Students invent an innovative car equipped with a revolutionary CO2 filter

Most of the world’s automotive engineers are now looking to make electric cars with a range similar to gasoline-powered cars. As we understand, the authorities have decided that electric cars are the cars of the future, for example by banning the sale of thermal cars from 2035. The dispute about the ecological reality of electric cars is another debate… But Dutch students could well see problems among them, who favors the ecology of electricity against pollutants from gasoline or diesel… By inventing a car equipped with a CO2 filter unique in the world, they could have found the invention of the century! We will explain everything to you!

Why could this invention be revolutionary?

Have you ever imagined a car that captures more CO2 than it emits? Students from Eindhoven (Holland) have succeeded in developing a car which not only emits less CO2 than it produces, but which could also convert captured CO2 into energy. These students may therefore have found a way to make combustion engine cars actually less polluting. This brand new car was designed by TU/Eco-motive students from Eindhoven University of Technology. It’s called “Zem”, equipped with a filter at the front which collects CO2 as you drive.

A car equipped with a revolutionary CO2 filter. Photo credit: TU/Eco-motive

How does it work?

The whole concept of Zem is based on a single CO2 filter, and this is what makes the concept unique in the world. The group of students claim to have been inspired by the other Dutch rarity, Lightyear One, which is intended the first energy self-sufficient car thanks to solar panels that recharge the batteries while driving. This car was also designed by other students from the same Eindhoven University of Technology. The students tested their invention by driving their system around 20,000 kilometers. Zem would have captured about 2 kilos of CO2 over this distance. They claim that it is currently very little, but that they intend to develop a more powerful filter and a prototype of a charging station for the CO2 filter.

“Cleaning the air while driving This year’s TU/ecomotive team presents Zem, a car that cleans the air while driving. The goal of the seventh TU/ecomotive team was to reduce CO2 emissions in all phases of a car’s life: production, driving and after-sales. One of the most innovative technologies implemented in Zem is Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology. While the car is driving, air passes through our own filters, where CO2 is collected and stored. To highlight the low emissions of Zem, a life cycle analysis (LCA) was carried out. In these LCA calculations, the three life phases have been taken into account. (…) With TU/ecomotive, we provide an excellent example of what can be done in the (car) industry, and we show the possibilities for achieving these sustainability goals.” TU/Ekomotiv

An invention that could change everything!

At the moment, although the European authorities are pushing people to buy electric cars, there is still a big problem: their purchase prices… Although you can find a used car with an internal combustion engine for less than €5,000, this is absolutely not the case for electric vehicles currently, and even used. The technology is a bit too new to do good business. And of course many of us can’t afford to put more than €20,000 into a vehicle, electric or not!

“Our goal for this year is the world’s first CO2-neutral car from scratch! (…) We clean the air while driving and aim to become completely CO2-neutral!” Louise de Laat, team leader

This CO2 filter can therefore allow you to keep your car thermal and pollutes much less than without the filter. The Dutch students are currently studying how they could manufacture the filter alone and place it in existing or old cars. It really seems incredible, but if it succeeds, it will surely be a revolution in the automotive industry and a boon to everyone, motorists and the planet… To be continued! More information: tuecomotive.nl.

The back of the ZEM car
The back of the ZEM car. Photo credit: TU/Eco-motive

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