by Carmela Isabelle P. Disilio

In a world where toxins lurk around every corner, one inventor is paving the way toward cleaner spaces and a healthier future.

Meet Eleanor M. Olegario, a mother, daughter of a chemical engineer, and a chemical engineer herself who transforms minerals into catalysts for toxin-free water, air, and food storage.


Cultivating abundance amidst barren lands

What started as a familial nudge evolved into a lifelong passion for mineral research and development.

Olegario’s journey began when her father, Elias, stumbled upon natural zeolites–considered rare mineral treasures–amidst barren lands in Pangasinan. This serendipitous discovery ignited Olegario’s curiosity and set her on a path toward excellence in the minerals industry. 

Armed with her father's vision, a formidable education, and a passion for sustainable and healthy living, Olegario pioneered three notable inventions that banked on the optimization of minerals:  the ML Foldable Tank with Zeramic Filter, the Honeycomb air toxin neutralizer, and the Ethylene Gas Grabber (EGG).

A lifeline for water-stressed communities

In areas where access to clean water is a luxury, Olegario saw an opportunity to effect change by inventing the ML Foldable Tank with Zeramic Filter.


Olegario designed the ML Foldable Tank with Zeramic Filter as a portable rainwater harvester to benefit communities in addressing water scarcity. 

This system harvests rainwater from rooftop catchments and utilizes locally abundant zeolite minerals to filter heavy metals, providing clean water for essential uses.  Through collaboration with Manly Plastics and Lithos Manufacturing, Olegario was able to devise a mobile rainwater catcher and filter that can ultimately benefit remote and rural areas affected by water scarcity.


Actual photo of installed Foldable tank photo courtesy of Ms. Oligario.

To date, she has donated units of the foldable tank in the remote communities of Mangatarem, Pangasinan.  This greatly benefitted three elementary schools providing clean water for washing hands, flushing toilets, and watering school gardens. 

Revolutionizing air quality and food preservation

In furthering her innovations on minerals, she invented the Honeycomb air toxin neutralizer which places honeycomb mineral rocks in containers and breathable bags to combat airborne pollutants such as odor, ammonia, and smoke.  These are commonly stored in places that are prone to house air toxins such as comfort rooms, storages, and cars to safeguard respiratory health and well-being.


Honeycomb air toxin neutralizer



As a mother herself, Olegario is aware of the struggles in preserving fresh produce. This inspired her creation of the (EGG) which provided a natural, eco-friendly alternative that absorbs ethylene gas from ripening produce stored in baskets, boxes, and display racks. EGG extends the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, ensuring freshness from farm to table.


Eleanor (middle) holds a sample of the Honeycomb air toxin neutralizer, along with two of her colleagues holding samples of ethylene gas grabber.

More than an inventor – a woman and a solo parent

For Olegario, the intersection of motherhood and STEM has been both a source of strength and a testament to resilience.   Balancing the demands of motherhood with her passion for research presented a unique set of challenges, highlighting the need for greater support for mothers in the science, technology, and innovation (STI) sector.


But despite the challenges, she offers sage advice to aspiring inventors and innovators, especially women hoping to follow in her footsteps: 

"Surround yourself with mentors, advisors, and a supportive network who can offer guidance, feedback, and encouragement along your journey.  Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for help when needed," she stresses.

Setting sights on the Korea International Women’s Invention Exposition

From their promising contributions to addressing societal challenges, all three of Olegario’s inventions will be part of the nine Philippine inventions sent to the Korea International Women’s Invention Exposition (KIWIE) to be held on June 20-22, 2024.

She views this as a grand opportunity to highlight the impact of her homegrown inventions, and potentially seek international collaborations that can further their developments. 

I feel inspired and motivated by the opportunity to network with fellow female inventors and industry professionals, as well as gain recognition for our talents and hard work.  Overall, participating in KIWIE is likely to be a rewarding and empowering experience for me,” stated Olegario.

** This article is part of the "Stirring the Future Solutions" campaign for the participants of the 2024 Korea International Women's Invention Exhibition (KIWIE). For more information and event updates, visit the DOST-TAPI website at