ITS Campus, ITS News – New Renewable Energy (EBT) is an alternative to replace the existence of fossil energy which is still widely used today. For this reason, the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh November (ITS), together with PT INKA and PT Pertamina, are trying to develop Fuel Cell technology to be applied to train cars in Indonesia.
A fuel Cell is an electrochemical device that aims to generate electricity using hydrogen fuel with emissions in the form of water. This technology is predicted to be alternative energy in the future because it is more friendly to the environment.
Dr. Agung Purniawan ST MEng, the lead researcher, and several ITS lecturers and students conducted research exploring this technology, starting with research on catalyst synthesis, fabrication processes, and the development of control systems.
Agung explained that to improve the Fuel Cell’s performance, one of the studies carried out was to explore the catalyst synthesis process. This research on catalyst components aims to produce more optimal and efficient Fuel Cells. “The use of the catalyst that has been developed is expected to improve the performance of the electrochemical process, slow down material degradation, and increase the lifetime of the fuel cell,” he explained further.
Agung explained that laboratory testing had been carried out to ensure the performance resulting from developing the catalyst whose prototype had been fabricated. This is done to ensure a better version of the Fuel Cell during operation. “Because later it will be applied to meet the electricity needs in trains, various tests are also carried out to get the most optimal results,” he added.
In addition to the catalyst material, development is also carried out for the control system on the Fuel Cell. This is done to ensure the Fuel Cell works at the suitable needs to produce the most optimal output. “The whole system of this technology must get extra attention because several parameters such as temperature, the amount of fuel used, to humidity must always be controlled,” he explained again.
Fuel Cell development is multidisciplinary, so it is impossible to do it alone. Some ITS lecturers include Sutarsis ST MSc Ph.D., Fadlilatul Taufany ST Ph.D., Lukman Noerochim ST MSc Eng Ph.D., Dr Katherin Endrawati ST MT, Dr rer nat Ruri Agung Wahyuono ST MT. “The lecturers involved are from the ITS Physics Engineering Department, ITS Materials and Metallurgy Engineering, ITS Chemical Engineering, and students from each of these departments,” he added.
The ITS Materials and Metallurgical Engineering Department lecturer said that research on the technology itself had been started two years ago with PT Pertamina. Not only that, the cooperation also cooperates with several other universities. “In addition to PT Pertamina, this year funding support is also obtained from Productive Innovative Research (Rispro) from the Education Fund Management Institute (LPDP) of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia,” he said.
Looking at the future, Agung said, this research is expected to reach downstream products. Agung hopes that ITS can continue developing hydrogen technology with great potential. “By looking at the trend of transition to renewable energy, ITS will have a strategic role as a center for the development of Fuel Cell technology in Indonesia,” he said optimistically. (ITS Public Relation)
Reporter: Ricardo Hokky WIbisono
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