The MayMaan founders. [Courtesy]
While vehicles may convey a sense of freedom to movement, style and status in the society, there is no doubt that they impact the environment.   Any moment before making it to an open road, automotive register massive fuel pollutant footprints that raise environmental red flags even before they are burned. Thus, vehicles have become one of the world’s biggest air quality compromisers, producing about one-third of all air pollution through emission of smog, carbon monoxide, and other toxins. In the annals of the automotive business, vehicle manufactures had successfully crafted a mythical significance out of gasoline engine consumption that was as enduring as civilisation, but reality could have just caught up with the manufacturers as a new crop of mechanical engineers unveiled an unusually new advancement in the motorised world. It started as a garage-based family business run by three Israelis near Miami, Florida in the United States of America. MayMaan Research, LLC claim to have succeeded in reinventing the internal combustion engine in a way that may invite the engineers to join the elite group of legendary garage-based startups. The company has done the unfathomable, developing a system to operate a traditional piston engine with a combination of 70 per cent water and 30 per cent ethanol (or any other alcohol) – and no gasoline or diesel required at all. The Engineers developed vehicles that simply run on water and alcohol, and this revolutionary system can be applied, say its founders, “with simple yet sophisticated modifications of existing engine designs, and saves 50 per cent on fuel costs, produces far fewer emissions than gasoline or diesel, and is up to 60 per cent more efficient than gasoline.”

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How it works The water mixture is converted into a clean-burning fuel, which powers the engine, and which produces a very high torque, enabling the efficient and powerful performance of the vehicle. Of course, that wasn’t enough, so, MayMaan Engineers have also built four operating prototypes for a generator and various engines that will be using water and alcohol to run heavy-duty operations.   As the Engineers imbued themselves with a start-up spirit, a multi-talented inventor, engineer and master mechanic Yehuda Shmueli, 81, remains the brainchild of MayMaan. He is assisted by sons Eitan and Doron, and backed by an impressive executive management team. Yehuda was once the Chief Inspector for the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF)’s jeep production.   “We had stayed under the radar for the past six years, but we decided that this is the right time to expose ourselves and talk to people and let the world know that such a solution exists,” says Yehuda. The first target for MayMaan’s revolutionary technology, says Doron Shmueli, the company’s vice president, is diesel engines. “They are the prime target for our technology – they are everywhere.” Diesel engines are notorious for the pollutants that they release into the air. Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) that tracks fuel ingestion per and by vehicles indicates that fuel consumption of newly registered light-duty vehicles (LDVs) reached 7.2 litres of gasoline-equivalent per 100 kilometres (Lge/100 km) in 2019, within an LDV market where sales have grown by around 10 per cent between 2015 and 2019. When MayMaan vehicles become a real-reality, the earth -- its soil and air will all celebrate as humans grow deeper pockets away from refueling stations.

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