• Dr. Leonardo Gasendo: The inexhaustible inventor

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    Dr. Leonardo Gasendo

    DR. Leonardo Gasendo, a US-based Filipino chemical engineer, added another accomplishment to his growing list of patented inventions when his latest innovation, the Long Distance Electric Vehicle (LDEV) self-charging battery, was granted U.S. Patent No. 8,522,903 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on September 3, 2013.

    “Electric companies are spending millions of dollars trying to increase the travel range of electric car batteries with little success, but with the LDEV, it can now happen,” Dr. Gasendo told The Sunday Times Magazine via an exclusive online interview.

    “To increase its battery travel range to 1,000 miles without getting exhausted, the LDEV uses two on-board battery chargers (KEC and KER), which convert wheel vibrations and cruising speed into electricity, thereby charging the on-board battery during transit. The physical size of both the KEC and the KER is 3 cu. ft., and it takes only three minutes to replace the LDEV battery with a fresh one.”

    Dr. Gasendo’s invention is entirely different from other electric car manufacturers’ batteries.  “Tesla, Ford, Toyota, Honda, General Motors do not use KER and KEC [in their electric car batteries],” he pointed out.

    One of the chemical engineer’s landmark projects is the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System

    One of the chemical engineer’s landmark projects is the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System

    “Going downhill, the LDEV is able to convert the earth’s gravity into electricity to charge the on-board battery with zero consumption of electricity.  An electric car will be able to travel 1,610 km without exhausting the electrical charge of the on-board battery using an LDEV,” the inventor further explained.

    Ever concerned about his homeland despite his migration to the United States, Dr. Gasendo believes that his invention can greatly help the transportation system in the Philippines.  He has even churned up numbers on the kind of savings the transportation sector can make by converting to an LDEV-powered electric car.

    “Jeepneys, taxis, tricycles, motorcycles and bicycles can easily convert [to the technology]. The cost of electricity used by the LDEV is P1.74 per km, which will give public vehicle drivers better income. It is also quite easy to convert gasoline powered trucks and automobiles into LDEVs,” he revealed.

    Another dual-purpose invention from the desk of Dr. Gasendo, which generates energy while protecting houses from natural calamities

    Another dual-purpose invention from the desk of Dr. Gasendo, which generates energy while protecting houses from natural calamities

    Dr. Gasendo has yet to present his invention to his company of choice for commercial marketing and distribution.  Presently, he is busy putting together presentation letters and packages to automobile companies worldwide, and also has Microsoft founder Bill Gates and business magnate Warren Buffet in his shortlist.

    Prolific
    The LDEV is just one of many inventions that have come from this truly gifted Filipino. To date, Dr. Gasendo’s inventions have made an impact in the areas of clean energy and green technology. All granted US patents, some of these include the Wave Energy Megawatts Harvester (patented in 2010); the River Power Megawatts Producer (patented in 2010); and the Wind Power Megawatts Producer (patented in 2011).

    Singling out the Wind Power Megawatts Producer (WPMP), Dr. Gasendo said that Tacloban could have been spared from the kind of devastation Super Typhoon Yolanda left in its wake with the generator-type structure.  According to him, the WPMP is specifically designed to protect cities from destructive typhoons, while at the same time able to produce large quantities of inexpensive electricity for homes and the LDEV as well.

    “The U.S. Patent 7,981,435 certifies the protection that will be provided by the WPMP against another 175 mph typhoon,” Dr. Gasendo asserted.

    “And it is easy and inexpensive for anyone to build a bamboo WPMP and a vinyl pipe WPMP to protect homes from 100 mph typhoons. The tensile strength of bamboo is 28,000 psi, whereas, the tensile strength of steel is 23,000 psi, so that bamboo will outlast steel in outdoor installations because it is rustproof.

    “Moreover,” he added, “the WPMP will recover invested capital [for its construction]within three to five years of normal operations in terms of electricity production.”

    Energized endeavor
    Besides being an inventor, the chemical engineer is also an expert in industrial design, start-up operations, project management, and trouble-shooting. In fact, Dr. Gasendo was the Lead Process Engineer of the $10 billion Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), an 800-mile pipeline constructed in 1975 and completed in 1980 that conveys oil from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez in Alaska.

    His other inventions are also used in many of his projects worldwide, which involve the manufacture plastics, petrochemicals, jet fuel and gasoline.

    “My inventions are by-products of chemical engineering which endeavor to search for sources of renewable energy when oil deposits in the Middle East are consumed,” he explained.

    Dr. Gasendo’s inventions are kept and protected in the archives of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) together with the inventions of Einstein, Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, Wright Brothers, Newton, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo.

    “Regardless of whether an inventor is Filipino, American, African or Eskimo the USPTO examiner will thoroughly examine the invention application in a strict, fair and professional manner,” he said of the process. “The examiner will ask many questions and the inventor must prove that the new invention is original and will work as claimed in the application.

    “If the invention is found to be unique, original, meritorious and viable, a patent certificate will be issued accordingly. Otherwise, the new application will be rejected promptly and the inventor will lose large amount of dollars, not to mention his given time and effort.  That is why a US Patented invention is considered a valuable commodity worldwide.”

    Humble beginnings
    Dr. Gasendo was born in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental on September 7, 1924, and graduated from Adamson University in 1950. He first worked as production manager of an American soft drink company in his hometown after securing his degree in Chemical Engineering.

    In 1959, another American company sent him to Australia to train for the start-up and operation of a petroleum refinery in Limay, Bataan. He left the country in 1967 when yet American petroleum company hired him and sponsored his family to live with him in California.

    Dr. Gasendo is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE), a highly regarded organization in the United States and other parts of the world. It is through this organization that he met distinguished scientists with whom he has worked with in numerous projects worldwide.

    Ph in mind
    Besides his ultimate goal to continue inventing alternative sources of energy for the future, Dr. Gasendo always keeps the Philippines in mind when thinking up innovations to help mankind.

    “As an AICHE member, Johnny Ang of Cebu City invited me to his farm in Gen. Santos, Cotabato. When we arrived there, it started to rain and the harvested corn, which was being sundried, obviously got wet. It was then that I invented the Universal Dryer that will dry corn, rice, fish, fruits, vegetables, other products, day and night, rain or shine.  If used by the farming industry for operations, it will increase Philippine food production by about 20 percent,” he related.

    Again with the Philippines in mind, Dr. Gasendo also invented a typhoon resistant Fish Habitat that will harvest fish products daily without using fish fingerlings. According to his calculations, the Fish Habitat operation is more profitable than fish ponds and fish traps because it will enable the harvest of premium fish species from the ocean with minimum maintenance.

    “This will create millions of jobs and increase significantly Philippine food production,” he guaranteed.

    Guiding principles
    “My professional guidelines are honesty and hard work, as well as striving to make correct decisions, and being grateful to others,” Dr. Gasendo enumerated the keys to his success.

    “For me, material things are not measures of success because in the final analysis a person will return to dust,” he added.

    With a career and family life that has been so blessed, Dr. Gasendo has always made sure to give back in all of his undertakings.  Both his wife and daughter have also dedicated their lives to serving their community,

    “My wife is a retired hospital administrator in Alhambra, California, and our only child, Judge Leah Gasendo is presently hearing cases in cities of California,” he shared.

    As his patented inventions continue to grow, Dr. Gasendo believes he, as well as his family, are on their way to “paying back our gratitude to the United States and the Philippines.”

    With a firm promise, the inexhaustible inventor ended, “The WPMP, RPMP, WEMH and LDEV inventions will make the Philippines the renewable energy capital of the world that will shine brighter than Las Vegas at night.”

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