Pertamina University researchers turn coconut pulp into biodiesel

Pertamina University research team conducts research on the utilisation of coconut pulp as a biofuel mixture that can be used in making biodiesel. (Source: Pertamina University)

Jakarta – A research team from Pertamina University’s Environmental Engineering Study Program is researching the use of coconut pulp as a biofuel that can be used in making biodiesel. The research aims to increase the variety of biomass for biodiesel blends, in accordance with the Mandatory Biodiesel Program that has been implemented by the government since 2014.

The research team consists of I Wayan Koko Suryawan and Ariyanti Sarwono, assisted by several students. According to Wayan, the focus of the research is using coconut pulp from the processing of coconut milk products.

“A small portion of the pulp is usually processed into animal feed, while the rest is thrown away. If left unattended, the waste can pollute groundwater sources and cause foul odours,” Suryawan said in a written release.

According to the research, coconut pulp has the potential to be processed into biodiesel. The reason is that coconut pulp still has coconut oil content of around 15-24 percent of its weight.

Based on the results of a survey conducted by the Pertamina University research team to several traditional grated coconut sellers, the average number of coconuts grated in one day is 124 grains or around 49.6 kg. From that amount, 48 kg of grated coconut can be produced and the average pulp discarded in one day is 20 kg.

“Based on our calculations, 20 kg of coconut pulp can produce 3.04 litres of biofuel. If it has been processed into biodiesel, it can be reused as fuel for coconut shredding machines to replace gasoline,” he added.

With reutilisation, this coconut pulp-based biodiesel option is a good choice for shredded coconut sellers because they don’t need to buy gasoline all the time. Based on 2021 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), coconut production in Indonesia reached 17.15 million tons, making Indonesia the first largest coconut producing country in Southeast Asia. This high coconut production has an impact on the amount of waste, which can simultaneously reduce the carbon emissions released by the coconut shredder. (Hartatik)

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