On July 8, 2023, BANANA & Partners conducted a comprehensive training on the conversion of waste cooking oil into biodiesel for fishing boat engines in the village of Anggana, Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan. This event witnessed participation from various sections of the community including local fishermen, residents, students from the Mulawarman University Community Service Program (KKN), and environmental activists from Anggana.
The initiative was executed in collaboration with Pertamina Hulu Mahakam, through their Community Development Officer (CDO) and their Health, Safety, Security, and Environment (HSSE) team. The ultimate goal of the program was to equip the community with knowledge and skills to transform waste cooking oil into a form of renewable energy that could be readily used and could have a direct, positive impact on their lives.
Converting waste cooking oil into biodiesel may sound like a complex process, but with the right knowledge and tools, it can be quite straightforward. The process involves the following steps:
- Collection and filtration: The waste cooking oil is collected and then filtered to remove food particles and other impurities.
- Preparation of the reaction mixture: The filtered oil is heated and mixed with an alcohol, usually methanol, and a catalyst, typically a strong base like sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide.
- Transesterification: The heated mixture is then left to react, a process called transesterification, where the triglycerides in the oil react with the alcohol to form esters (biodiesel) and glycerol.
- Separation: After the reaction is complete, the mixture is allowed to settle. The biodiesel floats to the top and the glycerol sinks to the bottom. These are then separated.
- Purification: The biodiesel is then washed and dried to remove any remaining catalyst, alcohol, or glycerol. The end product is ready-to-use biodiesel, a cleaner-burning, renewable substitute for petroleum diesel.
This conversion process, while it may seem simple, can have a profound impact on communities like those in Anggana, providing a sustainable solution to energy needs while tackling environmental issues stemming from waste oil disposal. BANANA & Partners’ endeavor in promoting such green initiatives not only empower the local communities but also contribute towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly future.