Renewable diesel can offer the same performance of traditional crude-based diesel, Volkswagen has determined after running two TDI cars for 134,000 miles of testing, according to the automaker.
To conduct their tests, Volkswagen has worked with the two renewable fuel companies Solazyme, Inc. and Amyris Inc. for the past two years.
Solazyme provided an algae-derived diesel formula for the test, while Amyris provided a plant-sugar derived formula. Although the fuel formulas primarily consist of renewable fuel, the companies needed to add additives to their formulas during testing in order to comply with ASTM D 975 specifications.
The testing found that renewable diesel provided comparable performance and produced less soot than conventional diesel. Researchers also found no negative effects on the vehicles' engines during the two years by using the renewable diesel.
The renewable diesel evaluation program is a part of Volkswagen’s strategy to become one of the world’s most environmentally friendly automakers by 2018, according to Volkswagen.
Volkswagen evaluated the 2012 Jetta TDI and 2012 Passat TDI during the two-year test cycle.