Journey to Biodiesel and Skeleton Leaf Arts
This two weeks short course program has the aim to invite the international university students to learn more about environmental conservation that is making biodiesel and skeleton leaf arts at Semarang State University (UNNES).
Journey to Biodiesel
The participants will learn how Biodiesel is made through a chemical process called transesterification whereby the glycerin is separated from the fat or vegetable oil. The process leaves behind two products — methyl esters (the chemical name for biodiesel) and glycerin (a valuable byproduct usually sold to be used in soaps and other products).
Biodiesel is better for the environment because it is made from renewable resources and has lower emissions compared to petroleum diesel. It is less toxic than table salt and biodegrades as fast as sugar. Produced domestically with natural resources, its use decreases our dependence on imported fuel and contributes to our own economy.
Journey to Skeleton Leaf Arts
The participants will be tutored how the strong structure of the skeleton leaves can be utilized as the raw material of a unique handicraft with interesting and high economic value. This craft is made from the leaf litter which is processed using chemicals to remove the leaf tissues leaving only the skeleton. Then, the skeleton can be further processed to be various kinds of crafts such as brooches, artificial roses, paintings, decorative frames, lampshades, bookmarks and key chains. A rapid technique to obtain the skeleton is by using the safe chemicals. Cellulose is the main component of the plant cell wall structure, and it will be destructed if it reacts with a base compound. It is suggested to utilize the leaf litter which has fallen from the tree as a form of waste management. Indonesia, as the mega biodiversity country has many kinds of plant species which is resulted in the diversity of leaf shapes (Kartawinata 2010). Therefore the variation of the leaf shapes indicates that the skeleton is also varied. Usually, the leaves used for skeleton leaves art production are obtained from the annual plant leaves.