Ford to Follow in Audi’s Synthetic Fuel Footsteps


When Audi announced that it had plans to produce its own synthetic fuel from “water, CO2, and electricity” amid tumbling fuel prices earlier this year, there was more than a little bit of industry incredulity. Recently, however, it seems like Audi and others have had some success with their “blue crude” diesel. Enough success, at least, to entice American automaker Ford into the synthetic biofuel production business.

According to reports out of Europe, Ford (along with Germany’s RWTH Aachen University) has invested 3.5 million Euros into the development of synthetic dimethyl ether (DME) and ether oxymethylene (OME1), and has had enough success with both compounds from atmospherically-absorbed carbon that’s been processed using a catalyst and electricity derived from “wind or solar power”.

Ford has a long history of using innovative and sustainable materials in its cars- from the original 1941 soybean plastic car concept to its more recent work recycling plastic drink bottles into stylish-looking automotive interior components in their concept “PlantBottle” Ford Fusion. As such, it should come as no surprise that Ford’s getting on the synthetic fuels bandwagon- especially if the technology works!

What do you guys think? Will manufactured synthetic fuel buy the internal combustion a few more decades of prominence, or have Tesla and the rest of the battery-building EV crowd already won the war against the the reciprocating engine? Let us know what you think in the comments section at the bottom of the article. Enjoy!


Source | Images: Ford, via Motorpasion.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.