Wat(er) Way to Drive Your Vehicle

July 25, 2009 
His Mercedez Benz parked in front of the garage in Padil is the clue he had given me and I reached there without any difficulty.  He greeted me on reaching there and went about his work of dusting off some parts of machinery in the garage for some time not wanting to put an abrupt end to what he was doing.  With his long grey locks and equally long silken creamy beard I initially mistook him for a cleric.  But 72-year-old Ben Rodrigues is no cleric and my doubt was soon cleared as he introduced himself and ushered me to his work place. In the course of the next 60 minutes it was the life story of his struggle, the difficulties he faced, the hard work he has put in, trial and error methods he has experimented etc., unfolded in front of me to give me a glimpse of his obsession in finding an alternative system of energy that can also be environment friendly. 

Yes, for 40 years Ben has single-handedly worked with unflinching devotion to innovate a machine – RBF OTTO TECH (REOTECH), a fuel conservation and pollution management device, which has the capacity to save one billion tons of fuel for an eight hour operation of an automobile in a day. In the process he has spent about Rs 2 crore in its invention. That’s not all. This device can cut down one million tons of exhaust emission for the same hour operation. It is highly economical and can help cut down global warming effect up to 90 per cent. 

Ben’s relentless quest for finding a perfect device was ready a few months ago and he is now trying to get it patented. He has fitted this device in his 1963 model Mercedes Benz, improving its fuel efficiency from 12 km per litre to 40 km per litre, a quantum jump of over 300%. But he is not promising the moon to anyone and claims only a 50 to 100 per cent increase in the fuel efficiency under normal conditions and reduction of emissions of carbon-heat and noise down to 90 per cent.  By doing this he wants to convey a message that all efforts should be made to reduce global warming and make the earth a liveable place to all. 

Grit and Determination

Ben Rodrigues is a gritty man who never gave up his passion for inventing his dream machine despite grave hurdles in his way. But it is yet to fructify in the true sense that patenting requires spending about Rs 6 lacs specially for getting certificate from Auto Research Institute of India, for which he is in the lookout for a sponsor.  Considering the usefulness of his new device he expects that he might get a reliable sponsor for it.   Still he is keeping his fingers crossed.  But his eyes indicate the same resoluteness which has seen him through the four decades of life which has witnessed many ups and downs. 

Ben had his education from Padua High School, Mangalore.  He followed it up with an apprenticeship from Canara Workshop in 1953-54.  After a brief stint in Mumbai where he worked for Bombay Electricity and State Transport (BEST) as a technician, he joined Indian army as a trainee in 1960.  After the Chinese aggression he left the army and joined TELCO in Jamshedpur before settling with his own tractor service form in firm in Shimoga in 1969.  He handed over the same to his nephew and came back to Mangalore in 1972 to start his fuel injection service system.  He shifted to Baikampady in 1996 with the intention of expanding his business.  He had taken loan from KSFC and was financially broken having paid back huge sums in terms of interest alone.  He sold his land property in Baikampady and settled all his dues and shifted to Padil in 2006 having left with only tools and equipments.   Here he started working on the fuel conservation and pollution management project and innovated RBF Auto Hydrogenics and Global Eco Tech Asset named Reotech.  

How the System Works

Reotech is an apparatus that can work in all types of petrol, diesel or farmable gases to absorb the greenhouse emissions (GHGs) exhausted by the engine like heat, carbon and unburnt fuel molecules. The emitted GHGs mix with water hydrogenically, transmitting the Water Greenhouse Gas (WGHGs) on to the combustion chamber of the same engine. When WGHGs consisting of water molecules along with carbon and unburnt fuel enter into the chamber and mix with regularly charged fuel, combustion efficiency increases because water molecules break into hydrogen and oxygen and hydrogen being highly flammable helps to increase heat in the combustion chamber to burn carbon completely and optimize combustion. This improves fuel efficiency by 50 to 100%. 

