Jakarta Post, August 06, 2006
T. Sima Gunawan, Contributor, Jakarta
There is good news and bad news about research development in Indonesia. First, the bad news is that Indonesia often lags behind other countries. And now, the good news: An Indonesian researcher has applied pure jatropha oil as an alternative bio-diesel fuel.
The oil, which is produced from castor oil plants or Jatropha curcas, locally known as jarak pagar, is environmentally friendly and cheaper than fossil fuel, thanks to the hard work of Robert Manurung and his team at the Biotechnology Research Center, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).
“In research development, we are lagging behind other countries because we are often more content to follow rather than to become a leader or innovator,” lamented Manurung, 52.
While other scientists use methanol in processing jatropha oil, Manurung was determined to transform the oil into diesel fuel without adding any additional substance — and he succeeded.