Georges Imbert

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Georges Christian Peter Imbert (26 March[1] 1884 – 6 February 1950) was a French chemical engineer and inventor. He became famous for the invention of the wood gas generator.


On March 26, 1884 Imbert was born in Niederstinzel, a small town about ten kilometers from Sarre-Union. He is the eldest of four children.

After primary school in Diemeringen, he attended high school Sarreguemines. Given his academic success, his father enrolled him at the School of Chemistry Mulhouse, one of the most famous in Europe. After three years, he comes out with a degree in chemical engineering and the head full of projects.

At the age of 20, in 1904, he filed his first patent. During the next ten years, he developed various industrial processes and filed more than fifteen patents.

In 1908, he uses these different processes to create a soap factory in Diemeringen.

He also works in England as a researcher in Manchester.

From 1915 to 1918, Georges Imbert was enlisted in the German army where he worked as a chemist in the factory "Königswarter and Ebell" in Linden and in the factory "Pintsch" in Berlin.

When he was demobilized in 1918, he made soap at the mill in Diemeringen, which his uncle put at his disposal.

At the same time, G. Imbert embarked on experiments to transform coal into liquid fuel. He even managed to make synthetic gasoline, unfortunately too expensive.

He abandons the liquid fuel solution and is interested in gas generators. As early as 1920, he created a generator using charcoal.

In 1921, Imbert built a charcoal gasifier. Two years later (1923) he succeeded in gasification for a vehicle.

It should be noted that in 1922 the first gas producer contest was held in France. It's the English who win. The French are late. Everything must be done to control a national energy to replace the foreign fuel.

In 1923, the Army, informed by De Dietrich of the invention, asked Georges Imbert to build a wood gasifier for the French Government. At Sarre-Union, rue de Bitche, the hat manufacture, where Imbert set up his gas-fired plant (1925) at Reichshoffen, De Dietrich, which has the industrial capacity in metallurgy and the automobile, set up a workshop for him. research in the railway factory. In 1925, he patented various processes on gas generators. De Dietrich, for their part also file a patent on gasogens, which pushes Imbert to end this partnership in 1926.

After buying the "Chalet", a beautiful home in Sarre-Union, he created the Compagnie Générale des Gazogens Imbert in 1930.

Despite the enthusiasm of André Maginot, Minister of War, the gasifier struggles to break through in France. In 1931, Georges Imbert was forced to sell some of his licenses to his representative in Germany.

In 1934, his brother Jean-Paul, tries to sell gasogen to the Americans.

The success in Germany allows Imbert to continue developing its technique in Sarre-Union. He is developing a gasifier that can use green wood without clogging the engine.

At the evacuation of Sarre-Union in May 1940, he moved with his family to Epinal in the Vosges.

On his return in September of the same year, he returned to work by becoming an employee of his former company bought by "Imbert Köln".

Imbert - De Dietrich (1930) The recognition of Georges Imbert's work in 1944 by all the European manufacturers marks the apotheosis of the life of the chemical engineer.The German press calls him the "pope" of the gasifier.

Germany uses the wood gasifier in all military operations on tanks, armored cars and ammunition trucks.

On her sixtieth birthday, for the services rendered, Germany is decorated with the "Cross of Merit".

Having lost a son on the Russian front and feeling responsible, not to mention that the fall of Germany was inescapable, Imbert mad with pain, sank into alcoholism.

In December 1944, Sarre-Union was released by the Americans. Georges Imbert is not imprisoned because he was employed by the Germans, like many others in Europe.

On the other hand, in 1945 his property was sequestrated and sold as war damage. Imbert lost interest in everything and died a few years later, in 1950, at the age of 65.


  1. ^ Georges Imbert profile,; accessed 30 March 2015.(in German)

External links

  • "Biography of Georges Imbert profile" (in French). Archived from the original on 14 June 2002. 
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