Reotech works with water to absorb the emission and recycles the same at a very affordable rate. It requires only 100 ml of water per horse-power of engine capacity and 1 litre of fuel consumption. It can be fitted in every make, type, power capacity and fuel system of the automotives operating on road, air and water. The weight of the smallest unit will be 500 gm. While the minimum investment is Rs 5000, cost of the device depends on the horse power of the engine, at the rate of Rs 500 per horse power. For example fixing the device in an 800 cc Maruti with a horse power of 80 may cost about Rs 40,000 including fabrication of the unit, fitment, tune up and certification.     
The device comprises water container, exhaust-in-and-out pipes, carbon filter, and heat and water censor and pipe connections to recycle the greenhouse gases into transmittable water greenhouse gases to the combustion chamber of the engine. The apparatus is locally made, doesn’t require import license and is made from locally available materials. The system is fitted in between the inlet and exhaust manifolds of the engine, without changing any part of its parts. While the device is permanent it needs tuning up every 10,000 km. The process of fitting for all types of vehicles takes a maximum of 4 hours for fitment and tune up may depend on the condition of the vehicle. 

The censor buzzing will indicate the water level in the vehicle but no harm will be done if the water gets dried up. Though hydrogen is highly flammable element, in this device hydrogen is produced and consumed instantaneously within the combustion chamber and hence there is no danger or transfer of hydrogen outside.  It is absolutely safe.

Government Apathy

Though Ben approached the government of India for permission in 1976 it took nearly 16 years for the concerned government departments to recommend the same to the United Nations. Now to implement this project Ben has decided to form an association of eco-economic thinkers. A base workshop and training centre needs to be set up in Mangalore that involves a cost of Rs 2-7 crore. Former minister Oscar Fernandes recently tested his technology and promised full cooperation. Ben cannot put his technology to use unless he gets the nod from the government.

“The technology dates back to early 1930’s but was lost in translation due to unknown reasons. In 1967 information about this technology was published in papers, which is my primary learning source. I have collected information and worked on this project ever since,” he reveals, speaking to Daijiworld. 
Despite age catching up, Ben exhibits a rare zest towards his passion of redeeming the planet earth from the harmful gases and reducing our dependency on oil. It is high time adequate and timely action is taken to promote people like Ben who are driven by the pivotal objective of doing something good for the environment we live in. 

Ben  Rodrigues can be contacted at:

White Rose Complex
Padil, Perla Post
Mangalore - 575 007

Tel:  0824 -  2277979  (office), 0824 - 2435114  (res)

Florine Roche - Archives:

By Florine Roche<BR>Pics by Prajwal Ukkuda
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Comment on this article

  • Vincent, Kadri

    Mon, Aug 24 2009

    There is some where some thing missing otherwise Mr. Ben Rodrigues would have patented his invention and would have been successful in launching his product. If he could spend Rs. 2 Crores on invention as mentioned I don''t understand why he could not afford to spend another Rs. 6 lakhs for patenting and testing.

    It only cost Rs. 1,000 to patent at Indian Patent Office as Govt. Fees. Ramar Pillai also got exposed by media with his apparatus works on herbal fuel but he was prisoned after he was caught as he was playing magicians role by using the fuel stored in the internal pipe connected with the wick fixed through the wax in his apparatus. There is one person called Govindsmamy aged 72 years who also claimed that he has made a power generator which do not require any fuel instead it will start with battery and shall produce 5 times energy so that one fifth energy is provided to operate the motor to drive and 4 part energy could be used for lighting, fan etc.

    Govindswamy was stating that Reddy''s of Bellary Mines have approached him with Rs. 20 Cr. Finally when the unit was tested by experts it produced only 2.5 Amps power whereas it was consuming 24 Amps and the unit was operating only from the charged battery. Therefore Govindswamy was informing in advance that he can operate the unit only for 15 minutes as it gets heated and need to be standardised. I wish Mr. Ben Rodrigues all the best and advise him to get his unit tested by authorised testing agency.

  • Vincent, Goa

    Sun, Aug 02 2009

    There is already a "free patent" registered online at freepatentsonline at www.freepatentsonline.com/6279555.html Patent No. 6279555 Please review and post comments. The system looks quite viable and logical apart from the "hydrogen" part of it.

  • N Shetty, USa

    Sat, Aug 01 2009

    If this true , I can sponser the money required, I am curious if his technology works or not

  • Christopher D Cunha, Mangalore/Abu Dhabi

    Thu, Jul 30 2009

    We should remember the CRAB story “If one crab tries to climb the bucket and get out, the other crab tries to pull it down” I wonder with 2crore rupees investment over the period of 35 years why Mr.Ben Rodrigues is all alone fighting for his dream to realize? God forbids if something happens to Mr.Ben Rodrigues who will lead the noble invention of the century? Is oil mafia is behind the delay in putting the system in operation?

