Palm Oil for Polymer Industries: More Environmental

Palm Oil for Polymer Industries: More Environmental

InfoSAWIT, SERPONG – In the recent days, Chief in duty of Organisasi Riset Ilmu Pengetahuan Teknik (OR IPT) Badan Riset dan Inovasi Nasional (BRIN), Agus Haryono was inaugurated as the 627th professor researcher at Pengukuhan Profesor Riset by the late December 2021.

The researcher in macromolecule chemical field was inaugurated with three researchers, they were, Irtanto of East Java Research and Development (R&D), Siswanto of Humanities Science Research Organization (Organisasi Riset Ilmu Pengetahuan Humaniora), and Muhammad Rokhis Khomaruddin of Aviation and Space Research Organization (Organisasi Riset Penerbangan dan Antariksa).

In his oration “Modifikasi Struktur Makromolekul untuk Optimalisasi Sifat Mekanik dan Termal pada Kemasan Ramah Lingkungan Berbasis Bioplasticizer Turunan Kelapa Sawit”, Agus Haryono described about polymer use and development from renewable and environmental resources, which is about to be applied as material for polymer industries.

His background researching it is because our environmental is in danger with plastic wastes. Conventional plastic wastes made of petro-chemical are difficult or take hundreds of years to be degradable. That is why it needs environmental materials.

“It could solve to major issues by advantaging material in palm oil – base; the first is environmental issues that have something to do with wastes and reduction of substitution material from fossil material. The two major issues lead to get alternative materials in renewable, biodegradable, and environmental resources,” he said as in the official page of BRIN.

Agus also explained, one material of bio-polymer is crude palm oil (CPO) from palm oil. Indonesia is the biggest palm oil producer in the globe. But is gets cheaper in international trade for years. “That is why, it needs to develop palm oil downstream industries to increase economic added values,” he said.

By modifying chemical structures into macromolecule compound, it could increase potential advantages to many palm oil components to be more functional, such as, environmental packaging for man’s health. He did it by modifying plasticizer molecule structures to get more optimally mechanic and thermal characteristics. “Environmental bio-plasticizer innovation will help palm oil downstream industries,” Agus said.

He developed ester compound as un-toxic bio-plasticizer from palm oil. It was from esterification process between alcohol and fatty acid from palm oil by using acid catalyst and got bio-plasticizer. Optimization of each process ran for every synthesized ester, tested each characteristic of ester. Bio-plasticizer designs chosen are diester plasticizer. “This kind of plasticizer is chosen because the chemical structures and polarity characteristic have the same appearance with plasticizer chemical structure, phthalates, and commercial dukes,” he said. (T2)