Alexis Belonio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Alexis T. Belonio
Born (1960-01-01) January 1, 1960 (age 59)
Alma materCentral Luzon State University
Known forRice husk-powered gas stove
AwardsRolex Award for Enterprise (2008)
Scientific career
FieldsAgricultural engineering
InstitutionsInternational Rice Research Institute
Central Philippine University

Alexis T. Belonio (born January 1, 1960) is a professor, engineer, scientist, innovator, and inventor from the Philippines. He was the first Filipino to receive the Rolex Award for Enterprise in 2008 for his invention of a low-cost and environment friendly rice husk stove.[1][2] Belonio was included by the Rolex watchmaking company on its list of 10 model innovators in November 2008.[3] He serves as the incumbent chair of the Agricultural Engineering and Environmental Management department of Central Philippine University.[4]

Life and career[edit]

Belonio was born and raised in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.[5] He earned his bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering and master of science degree from Central Luzon State University.[6][7] He was a researcher for the International Rice Research Institute before moving to Central Philippine University.[8][5]

As an associate professor of agricultural engineering at the Central Philippine University, he received $50,000 and a chronometer from the Rolex company for being included in the five Associate Laureates of the Rolex Award for Enterprise. Belonio was 48 years old when he received the award, and said that he would use the money he received in promoting and disseminating his technology to other people without asking anything in return, by publishing information about the invention[9] and establishing a Center for Rice Husk Technology in Iloilo, Philippines.[10] The actual formal recognition of Belonio by Rolex as the first Filipino Associate Laureate of the Rolex Award was held at The Manila Peninsula in the City of Makati on January 21, 2009.[1]

Rice husk-powered gas stove[edit]


Belonio started work relating to rice husks in 2003, at a time when there were high fuel prices. As an expert, he had already designed thirty devices such as paddy dryers and water pumps which can be used by low-income Filipino farmers. Belonio concentrated on innovating the rice husk oven even though the concept was not a new one, because there was already the so-called Lo Trao from Vietnam. The difference was that Belonio's invention does not produce smoke and has a stable fire without a tar-like residue. Belonio used good engineering and ample ventilation for his stove, which is characterized by a small fan that is powered either by grid electricity or batteries, producing a more efficient burn of the rice husks.[3]

Belonio's first ovens cost $100 (or around 5,000[1]) each, but due to further development and research, he was able to lower the price to $25 (or around ₱1,250[1]) each.[9] The only expected expense for the user of the oven would be 20 cents per day for running the built-in fan inside the stove.[3] The invention is currently being produced by companies in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Cambodia, all cooperating with Belonio's works. According to Belonio his stove would be able to save a family of rice farmers $150 per year in fuel expenses. He also added that a ton of rice husk contains energy equal to 415 liters of petroleum (or 378 liters of kerosene). Belonio's stove lessens toxic fumes and smoke that affect the environment, and reduces greenhouse gases. The burnt remnants of the rice husks can later be used as soil fertilizers or in making small blocks of coal substitute.[9]


Belonio's rice husk stove is a small cylinder equipped with a fan in its base, which provides air during the conversion of rice hulls into gas. It was designed as an apparatus that can be easily operated. Fish can be fried in fifteen minutes using the stove. The stove consumes 2 kilograms of rice husks per hour. It does not produce any smoke, and the burnt rice husks can still be used as coal and also as insulating cement for traditional stoves fueled by wood. Plans for the stove are available free of charge from the internet.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d Sampan, Johanna M. The Filipino Champion, Turning Rice Husks into Treasure Archived 2009-01-31 at the Wayback Machine, The Sunday Times Weekend,, January 25, 2009
  2. ^ Iloilo scientist, professor is first Filipino to win Rolex Award, Filipino Reporter, New York, January 30  – February 5, 2009, page 22.
  3. ^ a b c Telis, Gisela Angela. Rice-powered stove ignites new hope for poor farmers, Innovation, The Christian Science Monitor,, December 3, 2008
  4. ^ Strauss, G. (2016, October 19). This Cooker Uses Rice Husks as a Cheap, Green Fuel Source. National Geographic.
  5. ^ a b "Alexis Belonio: grassroots innovator". Heroes For Better. Western Union Philippines. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  6. ^ "School of Graduate Studies: List of Faculty Members". Central Philippine University. Archived from the original on 1 November 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  7. ^ Belonio, A. T. (2005). Rice Husk Gas Stove Handbook. Appropriate Technology Center. Department of Agricultural Engineering and Environmental Management, College of Agriculture, Central Philippine University, Iloilo City, Philippines.
  8. ^ "Alexis Belonio: Profile". Rolex Awards for Enterprise. Rolex. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  9. ^ a b c Pinoy inventor wins Rolex Award Archived 2009-02-01 at the Wayback Machine,, January 17, 2009
  10. ^ Morales, Neil Jerome C., Filipino inventor to set up rice husk center[permanent dead link], Agribusiness, Vol. XXII, No. 122, BusinessWorld Online,, Manila, Philippines, January 22, 2009
  11. ^ Alexis Belonio - 2008 Associate Laureate Archived 2009-04-23 at the Wayback Machine,, 2008

External links[edit]