Jakarta – Writing inks have been always made from petroleum-based raw material which is imported from foreign countries. But apparently, palm oil can be used as raw material to make excellent and ecofriendly writing inks. The vegetable oil has proven to have own advantages as raw material for writing inks compared to other conventional raw materials.
The advantages include non-toxic, non-polluting, and bio-degradable. Besides, unlike the petroleum-based inks, the inks from palm oil tend not to stick on the printing plate, enabling the printing machines to stay clean.
Gema Sukmawati Auryadi, a researcher from the state-owned polytechnic Media Kreatif, has managed to use the palm oil as raw material to produce writing ink. The research has been conducted since 2020 under a program which was financed by the oil palm plantation fund management board (BPDPKS).
The result of the research has shown that the writing ink from palm oil can meet the standard of color set in the SNI ISO Cetak Offset. Besides, the palm oil-based writing ink has the value of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC), which is lower than the conventional inks, making it more ecofriendly.
BPDPKS reported through its formal website that the research has resulted in two main products, namely green varnish and offset printing ink.
The offset printing ink from palm oil has the characteristics that meet the SNI standard for printing process and can be used in offset printing machines already available in the market.
“The produced varnish uses solvent made from palm oil derivative. Then the green varnish becomes the raw material for making the offset printing ink which functions as vehicle, taking the coloring materials from the ink tank on the printing machine to flow well up to the printed material surface,” said Gema.
He said that the aim of the research is to help industries to replace the conventional raw material, which is mineral distillate from fossil fuels, with the raw material from palm oil which is renewable and ecofriendly. The research has also resulted in the increase of local contents for the production of offset printing inks which have long relied on the imported raw material amid the rising need of graphic industry for printing inks.
The new writing ink was not only tested at the scale of laboratory, but also through a demonstration in offset printing machine under a collaboration with several partners to raise the quality of printing result. The research team has also conducted a techno-economy assessment which has proven that the new writing ink from palm oil is marketable and feasible.
The result of the research is expected to push up the mass production of the new writing ink and widely used in the graphic industry. (*)