A Swiss startup is developing an aftermarket kit to capture CO2 before it exits the tailpipe
Spotted: Although the world is gradually moving towards the production of only electric vehicles (EVs), petroleum-powered vehicles will remain in use for many decades. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing that can be done to mitigate the emissions from those existing vehicles. To help, startup Qaptis has developed a technology that it claims can capture 90 per cent of CO2 emissions from internal combustion engines.
The technology uses heat from the engine to power reversible thermochemical reactions to capture and compress CO2 to a liquid before it escapes from the tailpipe. Once in liquid form, the CO2 is stored onboard, before being collected. It can then be upcycled into new fuel, plastics, or carbon fibres – or sold to CO2 end-users such as fertiliser manufacturers.
Qaptis, which was spun off from Swiss university EPLF, is supported by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment and has received a seed loan from the Foundation for Technological Innovation, as well as funds from a crowdfunding campaign. The company hopes to develop the technology in the form of a kit, which can be easily retrofitted to existing vehicles.
Qaptis is not the only company that is working to reduce the emissions of existing vehicles. US startup Remora Carbon is developing similar technology developed at the University of Michigan. Other companies are developing novel ways to lock up CO2, such as turning it to stone or sequestering it in giant algae ponds.
Written By: Lisa Magloff