Smells like innovative spirit: Chips and his ‘frying’ vehicles



WHAT’S COOKING ON THE ROAD? Samuel Guevara and one of his veggie oil-powered vehicles that bear his trademark bumper sticker. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

The next time you smell fried chicken on the street, it may not be from a nearby restaurant but from the exhaust pipe of a vehicle driving past.

Mechanical engineer Samuel “Chips” Guevara said he had tinkered with some 30 vehicles, including trucks, to make them run on ordinary cooking oil.

In a recent interview in Quezon City, he said his own 20-year-old Mitsubishi Pajero, for example, runs on used oil—a technological feat advertised by a bumper sticker that reads: “Amoy Prito (smells like something fried).”

“The exhaust really smells like something’s frying, and it’s all because of the used vegetable oil,” said the 35-year-old Guevara, who runs AlterEnergy Systems Inc., a Makati City-based firm which promotes used cooking oil as an alternative motoring fuel.

He converted his Pajero using his patented conversion kit called the “Veggie Oil Car System” which allows diesel engines to run on vegetable oil.

The P35,000 kit basically raises the temperature of the veggie oil for it to become combustible, he explained.


The idea for the kit came from a similar technology he discovered in Boston, where he bought a sample kit in 2006 and gave it his own twists and spins.

For his creations, he currently gets his supply of used oil from hotels and restaurants, and removes its impurities through filters.

Earlier, Guevara tried to convince jeepney drivers in Makati City to adopt his system for its environmental and cost-saving benefits. “Unfortunately, I did not have much luck with it. The drivers were afraid of taking a risk and had some misconceptions,” he recalled with a chuckle.

He has since moved on to promoting his advocacy to private vehicle owners, some of whom were impressed. Since 2007, his company has converted around 30 vehicles, including Mercedes Benzes, Pajeros, Ford Rangers, Toyota Land Cruisers and trucks.

Guevara was at the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman on March 7 to take part in a fair sponsored by the One Liter of Light project and the UP Junior Marketing Association.

“Hopefully, jeepney drivers will be more open to the idea. I know the technology will catch on some day, so why not begin it with those who may need it most?” he said.

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  • indiosbravos2002

    This is good, environment friendly, probably at face value cheap and economical. however, is it sustainable? If he were able to convert all the diesel PUJs in Makati to his kit, where will he get all the cheap used cooking oil to run these engines on a daily basis.

  • chiquiny

    of course all diesel engines will run with veggie oil, but it will damage the injection pump, it will cost more in the long run replacing the injection pump more often, veggie oil are not capable on lubricating the pumps mechanism, im not impress to this wannabe inventor.

    • disqus_ngwHYSatjD

      not really, Modern diesels like the CDI and CRDIs on most vehicles won’t work,but older diesels will. it doesen’t damage the injection pump (IP) and injectors, but requires servicing, there’s a diesel purge can be purchased out there that doesn;t require IP pump and injector removal. If the vehicle feels sluggish than usual, you can mix with PD (petrol diesel) with WVO.

  • Brownfly

    If more old vehicles run the streets, the more that traffic congestion is expected to cause so much traffic along the roads in Metro Manila and other cities. On the one hand, it is another way of letting the oil companies feel that there are effective ways to minimize gasoline costs like using used veggie oils from restaurants.

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      Dont’ Hold your breath. I don;t think your local restaurant can sustain your demand on used cooking oil.

      • regie

        eh di yung cooking oil na ginagamit natin sa bahay eh yun ang iimbak tapos gamitin …please let us encourage the guy para naman di na tayo masyadong nasasakal ng mga ” DAMBUHALANG OIL COMPANY”

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    This is not new. Hopefully he won’t be sued by the original inventor.

  • buttones

    Not a new idea, it’s years old- there is no mention of performance? I doubt there is enough used oil supply anyway, but a cute read- MacDonald’s drive through takes on a whole new meaning – “ You want fries with that AND a fill up?”

    • regie

      pinoys always th cynical….meron na ngang magandang idea para makatulong eh yung kapulaan pa rin ang nakikita. siguro talagang believer lang ang pinoy ng gestalt theory at nung tinatawag nating ” half filled glass”

      • buttones

        It’s not really a question of being cynical or pessimistic or even Filipino is it, it was a comment on the idea not being new, a question of performance and the availability of used oil, others commented on more technical drawbacks…

        The better idea would be to wait for the outcome of ongoing research by Filipino/ German and US scientists using coconut to produce a fuel, which does not entail engine conversion at all.. I’m optimistic about that one, but pessimistic on the availability of raw materials on the basis that our coconut industry has been neglected and 30% of our trees are non productive and it takes eight years to grow a tree. So there you are, half a glass empty and half a glass full….

  • pugadlawin

    Of course NOT new!
    The point is..he is the only one I know who tried in Pinas, and that’s what counts.
    Hindi pareho sa karamihan sa atin, puro ideas, walang gawa.

    • huseng_batute


      Matalino ang mga Pinoy. Comparable sa talino ng mga Hapon. Pero bakit ang daming invention sa kanila? Kasi sa kanila OK lang ang maging “baliw” at sumubok ng kung anu-anong ideas.

      Dito sa atin may gawin kang kakaiba, panay paninira ang maririnig mo sa mga tao. Kesyo hindi original, papalpak, etc, etc. Lahat ng klaseng kasiraan sasabihin.

      At least yung “wanabe” inventor may ginagawa, hindi katulad ng iba na nakatutok lang sa latest na tsismis tungkol sa peborit nilang artista.

  • regie

    kung totoo ito malaking impact ito laban sa global warming at malaking tulong ito sa clean air act. dapat ito ay bigyan ng funding ng gobyerno kasi nakasaad dun ang promotion ng clean environment. dpat ,aging active participant ang state dito at wag payagang iprevent ito ng lobby ng mga DAMBUHALANG OIL COMPANY. paging atty. oposa baka naman pwedng tulungan niyo ang mamang ito para naman may saysay ang oposa vs. factoran natin dyan…..

  • disqus_ngwHYSatjD

    his fuel was straight WVO (waste veggie oil), it means the oil he got from restaurants and hotels went straight into his pajero’s tank,(filtering the oil first), the downside is, the oil will gel or solidify of course it will not start, that’s why there’s heater in the tank or wrapped on the fuel lines and the heater requires a lot of juice so alternator and battery has to be modified as well.. If I were him, I’d rather run Biodiesel, it’s hard to make one at first but, it doesn’t gel unlike WVO so heater is not required. Petrol diesel (PD) has more heating value (thermal heat per weight about 15,000 Btu/lb) than biodiesel and WVO is lower than biodiesel. Because of this, solution is mixing PD with WVO or biodiesel (mostly about 40/60 mix) will improve fuel mileage and performance.

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