YOGYAKARTA – UGM students made an outstanding achievement by winning a competition in innovative cars using alternative fuel, organised at Institut Teknologi Sepuluh November (ITS) Surabaya from 3-5 May. Three UGM cars, Subali 4, Anjani 1 and Sugriwa 3, won first, third and favourite team respectively. The UGM Chem-E-Car team with 29 members have beaten 7 other teams from ITS, UI and Politeknik Negeri Bandung.
Bobby Nugroho Wicaksono, team managerial chairman, said the three UGM teams won the competition which not only utilises alternative fuel but also emphasised on fuel precision. “The hardest part is that the car cannot be electronically regulated neither using sensor or jack,” said the student of Chemical Engineering on Monday (6/5).
The Subali 4 car uses fuel from the chemical reaction of Hydrogen Peroxide with catalyst Potassium Iodide (KI) to produce oxygen to generate piston. “Subali is able to go a 22-m distance with only 120 ml of hydrogen peroxide liquid,” he said.
The excellent trait of Hydrogen Peroxide is its environmentally friendly characteristic as it leaves no toxic residue whilst the the power of the oxydator is adjustable. “It may become an alternative fuel as it dissolves in oxygen that can generate piston with pneumatic system,” he explained.
In contrast to Subali, said Bobby, Anjani car uses cell energy from Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) while Sugriwa car uses volta cell from copper sulphate (CuSO4) and Zinc Sulphate Heptahydrate (ZnSO4). “They produce electrictiy but they are of different fuels,” he said.
It needs four months to do research and reconstruction and between 3 to 4 million in budget to make one car. It is planned that by end of September 2013 they will compete again at Queensland University, Australia.
Dean of Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Ir. Panut Mulyono, M.Eng.,Ph.D.Eng, appreciated the students for their success in various competitions. Those showed the students’ creativity. “Indonesia has bright students. I hope in 15-20 years they can become the development drive of Indonesian technology advancement,” he said.