Hafizha Mulyasih, a doctoral student at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia (FTUI) has been named the recipient of the Frederick Mowrer Global Scholar Award from the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) for her contribution in developing knowledge related to fire science in developing countries. This award was announced through SFPE’s official social media account on August 2, 2022. Hafizha was selected for her research entitled “Study of Peat Smoldering Combustion and Suppression Methods using an Integrated Experimental Rig at Laboratory-Scaled” under the guidance of Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Prof. Ir. Yulianto Sulistyo Nugroho, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Prof. Yulianto explained that the integrated system that has been developed allows a comprehensive analysis of the burning nature of peat smoldering, calculation of the emission factor released by peat when burning smoldering, as well as a study of several methods of extinguishing fires that can be carried out. So far, peat samples from Riau, Central Kalimantan and Papua have been studied using an integrated system.
Peat fires in the dry season, if not controlled and extinguished quickly and carefully, can continue for a long time and spread to large areas. The low intensity of rain in the dry season and limited water sources are major challenges to tackling smoldering fires on a large scale. The difficulty of extinguishing peat fires is also caused by the potential for hotspots to spread in the subsurface layer of peat. Therefore, Hafizha’s research is also focused on laboratory-scale testing of peat fire suppression, with the method of direct water injection into hotspots below the peat surface.
“The water injection method can be applied for the initial response to burning peatland fires in areas close to residential areas. Through this experimental activity, better knowledge is obtained about handling peat fires by observing the effectiveness of extinguishing time and the amount of water needed to extinguish them. The injection method can be an effective solution for direct initial extinguishing efforts at hot spots in the deep layers of peat, especially during the dry season,” said Hafizha.
She added, “The effectiveness of the water injection method in early suppression of smoldering peat fires in Indonesia can be further enhanced by integrating the use of drone technology equipped with visual cameras and thermal cameras, to more precisely identify the location of hotspots on burning peatlands.”
“Early identification is important for peat fire mitigation. I hope that the results of Prof. Yulianto and Hafizha can contribute to a better understanding of water injection technology for early mitigation of peat fires. Hopefully in the future this technology can bring broad benefits and can involve more parties in efforts to prevent forest and peatland fires, especially in areas that have a risk of forest and land fires, “said the Dean of FTUI, Prof. Dr. Heri Hermansyah, S.T., M.Eng., IPU.
SFPE is an international organization working in the field of fire protection engineering. SPFE founded the SPFE Foundation which is engaged in education and research in 1979 in the United States. The awarding and giving of plaques to the recipients of the SFPE Awards will be held in conjunction with the SFPE Annual Conference and Expo on October 12-14, 2022 at the Detroit Marriott, the Renaissance Center, Michigan, USA. At the time this news was written, Dr. Hafizha Mulyasih, S.T., M.T., has been able to defend his dissertation on the Doctoral Promotion Exam, and has attended the UI Graduation, on September 11, 2022, as one of the best graduates of the Mechanical Engineering Doctoral Study Program, FTUI.
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Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia