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Scientists develop rubber seeds for alternative energy in Palangkaraya

Palangkaraya, Ekuatorial – Scientists said on Monday (26/1) that they have succeeded to develop rubber tree seeds as alternative energy to fossil fuel, in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan.

Center for International Cooperation in Sustainable Management of Tropical Peatland (Cimtrop), of Palangkaraya University in cooperation with Netherlands’ University of Groningen (RUG) have launched their preliminary demonstration on producing bio-diesel from rubber seeds which are commonly found in the province but ignored for its alternative energy potential.

“We have been researching for four years ago and have only been cooperating with Palangkaraya University for last two years, ” said Ad de Leeuw, a Dutch scientist to journalists with fluent Indonesian at the demonstration event.

Explaining on the process, Leeuw said that rubber seeds were dried at 60 degree Celsius temperature for 24 hours just using simple oven. They will be dried until the water level had reached six percent. Then, they will be put into plastic bags and stored in barrels for eight months.

After they were ready, he said all seeds were pressed using Olprintz, a specific drilling machine made from Netherlands. The machine was brought to Palangkaraya and tested at Cimtrop. As a result, the machine was able to produce rubber seed oil with 2.5 liter per hour capacity. Furthermore, he said that next step was to convert the oil into bio solar.

The conversion process of Pure Palm Oil (PPO) into bio solar consists of several steps, which are first, ‘settling’ water and dirt to the bottom. Then, clean PPO through three filters size 25, 10 and 5 microns. Mix the oil with methoxide at 60 degree Celsius temperature followed by settling the mix until bio-diesel seen at the top and glycerine seen at the bottom. The last process is to clean it with water and wind from remaining methanol to make pure bio-diesel.

Though they have managed to fire up diesel with the oil, Leeuw said that they have yet to predict emission released. Nevertheless, he said that the oil had passed qualification for high quality energy based on Germany’s standard.

Head of Cimtrop, Suwindo H. Limin said that the cooperation was not part of memorandum of understanding between two institutions and was initiated by Ad de Leeuw and Erwin Wilbers. “But, as this research is very important for people, especially in Central Kalimantan. Then, we are ready to serve and cooperate [with them] for the research,” said Limin.Maturidi

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