iden dan +62 21 786 7222
Universitas Indonesia > News > Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences News > New Renewable Energy (NRE) Made from Organic Waste: Innovation of FMNS UI Students

Various innovations to find alternative solutions for the environmentally friendly New and Renewable Energy (NRE) sources in order to reduce the use of fossil energy are continuously pursued by many scientists and technology experts. This is because the use of fossil fuels has caused various global problems that have and will further affect human survivability, both in terms of energy and ecosystem security.

One of the impacts on the environment is an increase in emissions of combustion gases (pollutants) that cause greenhouse gas effects and affect air quality. In addition, fossil energy has limited reserves, and cannot be renewed.

With this facts in mind, the 2018 student team from the Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Universitas Indonesia (FMNS UI), consisted of Ermita Rizki Umaya, Balqis Jihaan Nabila Budi, Margaretta Elsa Damayanti, Nalia Atalla Ramadhieni, and Syahira Andini, was driven to produce a new and renewable energy innovation based on organic waste from watercress plants (Pistia stratiotes) to tackle this problem.

Under the guidance of Saifudin, M.Sc., the team presented ideas entitled Utilization of Pistia stratiotes L. Biogas As Renewable Energy Source into a scientific paperwhich was also presented in the form of attractive posters and videos with visual content that is easy for the public to understand. Saifudin said that an alternative approach in the form of renewable energy could be a solution, one of which is by using biogas from plant biomass, such as Pistia stratiotes.

The hemicellulose content of P. stratiotes acts as a substrate in the fermentation process, resulting in the production of methane gas (CH4), which is known to be the main component of biogas. Since 1980 until now, according to him, research related to biogas production using P. stratiotes has undergone various developments regarding its potential and production methods. However, there was an information gap regarding which method is the best, and its application in the community landscape.

“Our research is in the form of a reviewof previous studies and aims to obtain sufficient information for the application of P. stratiotes in biogas production on a large scale,” said Saifudin. The lecturer with botanical expertise explained that the formation of biogas using P. stratiotes as a base material begins with pre-treatment to remove impurities.

Next, the anaerobic digestion process is carried out which is a series of fermentation processes. This process can be carried out with a variety of methods, namely batch, continuous, photofermentation, separate hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF), and semi-batch. These processes will produce the main product of biogas, namely methane gas (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), and other by-products.

“Among the five methods, the team concluded that semi-batch is the best method for producing biogas for large-scale applications. In addition to being applicable, we assessed that the semi-batch method can fulfill the economic value so that it does not burden the community when later the gas produced is ready to be distributed,” he said.

The team then brought this brilliant idea to the international event “Paper Competition MARS9” organized by Yogyakarta State University (Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta). This innovation led this team to step into the final round with the winner’s decision being determined on May 20, 2022. In the final it was announced that the idea of the FMNS UI Team won the Best Poster award.

“After passing the previous two stages, namely abstract and full paper selection, the team managed to enter the final stage with assessment content in the form of making posters and videos. One of the criteria for selecting the winner is the number of likes and comments on posters on social media (via the committee’s Instagram account @mars9official), the final result decided that our team won the Best Poster award,” said Saifudin.

Dean of FMNS UI Dede Djuhana, Ph.D., said he was proud and expressed his appreciation. He hopes that the innovation of the FMNS UI team can be developed to support government programs in maintaining energy security and sustainability in Indonesia, so that national energy independence and security can be realized.

“The achievements and hard work of the FMNS UI team certainly deserves to be appreciated. The team’s innovation proves that a number of alternative energies are in fact very close to the average human life. However, this innovation needs to continue to be developed so that the utilization of this sustainable energy source runs optimally, and becomes a contribution in helping the government meet the national target to accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy,” said Dede.

Related Posts