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Car manufacturers like to use the slogan “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” to promote their own cars, which is intended to emphasize the close connection between motorsports and the civilian car business. While many of motorsport’s innovations eventually found their way into family cars, it’s unclear whether Toyota’s newly developed carbon-capture technology can make the transition.

It is noticed that at the Super Durability Series held at Fuji Speedway in Japan last year, Toyota showed a hydrogen-fueled GR Corolla concept racing car equipped with a carbon capture device. The understated-looking hatchback hides a secret weapon under its hood: two special filters and a recovery fluid.

Both filters contain a ceramic catalyst (commonly found in exhaust systems to filter harmful pollutants) and are coated with a CO2-absorbing material developed by Kawasaki, the Toyota Times reported in 2023. The filter captures CO2 from the air sucked in from the outside every second. One of the filters is located at the front of the engine compartment, close to the circulation path of the engine oil. Kawasaki’s absorbent material releases CO2 when heated, and Toyota uses the heat from circulating engine oil to release the captured CO2 into a recovery fluid. The CO2 dissolves in the recycling fluid, allowing the absorbent material to capture more carbon from the air, before releasing it again into the liquid through heating.

Naoaki Ito, general manager of projects at GR Vehicle Development Division, said, “Typically, facilities that capture CO2 from the atmosphere require fans to suck in the air and heat it to separate the CO2, all of which requires energy. The key to the GR Corolla system is that it utilizes existing There’s heat from the air intake and from inside the engine.”

These filters require no additional power and simply use the waste heat generated by the engine to dissolve the captured carbon. This means they can be installed on any vehicle with an engine. It’s unclear whether the system can be applied to electric vehicles.

However, this technology also has obvious limitations. Currently, only 20 grams of CO2 can be captured during a 20-lap race at Fuji Speedway, although the filter can suck in 60 liters of air per second. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), burning a gallon of gasoline produces approximately 8,887 grams of CO2, while burning hydrogen fuel produces no carbon emissions. However, these filters need to be replaced at every service pit stop.

Toyota Times reports that the team is working to increase carbon capture capabilities and automate the filter replacement process. A car or truck that can accommodate larger filters might capture more carbon, but if Toyota were to automate filter replacement, the technology would appear to be complex and expensive.

Although Toyota has reiterated its determination to transition to pure electric vehicles, its multi-pronged electrification strategy is still in progress. This includes offering customers multiple powertrain options: hybrid (HEV), battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). However, this carbon capture technology requires an internal combustion engine, even if that engine burns hydrogen, which would seem to go against current electrification trends.

However, we cannot underestimate this technology. Toyota, with decades of innovation experience and patent filing leadership, is not new to the industry; in fact, its past leadership in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technologies has led them to open up thousands of patents for license-free use by other automakers.

While Toyota’s GR division can continue to find creative ways to lower emissions, its priorities lie elsewhere. Toyota needs to accelerate the development of its long-range and affordable electric vehicles. After all, the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions is to avoid them in the first place.

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Threza Gabriel
Threza Gabrielhttps://www.techgoing.com
Threza Gabriel is a news writer at TechGoing. TechGoing is a global tech media to brings you the latest technology stories, including smartphones, electric vehicles, smart home devices, gaming, wearable gadgets, and all tech trending.

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