From Papua, Tried to Convert The Wastes of Sago Become Renewable Energy

Foto 1. Sarman Oktavianus Gultom

"Seek knowledge, even if you have to go as far as China." This saying may have inspired Sarman Oktavianus Gultom, S.TP., MS.BBSEM, one of the alumni of HICD – PRESTASI, from Manokwari, West Papua. Back in 2011, he was awarded the HICD-PRESTASI Scholarship to study at the University of Minnesota, USA. Getting an advanced degree is important for Sarman in order to build his hometown and country.

Sarman Oktavianus Gultom is a lecturer and the secretary of the department of Agricultural Technology of the Faculty of Agricultural and Agricultural Technology at the Papua State University, Manokwari, West Papua. He also teaches the sago processing science at the State Academy of South Sorong. He has actively been participating in various research related to his profession as well.

Sarman studied the Bioproducts and Biosystems Science Engineering and Management studies for 2.5 years at the University of Minnesota. He gained a lot of new knowledge and is very excited now as he receives supports and opportunities to apply his knowledge. His hard work, in addition to the supports and opportunities that he gets from his working institution, has resulted in a research grantee from DIKTI worth IDR 87 million. The grantee is under a program called Penelitian Kerjasama Antar Perguruan Tinggi (PEKERTI).

Through his research titled Pemanfaatan Limbah Cair Ekstraksi Sagu Lokal Papua Sebagai Media Tumbuh Mikroalga Untuk Pembuatan Biodiesel, Sarman wanted to provide basic information regarding the utilization of the sago waste for the people who processed sago, especially in Papua. "I use large amounts of sago liquid waste as the media for microalgae to grow. Microalga is the raw material for producing biodiesel," Sarman explained.

Foto 2. Sarman's Research in the Laboratory

His research did not only aim to provide information on the utilization of sago waste, but it also enabled him to innovate regarding the environmentally friendly resources that would be beneficial in the future. Therefore, at the same time, Sarman is also participating in developing his place of origin, Papua.

Sarman was not alone when conducting the research. He collaborated with two doctorates from the Brawijaya University, Malang. So, while conducting the research, Sarman also built a network with other universities.

The limited materials and facilities to conduct the research did not make him feel discouraged. Through his hard work and the solid collaboration with his research team, all challenges could be overcome.

Foto 3. Sarman’s routine as a Lecture

For young Indonesians who wants to pursue education overseas, Sarman said that, "We must have the right motivation first before deciding to study abroad. We have to fight to gain positive things to develop our hometown and put our ego at the second place. Afterwards, this knowledge should be applied so that other people can feel the benefits. They don’t have to go as far to the USA, because through our existence, they already feel the advantages."