IPB University Professors Collaborate to Innovate Liquid Soap from Palm Plant with Liquid Smoke Disinfectant made of Coconut Shells

The spread of the COVID-19 virus has spread wider than ever, with almost all areas in Indonesia being exposed to the virus. There are many efforts to prevent and slow down the spread of the virus. Based on the HK.02.01/MENKES/335/2020 letter on Prevention Protocol of Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) Infections in Service and Trade Sector (Public Area) Workspace to Support Economic Continuity, the prevention protocol in general is done by telling people to always wear masks while in public areas, maintain hygiene by washing your hands frequently using soap and flowing water or hand sanitizers, avoid touching the face area such as eyes, nose and mouth and implement physical distancing by at least one meter apart other people.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and medical workers all over the world recommends the people to wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds. Based on studies done, washing your hands for at least 20-30 second is more effective in killing bacteria, germs, including viruses compared to hand sanitizers. Because of that, washing your hands is very important in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, especially if you use soaps with antibacterial properties.

Though it needs to be noted that chemicals in antibacterial soaps such as benzalconium chloride, chloxylenol, sodium hyphochlorite, and chlorhexidine can irritate the skin when overused. Prof Dr Erliza Hambali, an IPB University professor, and her team innovated a liquid soap product with palm surfactants and liquid smoke, an antibacterial material from coconut shell pyrolysis. The innovation created will employ the help of Dr Mahdi Jufri (Universitas Indonesia), Dr Tri Pandji (Pusat Penelitian Bioteknologi dan Bioindustri Indonesia), Rista Fitria (IPB University Surfactant and Bioenergy Research Center), Dr Wulan Tri Wahyuni S (IPB University Tropical Biopharmaceutics Research Center), Dr Mira Rivai (IPB University Surfactant and Bioenergy Research) and Ari Imam Sutanto (PT Golden Surfactant Indonesia).

Prof Erliza mentions that this antibacterial liquid soap innovation is made from eco-friendly materials; renewable, sustainable and in abundance. The compounds in it are the surfactant Metil Ester Sulphonate (MES) from pal oil and surfactant dietanolamide from pal kernel oil (PKO) or coconut oil (CNO) and glycerol from palm plants.

The product made from these antibacterial active ingredients that is eco-friendly is made from liquid smoke from coconut shell pyrolysis product. The liquid smoke contains phenolic compounds, such as phenol, 2-metoksiphenol (guaiakol), 3,4-dimetoksiphenols, and 2-metoksi-4-metilphenol. The light acid components in the coconut shell liquid smoke are dihydroxy benzoate, metoksibenzoat acid, and hydroxyl benzoate acid. Phenolic compounds such as phenol, 2-metoksiphenol (guaiakol), 3,4-dimetoksiphenol, and 2-metoksi-4-metilphenol are compounds inside the liquid smoke that gives it its antibacterial properties.

“The contents of the coconut shell liquid smoke are the ingredient in giving it its antibacterial active ingredient in the liquid soap. Seeing how research and innovation is important in managing the effects of COVID-19, it is imperative that the development of the antibacterial palm surfactant from liquid smoke from coconut shell pyrolysis liquid soap is in progress,” Prof Erliza explains.

She further explains that the developed liquid soap secured funding from the Ministry of Research and Technology/National Body of Research and Innovations (Ristek/BRIN) and the Body of Education Funds Management (LPDP) Ministry of Finance RI. Besides self-protection from bacteria and viruses, this palm liquid soap can also smooth and keep moisture in the skin due to the glycerol from palm oil used.

“The end product can be used as bathing soap or hand soap. By using palm oil surfactants, it is able to clean dirt and dead skin cells. With added glycerol from palm oil as a humectant or emollient, this soap can clean and protect yourself from bacteria and virus, protecting the skin from dryness and keeping smoothness and humidness,” Prof Erliza closes. (IAAS/RCD)


Published Date : 14-Jul-2020

Resource Person : Prof Erliza Hambali

Keyword : Palm Soap, Liquid Soap, Liquid Smoke, Coconut Shell, IPB Professor, IPB Surfactant and Bioenergy Research Center, IPB Tropical Biopharmaceutics Research Center