  • rajesh fernandes, raj@yahoo.com

    Wed, Jul 29 2009

    Your work looks really interesting

  • Jerome, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 28 2009

    All problems of pollution and fuel will solve on the day hydrogen generation from water(H2O) and used as fuel.

  • A.D''Cunah Shenoy, Mangaluru

    Mon, Jul 27 2009

    Dear Florine, Very interesting article and exposure to Ben. Is it possible for Mr. Ben to approach (after patenting) Tatas so that it can be put to use. Alternatively Can NRIs fund this worthwhile project- Made in India technology to save the earth. Also approaching the Minister of Industry and reasearch and Technology would be worth a while.

  • Mahesh, Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 27 2009

    Some people have doubted Bens invention. No body ever imagined 20 yrs ago that we will have a device called mobile phone.Similarly,the invention of Ben can not be doubted.

  • george borromeo, angelore, mangalore

    Mon, Jul 27 2009

    I happened to meet Mr. Ben Rodrigues in 1987, when i was working for Karnataka Agency, opposite Fathima Retreat house, jeppu, mangalore. Then he was our neighbor.He is a hard working person and he was commited to his work.Initially I could not recognise him due to his over flowing hair and beard. I do not know much about the combustion theory, however practically if he is able to prove "more mileage along with minimum emission", then it is great. I wish him all the best.

  • Ronald Peter Almeida, Brahmavar

    Mon, Jul 27 2009

    I''m skeptical about the technology though I know nothing of it. It''s so easy to get help internationally today without depending on the Indian govt. if the technology is really worthwhile.

  • jimwhenry, california

    Sun, Jul 26 2009

    Generally, trade-in vehicles must get 18 or less MPG (some very large pick-up trucks and cargo vans have different requirements)

  • Vijay, Bangalore

    Sun, Jul 26 2009

    All the best to you sir, will pray for your success.

  • chandru, Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 27 2009

    Nice article... interesting  The younger generation has a lot to study...lot to understand..

  • Godwin D''Souza, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Sun, Jul 26 2009

    Dear James,Mumbai For your information it is possible for water to split into oxygen and hydrogen and it is old technology hidden by the Oil and Gas lobby in the world. try this web site http://water4gas.com/, http://www.auto-facts.org/water4gas-scam.html for information of all. even kits are available, but the one in mangalore is different

  • Padmanabha Shenoy, Udupi / Saudi Arabia

    Sun, Jul 26 2009

    Dear Mr. Ben, Some one praises you, Some one doubts about your technology in the comments. But I am sure now after reading this in daijiworld one or other company will approch you to get patent. You will be successful and May God bless you...

  • Mohammad Shafeiq, Dammam/ Brahmavar, 00966569193025

    Sun, Jul 26 2009

    Dear Mr. Ben, This article about the increase of vehicle milage is nice to read... and I really respect and appriciate your research work. I would like you to clarify the following points. The increse in efficiency could be due to recovery of thermal energy lost in the tail pipe. normally the Thermal effeciency of an Engine is below 30%, means out of 100ml petrol consumed only 30ml is converted into useful work and 70% is wasted due to several reasons. Hope this invension helps the engine to recover some part of energy lost. As per Hydrogen is concirned, the article is taking us to some mistry, becouse exctraction of hydrogen from water requires huge amount of energy, this is over 100 times more than what we can get from burning the same amount of hydrogen. Also the flame front speed of hydrogen is 5 times faster than regular petrol. inorder to burn hydrogen oxygen mixture in existing combustion chamber of the petrol engine is nearly impossible. This might be possible with major engine redesign. Also Air-Fuel mixture ratio for Hydrogen and Petrol is different, It is not possible to burn both fuels with same tuning. Looking forward for your response.

  • James, Mumbai

    Sun, Jul 26 2009

    For your information it is impossible for water to split into oxygen and hydrogen in the cylinder.

  • Clement D Costa/Leena D costa, Manglore/Mumbai

    Sun, Jul 26 2009

    Mr Ben,One of the most excellent technology, I have come across which is environment and global friendly, I wish and pray you have a sponcer very soon and get rid of this carbon exhaust so as to make this place a better and more greener place to live in, My very best to you and to all the hard work you have put in,Will try to meet you in person when I am in manglore,Thanks to daijiworld for publising this article,

  • Charles D''Mello, Pangala

    Sun, Jul 26 2009

    Although good invention, our Indian motor manufacturers do not support or want to improve their engines. Daijiworld readers please read another our Karnataka hero pioneer in engine design and having U.S Patent, could not do anything great, as no one supported.Please go to this web site, http://www.rexresearch.com/singh/singh.htm.

