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Not even the COVID-19 pandemic could stop young investors to discover and create things with the goal of making lives easier and sustainable. 

One of them is this year’s Dyson James Award PH winner Mark Kennedy Bantugon with his entry, Pili Seals. 

Mark Kennedy Bantugon

Mark Kennedy Bantugon

From the product name itself, Pili Seal is a sustainable sealant for aircraft integral fuel tanks to prevent fuel leakages. Unlike commercially available aviation sealants, Pili Seal is made from waste material particularly from Pili tree tesin which is otherwise known as “spent resin” or “de-oiled resin.”

In an interview with the members of the media, Kennedy shares that his experience working in an aviation company and his father’s background as a farmer are what gave him the idea to create this winning invention. 

“I was struck by the lack of options to effective and sustainably-produced sealants in the aviation industry and thought there should be a way around. Pili Seal pioneers the study of upcycling waste materials for production of aviation sealant,” he says. “Through my invention, I hope to inject a new perspective that beneficial and sustainable usage can be found from waste materials. I hope this will inspire greater innovation in global aviation, while empowering the livelihoods of local Filipino farmers through new streams of income.” 

Mixing the Base and Hardener Material of the Pili Seal since it is a two-component sealant

To assure the quality of safety of his invention, Kennedy let it undergo 20 property tests from various companies and testing centers, where it showed exemplary results. 

In terms of application, performance, and efficacy, Pili Seal is found to have exceeded data results of commercial sealants from over 20 property tests ranging from physical, chemical, mechanical, thermal, rheological. Apart from its exceptional property results, and unlike commercial sealants, Pili Seal also offers safe and non-toxic effects to day-to-day users like aircraft mechanics and technicians.

Kennedy tells MB Life that it took him a year to finish his entry for the James Dyson competition. He also aims to further study and maximize the application of the sealant to other relevant industries such as the land and water transportation, constructions, buildings, wood or in metal sheet roof application. He plans to use this innovation as a gateway to locally develop aviation sealants in the Philippines and hopes to establish an ecosystem to help local Filipino farmers generate income opportunities based on upcycling and utilizing resin waste of Pili trees.

The Pili Tree Resin is an oleoresin which consists of resin and essential oils

Kennedy and the runners-up of the competition are moving up to the international stage of the James Dyson Award. 

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