By Dyann Daniel

In the realm of innovation, there are those whose creativity knows no bounds, whose inventions not only address local needs but have the potential to revolutionize industries worldwide.  One such innovator is Prof. Zaldy A. Fernandez, whose groundbreaking creation, the Multi-Fuel Dryer, is set to take center stage at the 49th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, Switzerland.


The Multi-Fuel Dryer is more than just a device; it's a game-changer for farmers, fishermen, and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines and beyond.  Designed to serve as both a dryer and an oven, this versatile invention harnesses various fuel sources, including wood, charcoal, recycled paper, and even solar energy, to process a wide range of products, from fish and vegetables to apparel and delicacies.

Prof. Fernandez' journey as an inventor began with a simple request from his wife, a reseller of smoked and dried fish, who sought a solution to the challenges of traditional drying methods.  Drawing from his background in industrial education and fabrication, he set out to design a device that would not only meet his wife's needs but also revolutionize the way goods are processed in the Philippines.

"It all started with a desire to help my wife," Prof. Fernandez recalls. "But as I delved deeper into the research and development process, I realized the potential impact of this invention on our local industries."


Photo Courtesy: Prof. Zaldy Fernandez 

What sets the Multi-Fuel Dryer apart is its ability to run on multiple fuel sources simultaneously, its portability, and its customizable design. With two chambers that can function independently or together, operators have the flexibility to adapt the device to their specific needs, whether it's drying fish or baking local delicacies like lechon pork and poultry.

"The beauty of the Multi-Fuel Dryer lies in its adaptability," says Prof. Fernandez. "It's not just a one-size-fits-all solution; it's a tool that can be tailored to the unique requirements of different users and industries."

With the support of the Department of Science and Technology - Technology Application & Promotion Institute (DOST-TAPI), Prof. Fernandez is taking his invention to the international stage, showcasing the ingenuity of Filipino innovation to a global audience.  Through partnerships with manufacturers and distributors, he hopes to expand the reach of the Multi-Fuel Dryer, tapping into new markets and bringing the benefits of his invention to communities around the world.

"The assistance of DOST-TAPI has been invaluable in bringing our invention to the international spotlight," says Prof. Fernandez. "With their support, we're not just showcasing Filipino innovation; we're opening doors to new opportunities and driving economic growth."


Photo Courtesy: Prof. Zaldy Fernandez

As the Multi-Fuel Dryer prepares to make its debut in Geneva, it represents more than just a technological achievement; it's a testament to the creativity, resilience, and entrepreneurial spirit of the Filipino people.  With its potential to transform industries and improve livelihood, this invention is poised to leave a lasting impact on the global stage.

In Switzerland, a country known for its innovation and precision engineering, there is a growing demand for sustainable and efficient technologies.  Filipino innovations like the Multi-Fuel Dryer have the potential to meet these demands, offering Swiss industries new solutions for food processing, agriculture, and manufacturing.

"The future of innovation is global," says Prof. Fernandez. "And with inventions like the Multi-Fuel Dryer, we're not just shaping the future of the Philippines; we're shaping the future of the world."

** This feature is a part of the "Shape the Future" campaign, highlighting nine Philippine inventions featured in the 49th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva (IEIG) on April 17-21, 2023.  Competing for gold awards, these innovations also aim to promote local technologies for potential international technology transfer and commercialization.