Israel’s Newton puts green in motion

Newton’s clean hybrid engine uses parts from two traditional engines on the market today. Since the industrial revolution, humanity has struggled to find ways to make the machine more efficient and productive. Engines drive our cars, wash our clothes and …

Newton’s clean hybrid engine uses parts from two traditional engines on the market today. Since the industrial revolution, humanity has struggled to find ways to make the machine more efficient and productive. Engines drive our cars, wash our clothes and help build almost every manufactured product we enjoy today.

The rising cost of fuel coupled with an awareness to reduce polluting greenhouse gases, make it imperative that we find solutions to traditional engines. Some people are looking for the answer in new technology and alternative fuel, but Israel’s Newton Propulsion Technology thinks it has found a way to make the traditional engine better.

Based on research from Ben Gurion University and fuelled by concerns for the environment, the company has built a hybrid engine from the two traditional types of engines in use today – the internal combustion engine, found in cars; and the gas turbine used to power jets.

Called the RotoRom, Newton, with a prototype in hand, is now exploring ways to collaborate with major industry players in the US, such as General Motors and Caterpillar.

Company CEO Guy Rom tells ISRAEL21c: “There is a growing demand for clean energy. All the major manufacturers are struggling to meet new regulations and are therefore paying fines.”

With a prototype to prove its concept, Rom says that the RotoRom engine can be fitted into vehicles over the 170 horsepower range, making them more efficient and less polluting. Other applications are in small power plants, in trucks, work tools and yachts.

Today, hybrid generally means a combination engine for gasoline or alternative fuel. In Newton Propulsion’s case, it has developed a hybrid out of existing technology, which can easily be fitted into applications, such as in factories, without replacing existing infrastructure.

This is particularly attractive to companies who need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, without having to invest in new equipment.

While the gas turbine engine used today is efficient and effective, its high price and technical limitations block it from entering different markets, explains Rom. The RotoRom engine, however, combines the best of two engines, while avoiding the downfalls.

In the Rotorom engine, fuel burns inside a sealed chamber, which has the ability to expand. Rather than pushing on a piston, the chamber expands while rotating, and this movement creates power. Remaining pressure can be released via a turbine, which then powers a compressor.

Fuel combustion is continuous, and the engine can run on any fuel type, even green fuels such as biodiesel.

Founded in 2003, and based in Katzrin in the Golan Heights, Newton Propulsion has received about $1 million in funding from the Meytag Incubator. The company’s business model is based on licensing, consulting, joint R&D and customized applications.

One local newspaper called the RotoRom a Ferrari in a shoebox, but the company says it has even bigger plans in mind.

About Karin Kloosterman

Karin Kloosterman lives in Jaffa, Israel. She is a journalist, writer and blogger who focuses on the environment and clean technology from Israel and the Middle East. Published in hundreds of newspapers around the world, Karin also writes for the Huffington Post and Green Prophet.