Tekpang, nitrate fertilizer technology, wins at Pertamuda Seed & Scale 2021

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Tekpang, nitrate fertilizer technology, wins at Pertamuda Seed & Scale 2021
Muhammad Fadhillah Ansyari ,Savira Alivia Salsabila ,and Luqman Hakim when receiving the award in Bali. Photo: DOC.UI

Jakarta, IO – Muhammad Fadhillah Ansyari, Savira Alivia Salsabila, and Luqman Hakim, students in the University of Indonesia (“UI”) Faculty of Engineering’s Chemical Engineering Department, have been named the Top Three Winners in the online Pertamuda Seed and Scale Awarding Night, held by PT Pertamina (Persero) on 3 October 2021.

Under the technical guidance of their Department’s lecturer and expert in process intensifcation, Prof. Nelson Saksono, the trio succeeded with their innovative business idea of producing liquid nitrate fertilizer using their
original energy-effective, sustainable process, the Tekpang, into reality.

Tekpang, nitrate fertilizer technology, wins at Pertamuda Seed & Scale 2021
Tekpang prototype. Photo: DOC.UI

Tekpang is an innovative technology for creating liquid nitrate fertilizer meant as a solution to strengthen our post-COVID-19-pandemic food security. It is based on contact glow discharge electrolysis, a renewable, affordable, and environmentally-friendly skill developed from plasma technology. It does not generate any residues and it consumes 2.5 times less energy than the conventional Haber-Bosch process. Naturally, with its much lower energy consumption rate, Tekpang can yield a much cheaper fertilizer. With its smallish size and simple technology, Tekpang machines will be easily distributable to smalltime farmers in remote villages.

“We hope that this technology will help our farmers produce their own fertilizer and cut down on agricultural production costs. We also hope that the business idea will generate a domino effect and thus resolve other consequent social issues, such as systemic poverty,” Muhammad Fadhillah stated, as quoted by the University’s website Ui.ac.id on Wednesday (06/10/2021).

Luqman and Savira confirmed that the idea for Tekpang originated from their concern that organic fertilizer is no longer used among farmers, who now prefer to use chemical alternatives. “Add the scarcity of fertilizer raw materials resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the prices of our national agricultural products are also spiking! This might trigger an economic crisis in the future, which will in turn lower our people’s interest in agricultural innovation and production. In the end, it will be detrimental to Indonesia’s food security,” Luqman stated.

There are two sales strategies suggested for the new product: direct and indirect sales. Indirect sales include those through the official website, marketplace sites, and social media platforms. Direct selling could take place through Regional Government offces, agro-businesses, and hydroponic businesses. “Our biggest challenge is how to make sure that this techno-logical innovation becomes both a financially proftable and socially beneficial product. To resolve this challenge, we constantly evaluate it and make necessary developments, both in terms of technology and market targeting, to ensure that our product is used properly and effectively,” Savira said.

The Tekpang, which generates liquid nitrate fertilizer from elements in the surrounding air, was developed jointly by Prof. Nelson and his students during a two-year research. They finally produced a prototype that is effective, environmentally friendly, easy to produce and operate, and affordable. “Superior test results and promising business innovation is the
key of the UI Faculty of Technology’s Tekpang Team in this competition. We
hope this proud achievement will give us the opportunity we need to commercialize the technology and support our national food security program,” he said.

After its presentation before the jury of the Pertamuda Seed and Scale 2021, Mia Khrisna Anggraini, Komaidi Notonegoro, Dian Ono, Yan Rezky, and Inez Stefanie, the creators of Tekpang were declared worthy of IDR 100 million in development funds, presented directly by PT Pertamina (Persero) President Director Nicke Widyawati.

The Pertamuda Seed and Scale is a competition for groups with energy business ideas that are both commercially viable and environmentally sustainable. It is part of PT Pertamina (Persero)’s “Pertamina Goes to Campus” program, a State-Owned Enterprise effort to support the development of our creative economy and to help the Government generate new innovative and sustainable businesses and young entrepreneurs.

Pertamuda Seed and Scale was comprised of several stages. The first was the submission of the Pitch Deck, with 2,025 participants from colleges and universities throughout Indonesia. Only the top 50 of the 2,025 made it to the next stage, a Presentation. The teams selected must present their business ideas before two mentors in four days, followed by Mentoring. After Mentoring was completed, the top 20 are selected. Final Pitching for the Top Three Pertamuda 2021 was finally performed before a Jury. (est)