  • barbosa dcunha, Padil

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    A few years back we had ramar Pillai who claimed to extract oil from organic matter. some of the claims in this article are beyond belief. The world is far advanced to fall for it and whoever puts this article is requested to get it reviewed at our IITs or RECs before publishing.

  • a.v.a, blore

    Sun, Jul 26 2009

    There have been similar great inventions and patents sought but I think these inventions are too good to be true therefore not back by entrepreneurs. Hope business people within the community come forward to market this product. People like Ben should even start Training Institutes and help budding youngsters build up their careers

  • Max & Jessie Rasquinha, Mangalore/Houston, Tx

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    Thanks, Ms.Florine Roche, for your inspiring write-up on Mr. Ben Rodgrigues and his creative ideas on his technology. The time is fully ripe for Ben Rodrigues to be more aggressive in patenting his technololgy and seek various Venture Capitalists within and outside India to look into his project. In this time of energy conservation and environmental protection, any idea blossomed in India is worth concentrating. I have forwarded your article to the International Institute for Public Policy in Mangalore so that they may be able to communicate with Ben and see how they can be of any further service. We do not have to go in search of his Mercedes Benz, but we are sure his name and fame added with his intellectual personality is all around Padil and beyond. Best of luck to you, Florine, for taking such initiatives that will help India and the Indians in enhancing their innovative plans and programs for the future.

  • Steevan Misquith, Manipal/Kuwait

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    Dear Mr. Ben Rodrigues, Its nice to see you and read about your invention on daijiworld.com. I wish you all the best. Ex-employee of RBF Diesel Mechanics - Steevan Misquith, Kuwait

  • RAGHUCHANDRA, mangalore

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    Great news but could you pls elaborate the process. IC engines require flamable liquid/gas to ignite How water is converted and processed to assist combustion. If you have found the formula pls share with your automotive professional. Best of luck.

  • Charles D''Mello, Pangala

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    Great invention, if the mileage of his Mercedes has increased from 12Km to 40 Km per litre, without any loss of power, then it is really great. I dont think such an invention will have difficulty in getting sponsors.

  • taz, mangalore/dubai

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    Sir realy a excellent work... i wish u best of luck...

  • Ronnie, Kinnigoli/Canada

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    Interesting but fail to understand why such a simple phenomenon is not exploited by auto giants like GM, Ford, Mercedes, BMW, Honda, Toyota etc.?? not convinced about the splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen in the cylinder.

  • Antony Pereira, Bejai, Mangalore.

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    Hi Ben Rodrigues keep it up. I appreciate your interest, patience and invention of a global freindly Reotech apparatus at this age ! Great Job. If your appratus is fitting in the modern technology & if it is global friendly, I am sure soon you will get a sponsor. Let your hard work will be rewarded. Wishing you all the very best.

  • Raymond D''Souza, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    Sir, Why dont you approach some leading automobile manufacturers and sell your technology to them before the same is lost again.

  • vicky, mangalore/dubai

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    thanks to Ben uncle for working hard to this new invention. i hope he gets all the support & encouragement he deserves. thanks Daiji.

  • Godwin D''Souza, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    Could Daijee world post the contact numbers and location which would be excellent as one can never say as sponsor may pop up from any where .

  • Jawar D''Souza, M''Lore/Doha

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    Great work from Mr.Ben keep it up, any thing which will help save fuel and envoirenment friendly is a god move. We need to find something in case we run out of oil. Solar energy ,Battery run vehicles,etc etc.Keep up the good work.

  • Sheikh M. Ali, Karkala

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    Please informe me if there is any further devlopement and govt. approval so that I can introduce in my vehicle.

  • Rajendra, Udupi

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    Good Invention Thanks Daiji World

  • D.M.D''Souza, Bantwal

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    I''m sure this is not like Ramar Pillai''s herbal petrol. He needs a lot of encouragement and help from all the authorities so all the world can look upto India to save the planet earth, by reducing the carbon exhaust, there by reducing the temperature of this planet. Jai Green Planet.

  • shaila, udupi

    Sat, Jul 25 2009

    Mr.Ben,really excellent technology, please go forward, i wish all the people who are  working on GO FOR GREEN theory should come together and make this technology successful. If it is successful, its  another feather in the cap of India, Best of luck Ben uncle,.

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