Indonesia’s oil supplies are running low. It is estimated that oil reserves, which are a major source of energy for the nation, will run out by the year 2025. Meanwhile, fuel consumption continues to increase every year.
Renewable energy development efforts continue to be encouraged by the government to create new energy sources. This was done by students from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, UGM. Five young students tried to develop bio-lubricants from waste cooking oil.
They are Yehezkiel Steven Kurniawan, Yudha Ramanda, Nover Arumenta Sihotang, Hendra, and Kevin Thomas.
They utilized waste cooking oil produced by the food processing industry. The waste cooking oil is processed into bio-lubricants by modifying the structure of the oleic acid in it.
“Waste cooking oil still contains oleic acid which can be used as bio-lubricants,” said Steven, Tuesday (17/5).
Steven said lubricant is one of the refined petroleum products. Nevertheless, lubricants derived from petroleum are not environmentally friendly because they do not decompose easily and they are toxic if disposed of directly into the environment. Therefore, nowadays lubricants are developed from vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, castor oil, and palm oil.
“We tried to make bio-lubricants from waste cooking oil by making modifications to stabilize the oleic acid, so it would not trigger oxidation and did not cause corrosion in the engine,” he explained.
This cyclic ketal product, which was developed by the UGM students through Student Creativity Program for Research, is not only able to minimize corrosion and improve the oxidation stability of bio-lubricants, it can also be an alternative for renewable lubricants.