Atsiri Research Center (ARC), Syiah Kuala University, again received a grant for essential oil refining equipment from the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) worth IDR 307 million. This assistance was received by the Chairman of ARC Unsyiah, Dr. Syaifullah Muhammad, ST. M.Eng from BPPT in the "Workshop on Appropriate Technology for Essential Oil Refining and INA-TEWS Socialization" in Banda Aceh, Tuesday (12/8/2020).
These grants are in the form of a distillation device with a capacity of 50 kg/batch of patchouli leaves along with other supporting components, such as raw material scales, quality testing equipment, steam boilers, reactors (extractors), condenser tubes, cooling circulation tubs, and equipment houses as protection from the weather.
Head of BPPT, Dr. Ir. Hammam Riza, M.Sc said that Aceh is an area rich in biodiversity, including a producer of essential oils. It takes hard efforts to increase the added value of this potential, one of which is the application of technology. This application will later have an impact not only on the development of natural resources, but also on the economy of the community.
"Patchouli oil is one of Indonesia's exports which provides a large foreign exchange. The high demand, of course, needs to be followed by the application of sustainable and responsible technology, "said Hammam.
He also hopes that this new tool can be operated properly, so as to produce the right level of patchouli alcohol.
Unsyiah Rector, Prof. Dr. Ir. Samsul Rizal, M.Eng, thanked BPPT for providing assistance to Unsyiah. As one of Aceh's superior products, patchouli deserves more attention. Unsyiah continued, has committed to exploring patchouli for the sake of improving the welfare of the community, especially patchouli farmers and industry players.
"By continuing to innovate, Aceh patchouli can further develop so that it can produce many derivative products and can compete in the market," said the Rector.
Unsyiah said he had also succeeded in developing many derivative products made from patchouli, such as perfume, hand sanitizer, organic body butter, hand and body wash, disinfectants, eucalyptus oil, and aromatherapy. This product is not only developed, but has also become a learning and business medium for MSME players. He also hopes that in the future, patchouli exports abroad can be carried out directly from Aceh, so that it has a major impact on regional economic development.
"Apart from patchouli, Aceh also has other potentials that can be exploited with BPPT such as water and wind, which can be used as renewable energy resources," said the rector. (Public Relations Unsyiah / fer)