Tech

Audi wants to purify the air of cities thanks to electric cars

Audi wants to equip electric cars with a new system whose aim is to improve the air quality of cities. This new system is an air purifier that collects harmful particles in a filter. It would be passive when the car is moving, so as not to lose autonomy, and active when the car is charging. Tests have been underway since 2020 and will be conducted until 2024.

We all know it: using a car causes pollution. It emits particles when it rolls. The combustion of fuel in the engine is the biggest cause of particulate emissions. A large part of them are collected by filters placed on the exhaust line. But this is not the only origin. They are also produced by frictional forces and wear.

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When you brake, the brake pads fall apart. When you drive, your tires burn out. And we must not forget the effect of traffic on the tarmac of traffic lanes. 85% of fine particles emitted by cars are produced by friction forces, regardless of the type of engine. And these particles are not collected by any filter. They are rejected in nature. And the urban population inspires him.

A fine particle vacuum cleaner for electric cars

It is not possible to entirely eliminate the emission of these particles, even with modern electric cars. On the other hand, Audi believes that it is possible to use the fleet of electric vehicles to filter ambient air and reduce the concentration of fine particles. How ? By installing a particle filter behind the grille of electric cars, where the radiator of internal combustion cars is located.

Technically, it would simply be ” vacuum which would trap fine particles in a filter similar to that of the filters already used in the automobile for the cabin, for example. When the car is moving, the vacuum cleaner is ” passive » : it is the aerodynamics which pushes the air in the grille to filter the particles. When the car is charging, the vacuum cleaner is ” asset » : a propeller starts up and draws in ambient air.

A system that has a positive carbon footprint

According to Audi, this particle filter would have a significant positive effect: it would absorb pollution equivalent to 14.9 kilograms of CO2 before the consumable that traps the particles is changed. In addition, the system itself is very low polluting, since it is made up of 60% recycled materialsa percentage that goes down to 15% only for the filter which should be changed regularly.

Furthermore, the system has no impact on the operation or range of the car. The project, carried out in collaboration with the German equipment manufacturer MAN+HUMMEL, will be officially presented at a trade fair which will take place next week in London. The test phase started in 2020 and will continue until 2024. In the meantime, Audi is working to make its system more efficient and smarter.

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