Fuel efficient and electric vehicles are nothing new with the popularity of cars like the Honda Prius and Tesla models. However, while these vehicles may reduce CO2 emissions, they are not truly carbon neutral either due to the manufacturing process or their electrical energy source (often stemming from fossil fuels). In steps C2CNT, a startup founded by professor Stuart Licht of George Washington University, plans to create truly carbon neutral vehicles. Licht claims to have discovered a method to power cars with CO2, and the only byproducts are carbon fibre and oxygen.
If Licht’s discovery can be applied in real time, this means that not only will it remove all vehicle emissions, but would actually improve air quality and help to purify the air. The carbon fibre can then be used to produce lithium ion batteries, which feeds back into the production of electric vehicles and the electrical grid. Aside from these uses, it’s also a highly valued raw material and is used in a variety of goods as a lighter, higher quality alternative to plastics. This makes C2CNT’s process not only valuable for its environmental impact, but also profitable. While vehicle technology has come a long way in reducing emissions and producing cleaner, more efficient cars, C2CNT demonstrates that there is still a significant amount of work to be done and that improvements to the way we use transportation are being made daily.