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Audi Invests In Sugar-Derived Biofuel to Power Future Vehicles

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audi-inlineEating sugar has always been on the “no-no” list of the millions, who desperately try to get rid of the extra kilos.

But strangely enough, while more of us realize that the white goodness is not good for our waistline and try to cut down on its use in the daily diet, others have discovered numerous other properties of sugar that can completely transform and really benefit our lifestyle.

Not long ago we told you about the incredible biobattery, running on sugar that can power our future electronic devices in a clean and environmentally friendly way. But now, the guys from Audi, together with the French venture Global Bioengineers, have found an even more impressive application of the sweet treat. They are turning it in a biofuel, or as they call it bio-isooctane.

The new bio-isooctane is apparently much cheaper and can be made much faster than any other conventional biofuel. It can be used “as is” in vehicles, either directly instead of or as part of a mix with gasoline from petrol, without having to do any modifications to the cars. It is produced by Global Bioengineers following a process of fermenting sugar using specially modified E. coli.

The method is cheap and does not need any extra energy, as it is the case with conventional biofuel production. As the makers explain, the genetic modification of the bacteria is required in order to prevent poisoning of the yeast by the fuel, which extends the lifespan of the bacteria. And to top all of this up, to make the bio-isooctane, the makers would not be limited to corn or sugarcane, the typical biofuel crops that compete with food production. It could also use wood chips.

The guys from Global Bioengineers sold the idea to Audi by showing them a complete lab demonstration of the great properties of the new sugar biofuel. The role of the car manufacturer now is to fund the upcoming experiment, which has the aim to make large quantities of the fuel. This great move from Audi is part of their new strategy called “e-fuel” to use biofuels to power their latest models.

Image (c) Audi

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