Speaking to journalists here on Monday, the UGM`s team Manager, Herman Amrullah, stated that his team won the "Judges` Choice" and "Audience Choice" categories in the international competition, which was participated in by 3,336 teams representing various universities in 140 countries.
The UGM team members consisted of Herman Amrullah, Sholahuddin Alayyubi, and Thya Laurencia Benedita Araujo. They are all students of the university`s chemical engineering program of the faculty of engineering`s Smart Car MCS team.
Their idea of making a smart car using fuels converted from plastic waste has paved the way for their success in winning the international competition. "Our idea was basically triggered by our intention to resolve the plastic waste problem and vehicle emissions," he noted.
Then, for the sake of participating in this London`s international competition in technological innovation, they came up with an idea of designing a smart car that can convert plastic waste into fuels by considering the fact that plastic is one of products generated by fossil fuels, he remarked.
According to Amrullah, his team members developed the idea by using the heat generated from a car`s exhaust part for converting the plastic waste into fuels because the temperature of the exhaust heat can reach 500 to 800 degree Celsius.
The high temperature will enable the process of pyrolysis for converting the plastic waste into fuels, he stated, adding that one kilogram of plastic waste can produce 1.1 liters of fuel, while the PVC waste is not recommended as it is harmful to the environment and the car engine.
In order to enable the UGM team`s designed car to reduce the CO2 emissions, it is completed with the Microalgae Cultivation Support (MCS) technology, he added.
"This competition remains limited to idea. In the future, we want to apply it directly to vehicle," he noted.
Meanwhile, Aswati Mindaryani, lecturer of the UGM`s chemical engineering program who supervised the team members, remarked that collaborative efforts, involving the government and private sectors, were needed to enable the application of the students` idea.
The plastic waste that has been converted into fuels remains in the form of "crude oil." Therefore, collaborative efforts are needed in order to process it into gasoline and other sorts of fuels, she noted.
The other possible approach is to modify the car engine to enable it to use the plastic waste-converted fuels, Mindaryani pointed out.
Reported by Luqman Hakim