Thalassiosira sp. : Tropical Marine Microalgae as a Source of Future Energy
BANDUNG, itb.ac.id - The need for energy is a must in the process of life. Various function of energy has been used by humans in the quantity and quality continues to increase, in terms of lighting, home appliances, communications, industry, transportation and even made objects people are placed in space, while the energy crisis is still unresolved. In response to these Dr. Zeily Nurachman (Biochemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences) comes with research on microalgae Thalassiosira sp. which can produce biofuels instead of fossil fuels.
Generally, the oil producing countries of the world including Indonesia, located near tectonic plate and close to the sea. It is believed that fossil fuels are produced in Indonesia is not derived from wood fossil plants, but from water plants including microalgae or algae that are microscopic. "The hypothesis, an oil country is a country of frequent earthquakes," said Zeily. The movement of tectonic plates, earthquakes will hit the sea and everything in it into the ground and make a layer of oil.
Microalgae occupies almost the entire layer of oil on the sea in large numbers. And the process of the formation of fossil fuels would take a very long time. To prove it to be identified with different types and calculate the productivity of microalgae oil. And culture of tropical marine microalgae Thalassiosira sp. Has identified its ability to produce oil.
Research conducted since 2009 by Zeily joint team from the Division of Biochemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (FMIPA). They tried to do the same process with what happens at sea is by extracted Thalassiosira sp. and take the oil.
The initial method is the cultivation of microalgae Thalassiosira culture sp. in some medium. Medium which is used are the three types of sea water with different compositions. Seawater is rich in phosphorus, nitrogen, silicon, urea suitable for the growth of Thalassiosira sp., Microalgae is growing in the range of pH 8.0 to 8.8. After that, extract of microalgae oil will be ready to taken . One liter of culture can produce 3 grams of net oil. It certainly can be calculated if we have acres of culture, then tons of oil will be produced.
Why mirkroalga chosen as an alternative energy source, as we all know fossil fuels is currently increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (NO2) and the numbers are limited. Oil produced microalgae Thalassiosira sp. or biofuel does not produce exhaust gases and is available in large quantities in the Indonesian seas. Breeding mikrolaga relatively faster than higher plants and easy to get to be one plus the value of its own.
In addition to producing oil, mikrolaga Thalassiosira sp. also produces biopigmen. Biopigmen this works in the food industry, beauty and medicine. Biopigmen is a natural dye that is safe to use, such as consumption purposes.
Given the enormous potential of microalgae expected this research will continue and respond to the challenges of energy crisis. "If Indonesia has 50,000 researchers algae, then Indonesia will take over the world", said Zeil
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