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International Guest Lecture on Potential Utilization of Sludge in Generating Electrical Energy and Saga University’s Visit to ITS

Mon, 05 Aug 2019
3:00 pm
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A potential from nature to produce electricity is discussed in this international guest lecture. With the title Electrochemical Analysis for Electron Transfer Mechanisms of Microorganism in Mud Microbial Fuel Cells (MMFC), Prof. Masato Tominaga from Saga University – Japan delivered a guest lecture moderated by Dr.Eng. R. Darmawan. By utilizing sludge, MMFC is able to produce electrical energy that can move the motor disc (Figure 1) for up to 20 hours. The lecture was opened by the Department Secretary representing the Head of the Chemical Engineering Department, Setiyo Gunawan, Ph.D. In his remarks, Gunawan said that Indonesia had many natural resources that could be used as electrical energy, one of which was Lapindo mud. Therefore, it is necessary to increase cooperation between ITS and Saga Univ, such as student exchange, joint supervision, double degree. Moreover, starting this year, ITS has opened an International Undergraduate Program (IUP).

Figure 1. MMFC is able to move the motor disk up to 20 hours

The presentation of the guest lecture material took place in the Oedjoe Djoeriaman Hall in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Sepuluh November Institute of Technology on July 2019. In delivering the guest lecture, it was explained that Microbial fuel cell (MFC) converts organic content into electrical energy with the help of microorganisms as biocatalysts. MFC is an economical step towards a sustainable energy future. The principle of MFC consists of two process reactions, namely oxidation and reduction reactions. The oxidation reaction occurs at the anode chamber under anaerobic conditions to degrade the organic material accompanied by releasing electrons. While the reduction reaction occurs in the cathode chamber which is in aerobic conditions. In the electron transfer mechanism itself, there are basically 3 ways, including conductive nano wire, conductive protein and mediators as explained by Prof. Masato
Many students were very enthusiastic in the discussion and question and answer session, by asking questions and comments that were welcomed and answered well by the speaker, Prof. Masato Tominaga. On the sidelines, the discussion was the moderator, Dr.Eng. R. Darmawan added that there are at least 2 things that must be considered related to the process in MFC, namely biocatalysts which are usually bacteria to degrade organic content accompanied by releasing electrons and organic sources which are food sources of the electricigen bacteria.
In its development, research on MFC is now increasingly common, especially in the context of increasing the electric energy generated, which is done by developing carbon nano electrodes because the surface area that can be accessed by microbes is higher. In addition, the role of microbes as biocatalysts and the content of organic sources in the system also determines during the MFC process.
The guest lecture was attended by dozens of students from the Department of Chemical Engineering FTI ITS and the Department of Chemistry FS ITS. The guest lecture ended with a memento from the Chemical Engineering Department, represented by Dr.Eng. R. Darmawan, followed by a group photo.

Figure 2. Souvenir giving

Figure 3. Photo together

In addition to filling a guest lecture, Prof. Masato Tominaga who is the Head of the Applied Chemistry Department, Saga University Japan also visited and discussed with the Department of Chemical Engineering ITS, International Office ITS and the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor IV ITS. In the discussion, it was conveyed the collaboration that has been carried out by Saga University especially the Applied Chemistry Department with the Chemical Engineering Department. Up to this year, five undergraduate students from the Department of Chemical Engineering FTI ITS have registered at the Sakura Exchange in Science Program from 10 days to 14 days, at Saga University in Japan, explained Dr.Eng. R. Darmawan, who has initiated the program since 2016.
During the meeting, also discussed the opportunity for collaboration between the Applied Chemistry Department to be expanded by other departments at Saga University with the departments at ITS. As a follow up, the meeting is planned for a follow-up visit, Dean of Science and Engineering Saga Univ. to ITS.

Figure 4. The atmosphere of the meeting between Prof. Masato Tominaga (Saga University) with the Rector of ITS

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