The scientists have developed a new material that resembles foam and has the ability to capture up to 83 times its volume in CO2. The foam also works in high temperatures and pressures, perfect for a car’s exhaust, and can be treated to remove the CO2 so that it can be reused, according to Elmundo.
The material features crystal-like pores that make up the structure. These pores are called ZIFs and are created by linking organic materials with metal atoms such as cobalt or zinc. It’s the links between all of these materials that capture CO2 plus many of the other noxious materials found in a car’s exhaust.
The developers hope to see the material used to filter exhaust fumes from car tailpipes and powerplant stacks, and possibly a new industry could be launched specializing in removing the spent foam from cars, treating and then replacing it. NASA, along with some Spanish scientists, pioneered a similar material called ‘Aerogel’ that it uses for space exploration but it too could one day see an application in cars.