Audi unveiled their e-diesel research facility last November and the company has announced the plant has successfully produced its first batch of the eco-friendly fuel.

In honor of the event, Germany's Federal Minister of Education and Research, Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka, put the first five liters of e-diesel into her government car which happens to be an A8 3.0 TDI.

In a statement, the Minister said “This synthetic diesel, made using CO2, is a huge success for our sustainability research."  She went on to say "If we can make widespread use of CO2 as a raw material, we will make a crucial contribution to climate protection and the efficient use of resources, and put the fundamentals of the 'green economy'  in place.” 

As a refresher, e-diesel is produced using the "power-to-liquid principle" and only requires carbon dioxide, water and electricity as raw materials.  The process is hard to explain but Audi says carbon dioxide is extracted from the air using a direct air capture method developed by Climeworks. In another part of the plant, an electrolysis unit - powered by green electricity - splits the water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen then reacts with the carbon dioxide in a "two chemical processes conducted at 220 degrees Celsius (428 degrees Fahrenheit) and a pressure of 25 bar to produce an energetic liquid, made up of hydrocarbon compounds, which is called Blue Crude."

Gallery: Audi successfully produces their first batch of e-diesel

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