A Solar-Powered Electric Car Removes Carbon from the Air

Written by Senoria Khursheed ·  1 min read >
Zem electric car

A new amazing silver, sleek and sporty car is in town now named Zem. Zem is not like an ordinary car with a luxurious style. It is something that we need in today’s polluted environment. The body and frame are 3D printed using recycled plastic.

Moreover, a team of 35 students at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands created and built this sci-fi masterpiece.  Louise de Laat, team manager of the project, said that the car has many technologies and is an innovative vehicle.

The carbon capture device will help reduce emissions from the world’s one billion passenger cars. A Carbon Consuming Machine TU/Ecomotive always invites students from all academic fields to collaborate on yearly innovation projects. Since 2013, they have been asking students to work on projects to build sustainable vehicles.

Though,2021’s target was “zero-emission mobility,” which gave the car name “ZEM.” many sponsored partners helped in incorporating different technologies”. Including lithium-ion batteries from the Dutch company Cleantron and solar panels from Watllab that can supply up to 15% of the car’s charge.

Moreover, a life cycle analysis to determine the carbon emissions associated with the vehicle’s development, use, and disposal by SimaPro software. How does the car work? Zem has two filters beneath the car, beside each front wheel. While driving, air passes through the filters, and CO2 sticks to a fine grain.

The primary purpose of building a custom EV charging station is to extract CO2 from the environment. Later, the company can reuse it to produce other fuels like clean hydrogen. The filters only capture 2 kilos (4.41 lb) of CO2 every 20,000 miles. It is only 0.04% of an average vehicle’s annual emissions and less than a tenth of the CO2 that an average tree absorbs annually.  However, the students are still planning to enhance its features and improve its carbon capture technology.

Moonshot Thinking

Hence, 44 million tonnes of CO2 were caught in 2020, which is only 13% of the desired amount, said the International Energy Agency. Elon Musk seems interested in investing in carbon capture innovative awards.

Whereas, by 2028, the market for carbon capture and storage will be worth $7 billion. Van de Weijer says that there will be substantial environmental issues in the future. It would be fantastic if something came out of (Zem) as a spin-off because it could help with this significant issue.

Industry Vs. Innovators

According to the plan, the team finished building the car in May and began a tour across the US in August.  Okkels says that, in the future, we hope to make more examples like ZEM. As we know that the industry is moving slowly in sustainability.

The primary sector we compete with has much more experience than the 35 students who made it happen. Okkels says they had more freedom to experiment because there were fewer legal constraints on small businesses. “We’re merely demonstrating what is feasible to the large industry.” Unluckily, the team couldn’t drive Zem as 3-D printed vehicles are not legal in the US. The next group will work collaboratively with road authorities to help build a legal road car.

Read more: