West Bank refugee invents engine that runs on air

28 September 2010

27 September 2010
West Bank

West Bank refugee invents engine that runs on airA West Bank mechanic has harnessed the power of air with his invention of a new, greener motor engine that operates by air compression, without the need for fuel.

Imad Saleh Hassouneh, 37, who maintained truck engines for 22 years, said: “My invention was purely accidental. A truck moved forward when I was repairing its engine using compressed air. I realised that compressed air has the power to propel the engine so I started experimenting with a truck engine.”

Imad, a refugee from Jalazone in the West Bank, added: “I succeeded in inventing an engine that operates on air compression rather than fuel, and obtained a patent from the Palestinian Ministry of Economics. I also received support from Palestinian Prime Minister Mr Salam Fayyad who honoured me and granted me a car to experiment on.”

UNRWA education

After he completed his 9th grade at UNRWA’s Jalazone boys’ school, the first Intifada started and he was obliged to assist his father in his mechanic shop in order to help support his younger brothers and sisters.

Smiling, Imad said: “I have 13 brothers and three sisters. In other words we are 17 people and my father wants to have more. I am the eldest, and apparently the cleverest in the family. We received our education at an UNRWA school, and we still get assistance and rations from UNRWA.

“My mother, father and uncles still live inside the camp. I moved with my wife and children to a house near the camp and near the mechanic shop my father established.”

Environmentally friendly engine

To test his invention, Imad mounted the engine over a model of a four-tonne truck and added the air compressor. After allowing the air stream to flow through a pipe attached to the engine, he started the engine. The truck moved slowly in comparison to the fuel engine as the amount of compressed air was not enough.

Despite facing difficulties, including a lack of resources and equipment, and the absence of a sponsor for the project, Imad succeeded with his invention.

He said: “If this invention is applied, developed and manufactured on an international scale, it will become a great discovery because it is an environmentally friendly engine with minimal cost.

“Moreover, it has zero impact on health, unlike with fuel. Other benefits include the end of the car overheating problem during summer, as it will in fact operate as an engine coolant.”