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Zem: The Inspiring Electric Vehicle That Cleans the Air While Driving

1 min read
Image Creadit: www.tuecomotive.nl

Students at Eindhoven University of Technology have developed the concept of an electric vehicle that can clean the air while traveling. The EV named Zem, has the capacity to absorb the carbon dioxide disseminated by the other combustion vehicles functioning on the road using a special filtration process. 

The students of the university have derived this idea of Zem from their passion to have a carbon-neutral vehicle.  While constructing the prototype, a grounded approach was kept in mind to incorporate carbon-neutral principles. 

Zem has the potential to clean up carbon emissions while driving behind diesel trucks or other polluting vehicles.  The Zem can absorb more carbon dioxide than its own emissions throughout its lifespan put together.

The team of students was influenced for their seventh project by the older concept cars.  To achieve the goal of a zero-emission car, a unique carbon-capturing filter was designed by students. It can capture 2 kg of carbon dioxide during a 20,000-mile journey, which is equal to the absorption pursued by a tree in a day. 

The team is in the process of claiming a patent over the CO2 filter so that they can increase its capacity in the future. Improvised manufacturing techniques were employed during production to reduce material waste and CO2 emissions. 

The vehicle is manufactured from recycled plastics and sustainable materials like pineapple leather. Polycarbonate has been selected for the windows due to its environmental friendliness.  Due to the vision of minimizing the carbon footprint, the details of Zem’s drivetrain are limited.

The sole aim of developing Zem was carbon neutrality, and utilizing recycled plastics, and incorporating photovoltaic cells for increased range aligned well.  Till now, the students have succeeded in getting a patent for direct air capture technology developed by them, which scrubs the air as the car moves. 

Zem could prove helpful in reducing carbon emissions if implemented in existing vehicles.  After reaching 200 miles, the filters reach their capacity, and plans to start reusing the captured CO2 are in place. The captured CO2 could be reused for manufacturing environmentally friendly concrete, synthetic fuels, and even carbonated beverages. 


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The team’s manager emphasizes the importance of capturing CO2 in production and recycling, which will lead to an increase in the filter’s capacity. Zem is a sporty-looking two-seater EV powered by a Cleantron lithium-ion battery. 

The student’s innovative carbon-neutral vehicle has the potential to encourage and inspire many in the industry. Zem has the potential to contribute to the much-needed reduction of carbon emissions in the transport industry. The student powered company TU/ecomotive is currently looking for new members for its team.

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