Bensin Sawit (Bensa) Develops Successfully

Bensin Sawit (Bensa) Develops Successfully

InfoSAWIT, BANDUNG — Pusat Rekayasa Katalis, Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) in cooperation with Palm Oil Plantation Fund Management Agency (PFMA) successfully developed catalyst technology and developed project unit of bio hydro carbon gasoline in palm oil – base.

Fuel production demo called bensa (bensin sawit) was held on 11 January 2022 at Workshop PT Pura Engineering, Kudus, Central Java. It was tested to two and four vehicles. The outcome, bensa could operate well as the fuel.

The demo conversed industrial vegetable oil (IVO) to be bensa by cracking that Pusat Rekayasa Katalisis ITB (PRK ITB), Laboratorium Teknik Reaksi Kimia dan Katalis ITB (LTRKK ITB), Program studi Teknik Bioenergi dan Kemurgi (TBE) conducted and led by Prof. Dr. Subagjo. IVO conversion to be bensa was done in reactor using catalyst in zeolite - base which PRK ITB and LTRKK ITB developed.

Melia Laniwati Gunawan from KK Teknologi Reaksi Kimia dan Katalis - FTI , the member of Katalis Merah Putih said, her side tries to process crude palm oil to be IVO. The demo unit in 6-7 tons scale per hour was developed in District of Musi Banyuasin (Muba), South Sumatera Province.

She also mentioned, IVO was used as the material to produce bensa in the pilot project. The IVO conversion needed catalysator and reactor to produce catalyst. “By the fund from PFMA, we also have one reactor unit to produce catalyst with 40 – 50 kilogram - capacity per batch at Kampus ITB Ganesa,” Melia said in the official statement of ITB page.

Bensa has research octane number (RON) 105-112, the highest ones. She continued that the product can be mixed to naphtha from fossil oil. It has octane 70-80, and if mixed by certain numbers, there will be bensa with RON 93. “That was the demonstration in the workshop,” she said.

For the successful demonstration and test of bensa, in the future it needs to optimize production capacity and reactor. The institution will have detail engineering design (DED). And after that, there would be big scale production unit that ITB will produce with catalyst.

“We do hope, the production unit could be around smallholders’ palm oil plantations so that they will use bensa for their vehicles. By this, the government (PT. Pertamina will be easier to supply fuel up to the remote areas,” she mentioned. (T2)