All this time fruit waste merely ends up in landfills. In the hands of two UGM students, however, such waste which troubles most people is utilized into something more beneficial. Sri Adhita Prabakusuma (Faculty of Agriculture) and Adi Trimulyo (Faculty of Agricultural Technology) processed the fruit waste from Gemah Ripah Market, Gamping, into bioethanol and organic fertilizers, which they call as "bioethanic".
Adi Trimulyo said that the utilization of fruit waste to become bioethanic originated from their concern seeing a large pile of fruit waste in the Gemah Ripah market. "The existing waste is not utilized by traders and the surrounding community. If it’s not immediately managed, it could cause health and environment problems," he explained at the Faculty of Agricultural Technology on Monday (20/9).
Adi mentioned, the waste generated in Gemah Ripah Market is quite immense, reaching up to 5 tons/day. Of the overall market waste, 90% of them are in the form of organic waste and 10% inorganic waste. "Of the 90% organic waste, 80% of them are in the form of fruit waste. The rest of them are leaves, wood, or straw, "he explained.
Furthermore, said Adi, fruits have the potential to be processed into bioethanol because it has high sugar content on the range between 70 to 90 percent. Of 10 kg of fruit waste can be obtained 1500-2000 milliliter of bioethanol, while the remainder is the pulp which can be used as organic fertilizer.
Adhita Sri Prabakusuma added that up to this date the products produced are only applied in small scale, which is applied in Ledok Nongko village, Turi, Sleman. "the Bioethanic is still a prototype. Therefore, it is only applied in Ledok Nongko village, Turi, starting last March," explained the student of Agricultural Cultivation Department.
Adhita mention that the produced bioethanol can be used as a gas stove fuel. "Bioethanol from the fruit waste could be used for fuel gas burner. However, for motor vehicle fuel, bioethanol is not yet compatible because the sugar content is 70%, whereas for motor vehicle fuel the sugar levels should reach 95%, "she explained.
The fruit market waste-based Bioethanic technology development is expected by Adhita to be able to become an alternative fuel in an effort to overcome the current energy crisis. In addition, it is also expected to reduce gas emissions (methane) from fruit waste that can damage the ozone layer. "Theoretically, bioethanol from fruit waste can indeed be used as fuel in motor vehicles. However, further research is still needed to know the outcome with certainty, "said Adhita.
Bioethanic technology development by the two young students, besides offering an alternative fuel and able to deal with environmental problems, has also managed to win the technology development competition that was held by the Government of Sleman Regency last August. The submitted proposal was selected as the second winner. "We did not think that we would win because most of the finalists were lecturers and teachers. Indeed, it is an honor to win, but our main goal is actually to introduce the research results to society as well as fomenting sosiotechnopreneur spirit, "said both of them, ending the conversation.