The Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria Prof. Ibrahim Garba says the institution has made significant breakthrough in petrochemicals and automobile engineering.
He said that the university, with the assistance of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), successfully developed a petroleum refining material called zeolite, using a kind of clay called kaolin.
“The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) has commissioned a research to develop one kind of material that is used in petroleum refining which is called zeolite and there are two types”
“They found that if we can covert certain minerals to zeolite it will help.”
“This research has succeeded in converting a clay mineral which is called kaolin to two types of zeolite which can be applicable to petroleum refining.”
“The university has even received a patent certificate from former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“It is now ready to go into semi commercialization to produce it in large quantity and that has been successful.”
“PTDF is also ready to join hands with the Raw Material Research and Development Council(RMRDC) to take it to commercial scale.”
Prof. Ibrahim Garba also said that ABU had developed a mini-refinery in its Chemical Engineering Department to train prospective engineers in the practical aspect of petrochemical engineering.
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He said the mini-refinery, which refines one barrel of crude oil per day, was built with the support of RMRDC.
“We also have what we call the Petroleum or petrochemical mini-refinery.
“We developed a small refinery that will refine one barrel of crude oil a day.
“We do not intend to refine petroleum for our own consumption, but because we have a chemical engineering department, we train engineers that would go into the industry.
“We found that in this part of the country, there are no much oil facilities.
“We found that if we develop this mini-refinery, its student, as at when they are really taking their degrees, should be able know the entire working of a refinery.
“It is quite a big edifice that we built and that also came with the support of RMRDC and it is doing very well.”
The vice-chancellor said the institution had also produced an eco-marathon car through a contest organized by Shell globally, challenging universities to produce vehicles that were fuel efficient.