UNAIR students create alternative energy from used cooking oil

UNAIR NEWS – The need for energy, especially oil, is increasing, but dependence on fossil energy must also be reduced. In this regard, five students from Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) came up with the idea of ​​a Waco-gel product, a fuel made of solidified used cooking oil as an environmentally friendly alternative energy.

Working as a team, four of the students, Muhammad Anang Jazuli, Firman Hidayat, Ningsih Putri Herman, and Muhammad Fajar Faliasthiunus Pradipta are from the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST). The other member is Haflan Alfiri Widayat from the Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB).

The team explained that Waco-gel production uses simple technology and equipment. The biofuel waste from used cooking oil which was initially volatile is solidified as biogel.

Anang, as the team leader, explained they chose used cooking oil because through the process of esterification and transesterification reactions, it has high fatty acids.

Furthermore, Anang also mentioned some of the advantages of Waco-gel products. They are renewable, non-carcinogenic, non-corrosive. In addition, the products do not produce any smoke during combustion, soot, or harmful gases.

“Of course, it is environmentally friendly. Moreover, its solid gel form makes it easy for the packaging and distribution process. It is suitable for heating food in the catering industry or even when camping, “explained Anang.

Through the tagline “For Better Future,” Waco-gel is priced at IDR 15,000/can for each 150 grams.

“If you want to order Waco-gel products, you can send Instagram DM, Admin’s WA, or our Market Place (Shopee and Tokopedia). Currently, the web is in the process of integration,” said Anang.

Waco-gel’s innovation, he continued, is also oriented towards achieving SDG 7 regarding affordable and clean energy.

“Waco-gel is deemed to be clean energy because this product is renewable and zero waste as well, so it can help reduce emissions in the air,” he said.

This team’s idea has passed the funding selection from the 2021 Student Creativity Program (PKM) for the Entrepreneurship category. In the process, the team has collaborated with a catering business in Sidoarjo. It has also worked with a used cooking oil supplier start-up.

“Regarding the partnership, since we utilize the used cooking oil, we collaborate with a start-up PKM-Entrepreneurship from UNAIR called ‘Jelantah Yuk’ as a kind of symbiosis of mutualism,” said the FST student.

At the end of the conversation, Anang hoped that the team’s products could be known by the public and chosen as an alternative for solid fuels.

“In general, people still often use  gel as a solid fuel which is certainly not renewable. Hopefully, our products can bring zero-waste value and also become one of the solutions to used cooking oil issue, which is usually thrown away,” he concluded. (*)

Author: Viradyah Lulut Santosa

Editor : Binti Q. Masruroh (YA/AP)

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