The hydrogen car that absorbs CO2, Toyota’s incredible prototype

Camille Coirault

March 5, 2024 at 12:42 p.m.


  The GR Corrolla concept in action © Toyota Times

The GR Corrolla concept in action © Toyota Times

An electric car that absorbs CO2 weeling ? Toyota proves once again that they have it under control when it comes to innovation. The design of this GR Corolla concept is quite unique.

The concept is not entirely new; in fact, students from the University of Eindhoven had created the ZEM, which also had the capacity to capture CO2 weeling. On the other hand, it is indeed the first major manufacturer to look into the issue. The Corolla GR concept, running entirely on hydrogen, is a fairly promising first step towards a technology that will perhaps one day be implemented in large production cars.

Innovative and well-thought-out technology

It was last year, during the Super Taikyu endurance racing series organized at the famous Fuji Speedway that the public was able to see the Corolla GR concept driving. Its CO2 capture mechanism is quite unique and relies on three main elements: two air filters and a recovery fluid. These filters are not of classic design and use a ceramic catalyst (similar to that found on conventional exhaust systems), but this is coated with a special material.

Developed by Kawasaki, the latter can capture CO2 directly from the outside air. It can then release it when heated, which is why one of the two filters is positioned so that the engine oil causes it to rise in temperature. Once hot, it releases CO2 in the recovery fluid.

Naoaki Ito, general manager of the GR Vehicle Development Project, explains: “ Traditionally, typical CO2 capture installations use fans to draw in air and heat to recover the CO2, which requires energy. The Corolla H2’s system uses the existing air intake and heat inside the engine “. Very clever.

  The engine block of the concept.  Number 1 and number 2 are the ar-absorbing filters and number 3 is the recovery fluid © Toyota Times

The engine block of the concept. Number 1 and number 2 are the ar-absorbing filters and number 3 is the recovery fluid © Toyota Times

A system that has its limits

Even if the technology developed by Toyota is very well thought out, it is still quite limited. In fact, his abilities are still quite weak. Over 20 laps of the Fuji Speedway (4,563 km), the Corolla recovers only 20 g of CO2. Knowing that a liter of gasoline produces 2.348 kg when burned, the room for improvement still remains quite large.

Even though hydrogen produces no emissions when consumed by the car, the filters need to be changed very regularly, at each pit stop. Toyota teams are currently working to improve their capacity as well as automate their replacement process. The task is currently complex and quite expensive.

It’s only the beginning, but the system designed by Toyota is quite brilliant despite its obvious limitations. Let’s not forget to what extent certain technologies have progressed in the automobile since their appearance: catalysts, tires, turbos, etc. Especially since Toyota is far from being the last manufacturer in terms of innovation!

Source : InsideEVs

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