(PhysOrg.com) -- What if there was an eco-friendly car that acted like a plant? It would take in CO2, and its exhaust would be oxygen. That's exactly what the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation unveiled at the Shanghai Expo 2010 recently. The YeZ is a concept car designed to photosynthesize carbon dioxide from the air, much like a plant. The car is even designed to emphasize the idea of a eco-friendly through a plant-like process.
Not only will this green car make use of photosynthesis for power generation, but it will also be able to utilize wind power. CNET describes how the YeZ works:
YeZ works its magic of photoelectric conversion with the help of state-of-the-art solar panels on the roof, wind power conversion via small wind turbines in the wheels, and carbon dioxide absorption and conversion through the bodywork. This last bit is made of a metal-organic framework that can apparently absorb carbon dioxide and water molecules from the air. Through the series of chemical reactions, energy is generated, and it's then stored in the car's lithium ion batteries.
The car is a two-seater, though, and doesn't appear to have much room for luggage. And, of course, it is only a concept. It might take as many as 20 years for this concept car to be available -- if it is something that happens at all. But the YeZ does offer us some insight into what might be possible if we start looking more to the natural environment for solutions to our pollution problems.
Explore further: Material generates steam under solar illumination
More information: Juniper Foo, "YeZ concept car sucks in C02, exhales oxygen," CNET (May 20, 2010). Available online: news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20005538-1.html