After fasting for medals for a long time, the Chemical Engineering students of FTI ITB finally won a silver medal at the XXXIII National Student Scientific Week (PIMNAS) event which was held online with Gadjah Mada University as the host. The team led by Adhi Satriyatama and consisting of Ignatius Dozy Mahatmanto Budi and Zulfah Amala was directly guided by Wibawa Hendra Saputera, S.Si., M.Si., M.Sc., Ph.D., a lecturer from KK Energy and Systems. Chemical Engineering Processors.
The team, which all consisted of students of the 2018 class raised the title of the review “Photoconversion of CO₂ Exhaust Gas into Methanol Based on TiO Catalysts Modified by Zeolite from Coal Fly Ash.” This title was appointed considering the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere so that efforts should be made to convert carbon dioxide into more useful chemical compounds. In addition, coal fly ash which has not been processed and handled optimally also contains SiO2 and Al2O3 which are potential to be developed as zeolite materials to support TiO₂ material. In addition, the selection of methanol products is based on the very wide use of methanol in various aspects and domestic methanol needs are still met through imports.
The process to win this medal is not an easy matter. The youngest team who passed the PKM-PE (Exact Research) field from ITB had to compete with around 65,000 proposals from thousands of universities throughout Indonesia to get research incentives from the Ministry of Education and Culture. Together with 4,225 teams throughout Indonesia, this team managed to get this incentive. After making the narrative review, progress and final reports, and evaluation in front of the jury during PKP2 (PKM Implementation Progress Assessment), finally this representative from Chemical Engineering ITB managed to enter PIMNAS along with 624 other teams. After entering PIMNAS, they must make posters, scientific articles to be included in journals, and further studies to enrich their understanding of the issues raised. The evaluation by the jury, both administratively and in content, was classified as very comprehensive. However, these three students managed to prove that they are one of the best teams in the most prestigious annual event in the world of Indonesian students.
Despite the pandemic, the National Student Scientific Week (PIMNAS) XXXIII will still be held this year with the theme “Forging a Creative and Independent Generation in the Pandemic Period with the Spirit of an Independent Campus”. Evidently, a pandemic has never discouraged students from making innovations for the country.