ITS Campus, ITS News – HVS paper waste in Indonesia increases every year, but it is not balanced with proper waste management. Helping to overcome these conditions, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) students initiated the recycling of HVS paper waste into oxalic acid, which can be used for industrial needs.
The management of HVS paper waste is usually done by burning, and of course, it has a destructive impact on the environment. At the same time, HVS paper waste can be recycled into high-value products. “This HVS paper contains cellulose content above 90 percent so that it can be processed into oxalic acid,” said Linaniyyatul Masruroh, team leader.
Together with four colleagues, namely Adik Roni Setiawan, Aslina Putri Agung Saliha, M Yosi Kurniawan, and Seren Fegrita Septia Karya, he processed HVS paper waste into oxalic acid crystals. “This product can be used for metal cleaning, mixing dyes, and much more,” said the student, who is familiarly called Lina.
Before being processed, explained Lina, HVS paper will go through a pre-treatment stage in the form of removing ink first. “Not only removing the ink, but at this stage, it also aims to increase the cellulose content, increasing the production of oxalic acid by 20 percent,” explained the 2017 student.
In the pre-treatment stage, the HVS paper was weighed and mixed with 50 percent potassium permanganate (KMnO4), which was used to separate lignin from cellulose. Next, the paper is dipped in a 65 percent hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) compound to remove the ink and then washed again using distilled water.
Furthermore, HVS paper was hydrolyzed using a solid alkali compound, 40 percent sodium hydroxide (NaOH), and heated at 65°C for 80 minutes. “At this temperature and duration, more and optimal oxalic acid is produced,” added the girl from Pamekasan, Madura.
After the heating stage, Lina continued, the solution was cooled and filtered. The remaining residue was then washed with warm distilled water (temperature range 50-60°C). The remaining sediment resulting from the hydrolysis was added with 10 percent potassium chloride (CaCl2) to form a white precipitate of calcium oxalate.
The white precipitate of calcium oxalate was filtered first and then added 100 milliliters of sulfuric acid (H2SO4) 96 percent to decompose into oxalic acid and calcium sulfate. “Oxalic acid is taken from the filtering process and washed using 96 percent ethanol,” said Lina.
Lina continued that this oxalic acid compound was heated to 70°C and then cooled in ice water for about 24 hours. “This aims to form oxalic acid crystals in the form of white needle crystals,” explained the student who was born in 1998.
Finally, added Lina, the oxalic acid crystals went through the titration and melting point tests. The analysis results show that every 600 grams of HVS paper can produce 3.9 grams of oxalic acid with a melting point between 100-110°C. “This product has met the Indonesian National Standard (SNI) where the melting point is 101-102°C,” said Lina sure.
Carrying a paper entitled Utilization of HVS Paper Waste for The Manufacture of Oxalic Acid, five students of the ITS Industrial Chemical Engineering Department under the guidance of lecturer Ir Agung Subyakto MS has won a bronze medal in the International Invention Competition for Young Moslem Scientists (IICMYS) 2021 in the Environment category.
Lina hopes this research can be a breakthrough and innovation in increasing the value of HVS paper waste and minimizing environmental pollution due to waste management that is not environmentally friendly. “Hopefully, this oxalic acid product can meet the needs of the domestic industry,” she concluded. (far/ITS Public Relation)
Reporter: Frecia Elrivia Mardianto
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