Solar-powered car that literally ‘eats’ air pollution as it drives

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The Zem car, developed by a team of students at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, is an innovative solar-powered electric vehicle that not only runs on clean energy but also actively cleans carbon pollution from the air as it drives. It has been hailed as a “carbon eating” car, thanks to its unique carbon capture device and sustainable construction.

The car’s body is made using recycled plastics that are formed by a 3D printer, making it an environmentally friendly choice. The use of recycled materials showcases the team’s commitment to sustainable practices and reducing waste. In addition, the car is equipped with lithium-ion batteries from Cleantron, a Dutch company, and utilizes solar panels from Watllab to generate up to 15% of its charge from the sun.

One of the standout features of the Zem car is its carbon capture device located on the underbelly of the vehicle. As the car is driven, air passes through the filters, and carbon dioxide in the air adheres to the filters. This mechanism allows the car to actively remove carbon from the surrounding air while in motion, contributing to reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change.

The development of the Zem car was a collaborative effort, with a team of students working together and partner sponsors providing the necessary materials and support. To ensure the effectiveness of the vehicle’s carbon capture capabilities, a lifestyle analysis was conducted using SimaPro software, enabling the team to study its carbon output and make necessary adjustments.

The name “Zem” was chosen for the car, representing the team’s goal of achieving “zero emissions mobility.” The students recognized that achieving carbon neutrality required more than just reducing emissions; it required actively removing carbon from the atmosphere. Thus, the Zem car was designed to go beyond zero emissions by actively cleaning the air as it travels.

The Zem car showcases the potential for sustainable transportation solutions that actively combat climate change. With its solar-powered operation, use of recycled materials, and carbon capture technology, it serves as an example of how innovation and environmental consciousness can come together to create a more sustainable future. The Zem car not only provides an eco-friendly mode of transportation but also contributes to cleaner air and a healthier planet.

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