FT Students Change Coconut Shells into Electric Car Batteries

Photo of 1 Cell Pack Battery

Five students of Chemical Engineering Universitas Brawijaya (UB); Aditya Bayu Pratama, Akmal Estu Wijaya, Dyah Nurfitri Solikhah, Erina Azahra Amalia and Prisma Ardaneshwari Khairina with the guidance of Supriyono, S.T., M.T. find alternative batteries with substitution of environmentally friendly materials.

Looking at current conditions, most of them still use fossil fuels in vehicles, especially conventional cars that produce carbon dioxide gas through the combustion process.

Carbon dioxide is a light-catching substance so that it can increase the temperature on the earth’s surface by 1.5oC per year. If there is an increase in CO2 concentration, it is certain that global warming will occur so that it has an impact on unstable climate. At the end, it will cause natural disasters in various regions of the world. In view of this, there have been many innovations to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions, one of which is by optimizing the use of electric cars.

Seeing that 60% electric car components are batteries, so the battery used today is a rechargeable lithium ion (can be recharged). Lithium-ion batteries have a long cycle life, large storage capacity and are of course environmentally friendly. But it has the disadvantage of being expensive.

Therefore, the research team used the substitution of abundant material, good surface area and pores and derived from coconut shell waste (biochar) to be used as graphite substitute in lithium-ion battery anodes.

According to the research team, the replacement of materials that were originally graphite into coconut shell biochar can economically reduce the price of expensive lithium-ion batteries, even having a high specific storage capacity (372 mAh/g) and being able to produce high energy density battery cells (0.1 A/g). g). On the other hand, the large pore structure of the coconut shell has the potential to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries.

‚ÄúThis innovation that we are researching strongly supports the Sustainable Low Carbon Development program, because lithium-ion batteries are highly recommended for use in electric cars with many advantages. In addition, our innovation is also able to realize a zero emission program in Indonesia in the next few years,” said Aditya Bayu Pratama.

Aditya added that his team wants to modify the components in the lithium-ion battery so that it has the potential to improve battery performance and be able to reduce the price of expensive lithium-ion batteries so that it will be more economical.

Therefore, he and his four colleagues carried out performance tests and simulations on batteries before being applied as anode components for lithium-ion electric car batteries, because they were able to estimate the optimal distance and speed for electric car batteries to be developed.

It is hoped that the research developed can contribute to Indonesia in terms of optimizing the use of electric cars and providing solutions in the production and commercialization of Lithium-ion batteries that have a larger electric storage capacity and improve battery performance. In the future, this will help the renewable energy sector due to the shift in dependence on the transportation sector scheme from fossil-based energy to renewable electrical energy.

The team led by Aditya Bayu Pratama (Chemical Engineering 2020) together with his four colleagues will later fight for 2021 Tanoto Student Research Award (TSRA) in October 2021. The Tanoto Student Research Award itself is a research program and student scientific work held in collaboration with Tanoto Foundation and Universitas Brawijaya. [Humas UB/ Trans. Iir]