KARACHI: Sindh Senior Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ayaz Soomro is the latest to jump on the infamous ‘water kit’ bandwagon, having called the man touting the ‘invention’ a national hero.
“Agha Waqar’s invention of a water kit has proved and recognised Sindhi people on world level,” Soomro told journalists at his office. “He is our national hero.”
Eminent physicist Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy and former Higher Education Commission head Dr Attaur Rehman have criticised Agha Waqar, who claims to have invented the water kit that can power a car, for making a mockery of science. However, Soomro called Dr Attaur Rehman, a “production of dictatorship” while categorically rejecting the latter’s scepticism at Waqar’s claims.
Dr Atta refused to respond to the provincial law minister’s statement. He said that it should be enough to evaluate the veracity of the allegation that he was never affiliated with any political party but received civil awards for his services from almost all political leaders, including Benazir Bhutto.
Meanwhile, the question of proper technical examination of the water kit was only brought up in a meeting held at the President House on Wednesday. The meeting, which was presided over by the principal secretary to the president Salman Farooqui, concluded that the car with a water-kit installed will be sent to the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Islamabad. The officials were supposed to send the car to the university on Thursday morning but this did not happen.
When Waqar was asked by The Express Tribune why he did not show up at NUST on Thursday, he said that the plan had changed. “The technical examination has now been deferred for an unidentified period of time and will not happen soon,” he said. When inquired to explain the reason for the deferral, Waqar simply hung up the phone.
Debunking the water kit
“The car has not been subjected to scientific examination and yet the issue has been blown out of proportion by irresponsible media coverage and praises showered by ministers,” Dr Rehman told The Express Tribune. He added that he was and is calling for scientific examination of the claim and did not know if he has been served a legal notice for this just demand.
“Had he been genuine and not leading ministers around him with his bizarre claims, he would have filed an international patent to protect his invention and only then he would come out with the claim.” He also believes that there is a massive scam behind the claim to mint money from government and corporate sources.
Waqar has become a household name after he appeared on several primetime talk show hosts to showcase the water kit, which he claims can power vehicles.
Dr Rehman rubbished Waqar’s claim that a 1,000CC vehicle will get 40 kilometres per litre of water, and said these statements could only be made in Pakistan. “In countries where scientific research is taken seriously, nobody would pretend to joke about science in this manner.”
Dr Rehman said that the “self-proclaimed inventor” did not have knowledge about basic processes like electrolysis.
“This is the first mistake he is making and he does not even know that you can’t even get electrolysis on distilled water,” he said, “For this purpose you have to have an electrolyte [a solution that conducts electricity] which can be decomposed by electrolysis.”
He explained that a powerful energy source, which could only be a battery in this case, is required to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen and then recombine them through combustion to release energy. “But firstly, the energy which is required to separate hydrogen and oxygen will always be greater in amount than the energy released and secondly, the external energy source will eventually die out to fail the process since the efficiency of electrolysis in hardly 20 to 30%.”
He added that if this were not the case than this man has invented a “perpetual motion machine” which again, according to a scientific consensus, is impossible. “What this man is proposing is scientifically impossible; he is defying the first law of thermodynamics,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2012.