Formula E uses pollution-free glycerine to charge cars

British-based company Aquafuel, a specialist in renewable power innovation, is to supply the new FIA Formula E Championship with one of its highly-advanced glycerine (glycerol) generators, to be used to charge all 40 Spark-Renault SRT_01E cars at all race events.

Working with the UK’s leading fuel company Greenergy, Aquafuel has developed ground-breaking new technology for the combustion of glycerine in standard diesel generators. Located in the paddock, these generators will be used at all ePrix with the sole purpose of ensuring the Formula E cars are charged quickly, safely, fairly and without producing CO2 emissions.

Using a single generator, all 40 cars can be charged from flat to full in 50 minutes and with automated precise power controls, can be relied upon to ensure no car is given additional power.

Glycerine is a carbon-neutral fuel; safe, odourless, non-toxic and water soluble and an abundant by-product of biodiesel production. Aquafuel's technology allows glycerine to replace diesel, increasing efficiency and dramatically cutting pollutants such as NOx and particulates by over 90% - easily meeting California’s tough Tier 4 emission standards.

Glycerine can also be farmed in huge quantities from salt-water algae in salt flats and coastal areas where no crops can be grown. In addition to local power and heat generation, glycerine is ideal for eliminating fossil fuels from range extender engines in electric vehicles.

Paul Day, CEO and Founder of Aquafuel Research, said: “Aquafuel is honoured to be chosen to provide renewable power to the series and are fully supportive of its long term vision. Charging the series with our technology Formula E have shown their commitment to real sustainability; demonstrating and developing the technologies that will accelerate the adoption of clean electric transport.”

Aquafuel Research was formed to develop new technologies and techniques to help companies to reduce their energy costs, unlock new revenues and to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. Aquafuel is a venture-backed UK company with a set of patented technologies for renewable combined heat and power (CHP) and a number of commercial CHP projects under its belt. Investors include EEA, a leading environmental investment firm.

Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said: “We are delighted to be working with Aquafuel. Sustainability lies at the heart of the FIA Formula E Championship so being able to charge all the cars safely and efficiently in one hour, and without creating additional CO2 emissions, is very important to us. This method also means we are not impacting on the city’s own power supply or needs.”

He added: “Glycerine’s potential as a clean, efficient fuel source is incredible and Aquafuel has used its know-how and technology to unlock this and turn this potential into a reality.”