Indonesian student discovers ethanol-producing bacteria in Mount Ijen

Indonesian student discovers ethanol-producing bacteria in Mount Ijen

Photo document of a traditional miners carry the sulfur is taken from the bottom of the crater of Ijen, Ampelgading village, Licin sub district, Banyuwangi district, East Java. (ANTARA/M. Risyal Hidayat)

In the energy industry, ethanol is often made from molasses."
Surabaya (ANTARA News) - An Indonesian student from the University of Surabaya Kenny Jeremia has found bacteria and fungi in Mount Ijens crater that can serve as a substitute for molasses to manufacture ethanol for the renewable energy industry.

"In the energy industry, ethanol is often made from molasses. It is a byproduct of the sugar industry that still has sugar content. However, the use of molasses is often not possible as it is in high demand in both the energy industry and food and beverage industry," Jeremia stated here on Tuesday.

The student at the Department of Biology, Faculty of Biotechnology, explained that the bacteria from the Ijen crater had a high acidity level of zero, hence it could be used as an alternative material to replace molasses to produce ethanol for the energy industry.

However, detailed studies have not been conducted on micro-organisms that survive in the highest acidity levels in Ijen crater, he added.

"Moreover, the application of micro-organisms in industry has not been extensive. The bacteria and fungi were found through a DNA analysis," he pointed out.

After finding bacteria and fungi in the crater, Kenny explored the possible uses of bacteria.

"Finally, I tested the bacteria found in Ijen to turn straw wastes into renewable energy as straws structure is quite complicated and can only be dissolved in solutions with an acidic pH," he explained.

Mangihot Tua Goeltom, the supervisor of Kennys study, affirmed that the research was quite interesting.

"I hope this study will be used to find other life forms that are useful for humans in other extreme environments," he added.
(Uu.KR-LWA/INE/KR-BSR/F001)

Comments