Carbon Negative: Toyota Working On a Carbon Capture Filtration System

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Toyota has taken an all-around beating for its decision to focus on a diverse array of alternative fuels and electrification options instead of going all-in on EVs, but that approach has started to look more prudent as other companies struggle with slower-than-expected growth. The Japanese auto giant has developed hydrogen powertrains and been a staunch supporter of hybrid technologies, and now it is testing a new engine that can remove carbon from the air.

The carbon capture engine first appeared in a GR Corolla race car last year as part of a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. It was already a zero-emissions configuration, but the added filtration system can actually remove carbon from the air around the car.

“This type of technology to capture carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is advancing rapidly in the infrastructure industry. But as far as we know, Toyota is the first company to test this technology in a vehicle,” Naoaki Ito, Gazoo Racing’s project general manager, said.

Toyota’s carbon capture system uses two filters and a fluid reservoir that traps carbon dioxide. It uses no energy, and the fluid moves into the reservoir using the engine’s heat. The automaker worked with Kawasaki Heavy Industries to develop the filters, which are similar to the technology used in modern exhaust systems.

Though Toyota tested the system in a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, it said the tech would work with any motorized vehicle, including ones with gas engines. Right now, however, the system doesn’t capture as much carbon as a traditional vehicle produces in regular operation, so there’s work to do to make it commercially viable.

[Image: Toyota]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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2 of 16 comments
  • Norman Stansfield Norman Stansfield on Feb 26, 2024

    Need a way that's energy efficient & good for the environment to capture carbon.


  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Feb 26, 2024

    I hope the carbon filter isn't TOO efficient. People (and all life on this planet) are all carbon-based lifeforms. I don't want to get suctioned by a carbon filter while driving!

  • Murilee Martin It wasn't exactly an easy swap, but the Alfa 164's V6 fits in the X1/9 and makes it a very competitive road-race car:
  • EBFlex The usual suspects will come here and spread nonsense about Musk, very little based in facts. But the fact is, he should take a pay cut for Teslas sales that are dwindling, everything about the CyberTruck which has been nothing but a colossal failure, and Teslas lack of quality.
  • Flashindapan My neighbor just got a new MDX A-spec in glacier white. I don’t really notice three row crossovers or SUVs much anymore, but I have to say these do have some presence.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Our BN in Iraq lost their CDR, driver, gunner, interpersonal and RTO when his M1151 Hummer was hit by a 1000 lb VBIED (car bomb). We took the casualties back to the FOB. It brings a lot of things into perspective when you have a family knowing the families of those KIA a will never be the same from their loss. My three boys were1, 2, and 7 at the time.
  • Theflyersfan Let's look at Tesla in 2024 here: Reported last month that Tesla deliveries drop 8.5% from a year ago - the first drop since 2020 and the chip shortages. Other brands EV sales have increased.The Cybertruck has generated far more negative reviews and social media backlash than Tesla could have anticipated. Quality just isn't there.Ongoing lawsuits with the self-driving software and crashes and fatalities.The rest of the lineup is getting stale and the main tweaks over the years have been changes to the interface and exterior lights, plus some extra power in the Model S. But that has been essentially the same model since 2013, which is an eternity in the auto world.All of these things lined up and he wants a $56 billion contract. I understand that Musk has a Kardashian-level need of being in the spotlight at all times, but there are better ways to do that and not look like a tone deaf fool. And now that Tesla has been established and is capable of selling cars, Musk might not be in as strong of a position that he thinks he is. There is the very real chance that someone else might be able to come in and freshen up the lineup and fix some of these lingering issues that continue to plague their cars. Microsoft survived after Bill Gates left. Apple survived after Steve Jobs died. And I think Tesla will survive if the board tells Musk to kick rocks.