Hope rises as Zaria varsity builds mini refinery, develops zeolite
The Chemical Department of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria has established a mini-refinery plant which, when fully developed, can bail the country out of the challenge of refining crude oil into various petroleum products.
Speaking yesterday in Zaria at a press briefing on the ABU 38th convocation which comes up on 29th and 30th January 2016, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, told journalists that the prototype refinery was built to function at ‘one barrel per day production capacity’ as a model which can be developed to function in higher capacity.
“Our chemical department has established a mini refinery that can produce relatively small quantity of petroleum products, and that process has gone far. Related to that, there is a sponsored research by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) to develop some kinds of material called Zeolite. It is a mineral component that is used in refining crude oil to create Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Diesel,
Kerosene and other petroleum products. It will interest you to know that Nigeria imports that material with a lot of billions of dollars for our refineries that are even working in half capacity.
“We are challenged with that project, and so far, the university has succeeded in developing a locally- produced zeolite from locally- sourced choline material. This has received, already, a parted certificate from the Federal Government and the PTDF has the property right and the project is going into the next development of testing again to meet international standard.”
Garba also noted that the Mechanical and Engineering Department has produced a prototype car which has even won an award in South Africa and Neitherlands.
According to the vice chancellor, business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, will deliver the 38th convocation lecture on Friday at the Samaru main campus of the institution, while the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, will be the chairman of the occasion.
He added that 13,149 students will participate in the convocation while 4,598 postgraduate students will get higher degrees. Garba said no honorary doctorate degree will be awarded this year.