can be used immediately without having to modify anything about the cars it powers.

How It Works

Global Bioenergies’ ferments sugar using generically modified E. coli bacteria without distillation. By eliminating distillation in the process, time, money and energy can be saved while producing isobutane gas.

Unlike the continuous issue in ethanol production, the yeast used in the process is not poisoned by the fuel production and the bacteria can keep churning for longer periods of time.

Audi’s Role

The fact that bio-isooctane can directly replace gasoline or be mixed with conventional gasoline, all the while being done at lower costs than other biofuel alternatives, has sparked interest and an investment from Audi.

Global Bioenergies is currently building two production plants where they hope to produce 100,000 liters of gasoline annually as a starting point. Audi’s strategic partnership with Global Bioenergies will help fund the company’s rollout plans and represents the latest addition to Audi’s “e-fuel” strategy, which now features ethanol, biodiesel and a bio-gasoline mix.

Marshall Smith

Technology, engineering, and design enthusiast.

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