Green Alternative: Turning Waste To Wealth, Energy
Kanayo Adesina Odoe is the Chief Executive Officer of Alchemist Energy Ltd, an outfit that focuses on alternative forms of energy and wastewater treatment. In this interview with KEHINDE OLATUNJI, Kanayo, who is a chemist, chemical engineer and a trained lawyer bares his mind on how waste can be converted to energy.
ABOUT Alchemist Energy
My passion for renewable energy and love for how lives can be improved through science is what bring to focus Alchemist Energy. We work on alternative forms of energy and wastewater treatment and focus on the use of organic waste or organic matter to generate energy/fuel.
This fuel can be used for cooking or electric power. Of course, the amount of energy generated will be deeply dependent on the waste generated. When I say organic waste, I mean any waste from life form/ nature.
Recently, we have converted poultry droppings and fishery waste to energy. We have also treated fish wastewater so that it can be reused by the Fish Farm. We can use cow manure, horse manure, pig manure etc also to generate power.
What informed the idea of the outfit
Well, in graduate school at Howard University, divine providence pushed my research topic to wastewater treatment. I was a chemistry graduate, so I was more comfortable with that line of research, and I had extensive background in biological sciences. At one point in my life I wanted to be a medical doctor and I was admitted into University of Ibadan to study medicine.
I was most fortunate in my research, when I was selected to be part of a team at the most advanced wastewater treatment plant in the world, Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant in Washington DC. There, my research focus was on bioremediation of wastewater to improve the purification of wastewater before it is sent back to the lagoon, where it is consumed again by humans, but after further but slight treatment by water companies. Also, we treated the water so that waste dumped in the water body will not kill life forms like fish, etc.
I came to Nigeria and saw the amount of waste generated in Lagos State and my dad has a large poultry farm as well. It all just came together at that point.
Patriotism, the need to have a clean environment and health issues amongst other things drove me to want to replicate the process in Nigeria.
Some of the benefits of what we do are: reduction in diesel or power consumption in farms, and high density municipal areas, removal of bad odour in farm environment, removal of flies and extreme pestilence, and if the government were to adopt extreme wastewater treatment, we will be able to reduce the incidence of malaria and other waterborne diseases thus reducing the demand we place on hospitals.
I want to state categorically that our clients who have benefited the most from our technology are large-scale farms, where we help them reduce their diesel and fuel consumption by at least 60 per cent. They do not have to buy new generators as we simply use what they have.
Currently, we are a first in Nigeria in terms of scale and expertise as we just recently completed another 500m3 biogas plant which powers a 350KVa diesel generator, where we reduced diesel consumption from 68 liters per hour to 20 liters per hour.
In terms of monthly cost, this is huge savings. We have one in Premium Poultry Farms Ltd, which is located in Kuje Abuja and the other in Crown Feeds and Livestock Ltd, which is located in Delta State Nigeria. We have just commenced a 200m3 plant for a fishery located in Rivers State, which the farm will use in treating its effluent and powering the generator on the farm.
The wastewater treatment is based on the principle of bioremediation of wastewater so that we can recycle and reuse, thus nothing is wasted. Our resources are limited and we must care for what God has given to us.
Large Farms, markets, Ministry of Power and Ministry of Environment
In terms of affordability, it is a matter of scale but I will say that the return on investment is less than 14 months. It is very affordable and we are willing to work on price with our clients.