Biomass Diesel Featured at Green Cars LA Auto Show

John Davis

A biomass-based synthetic diesel is being featured at the Green Cars LA Auto Show Ride & Drive event.

Rentech, Inc. says its synthetic RenDiesel(R) fuel is powering an Audi A3 TDI, coming on the heels of the recent four-day, 1,000 mile endurance drive that is part of the 2010 Green Car of the Year Tour:

During [last month’s] drive, the Audi A3 TDI averaged 43 mpg on RenDiesel fuel, which is greater than the EPA average highway fuel economy rating for that car. The RenDiesel fuel used on the drive was produced from natural gas and can also be made from biomass. The renewable RenDiesel fuel to be produced from biomass using Rentech-SilvaGas gasification technology at Rentech’s Rialto Renewable Energy Center is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis by as much as 97% over conventional diesel fuel and by a comparable amount over electric vehicles. A vehicle using RenDiesel fuel is also expected to be as much as two times more fuel efficient than one running on ethanol. RenDiesel fuel contains approximately 60% more energy per gallon than ethanol and diesel engines typically achieve 20-40% more miles per gallon than gasoline engines. RenDiesel fuel also produces fewer volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions than ethanol or traditional diesel and has lower tailpipe emissions compared to traditional diesel.

Rentech’s Rialto Renewable Energy Center is expected to produce about 640 barrels per day of renewable synthetic fuels, primarily RenDiesel fuel, and approximately 35 MW of renewable electric power (RenPower) from urban green waste diverted from landfills.