The 2019 Economic Impact Award – reducing Indonesia's reliance on fossil fuels
23 Apr 2019
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The winner of the ISIS Economic Impact Award is a project that aims to reduce Indonesia’s reliance on fossil fuels, whilst creating a partnership that has increased the expertise of the Indonesian scientific community.

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​After its launch last year, the ISIS Impact Awards was again opened to facility users, celebrating the scientific, social and economic impact generated by the user community. The winner of the Economic Award is Indri Adilina from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) for her work at ISIS on the use of palm oil biomass waste as an alternative source for biofuel, supported by the UK's Newton Fund​

Indonesia is the world's largest producer of palm oil producing more than 35 million tonnes annually. The industry is hugely wasteful with the oil extracted making up as little as 10% of the total biomass produced – meaning the remaining 90% of that biomass is classified as waste.

Indri and her group aim to establish a viable method of using palm oil biomass waste in place of the palm oil itself to meet government targets without affecting the local food industry. However, significant advances in catalysis are required to convert the bulky feedstock into high value biofuel. With the unique properties of neutrons, they have been able to understand the interactions between the chemical compounds in biomass waste and the catalyst, which gives important information for the catalyst design and optimisation strategies.

From their work using INS and QENS, they have developed a new catalyst based on bentonite clay, a renewable and abundant resource in Indonesia, which can promote the chemical reactions that convert the heavy palm oil molecules into the lighter hydrocarbon molecules that make up fuels like gasoline and diesel.

The impacts are not just limited to the research itself: most of the members of the research team are early career scientists and having been able to access large-scale facilities such as ISIS at a starting stage of their career has been very beneficial in shaping their scientific development. The Indonesian neutron source is limited and does not have advanced techniques such as INS and QENS that the team have been able to access at ISIS.

Both the knowledge that the team has gained and the networks established in neutron science at ISIS will return with them to Indonesia, opening up research using techniques that were previously unavailable. This project is pioneering for users in Indonesia and the South East Asia region. It has sparked other research groups in LIPI and other Indonesian Universities to collaborate with ISIS, including those working in battery materials. The project has also resulted in discussions with research groups in Thailand working in this field.

Media Coverage:

Chairman of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences - Laksana Tri Handoko: “LIPI aims to unite initiatives where research addressing global challenges also benefits local needs. In the short term the Newton fund has enabled us to access an international facility to understand how we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels without a negative impact on Indonesian society. In the longer term we have increased the expertise of the Indonesian scientific community allowing us to access the full potential of neutron science."

British Ambassador for Indonesia - Moazzam Malik​: "Indonesia will need to increase investments in research and innovation, while also fostering partnerships between local and international research institutions to increase the quality and capability of Indonesian research. I believe in working together and succeeding together and this is one such example. The British government is committed to invest and support Indonesia's development." 

Publications:

  1. Indri B. Adilina, Nino Rinaldi, Sabar  P. Simanungkalit, Fauzan Aulia, Ferensa Oemry, Gavin B. G. Stenning, Ian P. Silverwood, Stewart F. Parker “Hydrodeoxygenation of guaiacol as a bio-oil model compound over pillared clay supported nickel-molybdenum catalysts" Journal of Physical Chemistry C, April 2019, to be accepted after revisions.
  2. Indri B. Adilina, Fauzan Aulia,, Muhammad A. Fitriady, Gagus K. Sunnardianto, Ferensa Oemry, Ian P. Silverwood, Stewart F. Parker “Hydrogenolysis of lignin-derived benzyl phenyl ether over nickel-molybdenum clay catalyst" manuscript in preparation.
  3. Indri B. Adilina, Fauzan Aulia, Muhammad A. Fitriady, Ferensa Oemry, Gavin B. G. Stenning, Ian P. Silverwood, Stewart F. Parker “The interaction of bio-oil with pillared clay supported nickel-molybdenum catalysts" manuscript in preparation.
  4. Indri B. Adilina “Clay supported metal catalysts for sustainable chemicals production" University of Glasgow Lecture, Glasgow, 29 February 2019.
  5. Indri B. Adilina, Nino Rinaldi, Sabar Simanungkalit, Fauzan Aulia, Ferensa Oemry, Ian Silverwood, Stewart F. Parker “Hydrodeoxygenation of guaiacol as a lignin model compound over pillared clay supported NiMo catalyst" UK Catalysis Conference, Loughborough, 9-11 January 2019.
  6. Ferensa Oemry, Anna Kroner, Indri B. Adilina, Nino Rinaldi, Elizabeth Shotton “Structural Geometry of Small α-NiMoO4 Nanoclusters Adsorbed on Al-PILC: a Combined EXAFS and DFT Studies" UK Catalysis Conference, Loughborough, 9-11 January 2019.
  7. Upgrading of bio-oil and its derivatives using pillared bentonite clay supported nickel-molybdenum catalyst (Indonesian Patent Application No. P00201806629, filed in 2018
Contact: Davies, Rosalind (STFC,RAL,ISIS)