I want to change $\ce{CO2}$ coming out of the tailpipe of a car to some other compound that is considerably less harmful to the environment with a filter of some sort.

What are some ways that this is possible?

$\ce{CO2}$ to carbon and oxygen?

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Actually, $\ce{CO2}$ is already very less "polluting" as compared to other gases in the exhaust like $\ce{NO_x,SO_x,CO}$ and unburnt hydrocarbons. To eliminate $\ce{CO2}$ while still using a combustion engine will not be practically feasible, since $\ce{CO2}$ is the final oxidation product for all "organic" fuels. You can shift to an alternative power source (Hybrid, Electric) to eliminate $\ce{CO2}$. Otherwise, an engine which emits only $\ce{CO2}$ and $\ce{H2O}$ is pretty non-polluting engine by practical standards. $\endgroup$ Oct 15 '13 at 4:37
  • $\begingroup$ @SatwikPasani Thanks for your edit! I have reverted the title formatting back due to this issue. It's not a big problem, just wanted to let you know for future edits. $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Oct 15 '13 at 5:50
  • $\begingroup$ Since cars are inherently going to pollute would it then be a better idea to filter out all carbon particulate matter? even from non-diesel engined cars? Thank you both for the answers by the way. $\endgroup$
    – Derek
    Oct 15 '13 at 16:39
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @DerekSmith A pragmatic approach would be to eliminate automobiles altogether. $\endgroup$ Dec 18 '13 at 14:47

It makes no difference where you grab the $\ce{CO2}$. Don't burden the car.

Plant mammoth sterile forests with gene-gineered high lignin wood for building. Or, deep bury the trunks in the Sahara Desert of the Empty Quarter. RuBisCO is the slowest, least efficient enzyme on Earth, the first carbon fixation step in photosynthesis. Gene-gineer a faster, more efficient (e.g, not poisoned by oxygen) RuBisCO for the forests.


A reactor for your tailpipe.


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