Toyota is endeavouring to save the combustion engine, and this endeavour has now produced another interesting new technology. The manufacturer has tested a filter system that can capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Sounds promising, but there is still a long way to go before it is ready for series production.

Toyota has installed the technology in the hydrogen combustion engine that is being tested in the racing version of the GR Corolla. The filter system works by capturing the carbon dioxide, which is then released into a liquid using the engine's heat. No additional energy is required.

Unfortunately, it will be a while before this technology is used in your next Prius or RAV4. The filter still captures too little carbon to compensate for the average petrol engine. It also has to be constantly replaced. The racing car only filtered out around 20 grams of carbon dioxide in 20 laps, which is not very much. By comparison, a petrol car can emit almost 2.4 kilograms of CO2 per litre consumed.

Toyota bucked the industry trend earlier this month when CEO Akio Toyoda announced a"major engine development project" while its rivals are investing everything in battery electric vehicles. The Japanese manufacturer has not been so keen to go all in on electric vehicles. It anticipates slower uptake and lower market penetration, while touting a more comprehensive approach to achieving carbon neutrality.

Toyota expects petrol engines, hybrids and fuel cell vehicles to continue to exist in the future. The company and other carmakers are also working on hydrogen combustion engines that could be almost carbon neutral. Installing the filter in such an engine would make it carbon neutral, but Toyota says the technology can also be used in a petrol engine.