Volkswagen Partners ADM On Auto Biofuel Research


One of the leading auto manufacturing firms, Volkswagen (VW) automobile is partnering with one of the world’s leading agriculture processors and a leader in biofuels; Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) to further the development and use of biodiesels in the auto industry.

This move, according to the head of Research Engery Conversion Combustion Engines at Volkswagen, Streiger Woltgang, would be a significant step forward for biofuels because of the size of the companies involved with ADM’s major interest in the growing automotive market, and Volkswagen’s sizeable and growing use of advanced diesel engines in its product line.

Volkswagen explained that the biodiesel is a cleaner burning fuel mixture made by combining conventional diesel fuel with natural or renewable resources such as canola or soybean oil and offers environmental advantages including substantially reduced carbon monoxide and particulate matter (soot) emissions, noting that since it displaces a percentage of conventional diesel fuel being burned in vehicles, biodiesel could also serve to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Before now, Volkswagen has also partnered with the Royal Dutch/Shell group to demonstrate teh viability of cars and vehicles powered by synthetic fuel derived from natural gas in Europe, and over a period of time, 25 Volkswagen Golf hatch back powered by 100 horsepower TDI diesel engines were fueled by this clean-burning gas-to-liquid fuel.

The aim of this according to volks was to prove out this fuel’s emissions savings characteristics, which are claimed to be similar to that of compressed natural gas but at lower cost, adding that, Shell’s high-quality, ecologically acceptable diesel fuel is nearly free of sulfur and aromatics, providing significant environmental benefits.

According to Volkswagen, using SMDS in a Jetta TDI engine results in 50 per cent fewer particulars on 20 per cent fewer NOX emissions, than with conventional diesel fuel.

Synthetic fuel could be used in today’s engines and mixed with conventional diesel fuel and is also compatible with existing fuel distribution and storage systems, according to Volkswagen, adding that, the fuel would support advanced power-plants like the company’s combined combustion system (CCS).