InfoSAWIT, BANDUNG – Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) through Teknik Reaksi Kimia dan Katalisis (TRKK) Laboratory (Lab) and Pusat Rekayasa Katalisis (PRK) emphasized that Indonesia should produce its own catalyst, the key element in producing green fuel.
Head of TRKK Lab. ITB , Melia Laniwati Gunawan told that catalyst has crucial roles to develop green fuel namely in conversing vegetable oil to be biodiesel.
Indonesia still imports catalysts, such as, from German, India, China, and the United States of America. She thought, the expensive price, material exclusivity, and the process to make it from the countries could raise issue if there is embargo. “That is why independent catalyst production would be significant for Indonesia,” Melia said, when some journalist visited TRKK Lab ITB, Wednesday (31/1/2024) that InfoSAWIT joined in Bandung.
ITB has successfully developed and produced catalyst with the reactor that could produce up to 40 kilogram (kg) per day. Though it is in process, the hope that the national strategic program would be about constructing catalyst factory in Cikampek, West Java and should be realized.
Melia also emphasized the focus on TRKK and PRK ITB would be about to develop catalyst, palm oil and palm kernel process to be kinds of high value – products. Palm oil gasoline after the research since 1982, was tested to (some) motor cycles from Bandung to Sabang in 2019. Besides, catalyst to clean the dirt in naphtha and fossil diesel, produced bio hydrocarbon diesel which has been successfully tested since 2005.
Hydrotreating catalyst which was developed can converse palm kernel to be bio-kerosene (aviation turbine/avtur). Bioavtur J2.4, the mixture of 2.4 percent bio-kerosene into fossil avtur, was successfully produced and tested by CN235 and Boeing 737-800.
Member of Tim Pengembang Katalis PRK ITB, IGBN Makertiharta told that the catalyst technology development needs further efforts to get commercial scale and to be accepted by the people of Indonesia. “The big potential would open chances for Indonesia as the biggest vegetable fuel producer in the world knowing that this country has many vegetable natural resources,” he said.
The government needs to support by publishing policy that supports smallholders and vegetable fuel production, product acceptance study, market study, life cycle analysis. These would be crucial factors to optimize the research results.
The government partisanship to advantage palm oil as vegetable fuel material would reinforce this sector to encourage energy sustainability and independence in Indonesia. (T2)