By David Lloyd | 29 March 2010, 12:48 BST
Three UK universities have been awarded funding to look into so-called 'porous materials' to turn carbon emissions into car fuel.
If successful it means that new kinds of fuels may be able to be generated from old 'carbon emissions' that are produced from factories, plants and even cars themselves.
The idea of 'recycling' carbon emitted from the burning of fossil fuels, is not new, however, is only just receiving full funding and support now.
The University of Bath, Bristol and of West England have all been awarded funds.
The Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) wants them to look into nanotechnology methods which might allow carbon to be turned from a pollutant into fuel.
Such a process could be used for fuel and/or plastics.
"We hope that the use of renewable energy to recycle CO2 will be an effective way to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere." said Dr Petra Cameron, RCUK Fellow from the Department of Chemistry at Bath.
Dr Ioannis Ieropoulos from Bristol University’s Robotics Laboratory, said: "One of the great advantages of this project is that it will attempt to exploit the natural abilities of photo-heterotrophic microorganisms in utilising light to fix CO2, which in turn will allow the production of biomass to be used as fuel and electricity or hydrogen, as required."