UNAIR NEWS – Seaweed is certainly popular in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Not all parts of seaweed are used in the production process, thus leaving waste for the environment.
Seeing this, a Lecturer at the Faculty of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs (FPK) Airlangga University (UNAIR) innovated in making environmentally friendly pots from seaweed waste materials. Prof., Ir. Moch Amin Alamsjah M.Sc., Pd.D., through his research revealed that solid waste from seaweed Gracilaria sp. and Eucheuma cottonii can be used as MDF-based pots with a compact structure for chili plants.
Based on several studies, Gracilaria sp. and Eucheuma cottonii is indeed known as a species of red seaweed that has many benefits. “Both have the greatest use value when compared to 500 other species of seaweed that grow in Indonesia,” said Prof. Amin
Gracilaria sp. Has been widely cultivated and is the largest source of water-soluble fiber, namely agar (agarose and agaropectin) or known by the public as agar. Whereas Eucheuma cottonii is the largest source of carrageenan. “Agar and carrageenan are carbohydrate compounds that can bind water and can form a gel (gelling agent), so that these two compounds are called hydrocolloids,” he said.
In the production process, he continued, seaweed will be pressed to extract it. So that it produces solid waste in the form of pulp.
Prof. Amin said the pot from seaweed waste has many advantages when compared to polybags. One of them is to reduce the use of water in the process of growing chili. “The presence of hydrocolloid remnants in seaweed waste makes this pot can store water reserves for plant growth needs. So that water cannot quickly evaporate because it is bound by the pot used, “he explained.
In the end, he explained that the pots made from seaweed waste are very beneficial in the application of agriculture with the concept of environmentally friendly. (*)
Author: Erika Eight Novanty
Editor: Nuri Hermawan
Reference : H. Kurnia, R R Rifadi, Agustono, M N G Amin, S A Sudjarwo dan M A Alamsjah. 2019. The potential of seaweed waste (gracilaria sp. and eucheuma cottonii) as a medium density fiberboard (mdf)-based pot material for better water use efficiency in tomato plants. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Volume 236, conference 1.