Wednesday, January 27, 2016 12:22 pm
Femi Adi/ Kaduna
Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria has concluded the process of building a prototype refinery as part of its contribution to cushioning the hardship faced in the country by incessant shortage of petroleum products.
Vice Chancellor of ABU, Professor Ibrahim Garba, who disclosed this during a press briefing ahead of the ABU 38th Convocation Ceremony which comes up on 29th and 30th January 2016, said the prototype refinery, when fully equipped and functional, can assist the government in contributing to the refining of petroleum products in the country.
The Vice Chancellor also revealed that the refinery was conceived and 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, and that process has gone far.
“Related to that, there is a sponsored research by Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), to develop some kinds of material called Zeolite.
“It is a mineral component that is used in the refining of petroleum to create Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), diesel, kerosene and other petroleum products from crude oil.” Professor Garba explained.
While noting that Nigeria imports that material with a lot of billions of dollars, for the refineries that are even working in half capacity, the VC equally disclosed that ABU researchers were challenged with the project and so far the university has succeeded in developing a locally produced zeolite from locally sourced choline material
He further hinted that the feat has received already a parted certificate from the federal government of Nigeria and PTDF. Adding that the project is going into the next development of testing and testing again to international standard.
However, Professor Garba also revealed that the mechanical engineering department has produced a prototype car which has even won an award in South Africa and Neitherlands
Meanwhile, he informed that Alhaji Aliko Dangote will deliver the 38th convocation lecture on Friday at the Samaru main campus of the varsity, adding that Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, will chair the occasion.
He also said 13,149 students will be convocated while 4,598 post graduate students will get higher degrees. He however said no honorary doctorate degree will be awarded this year.
The Vice Chancellor also said that the university will be graduating students of the 2014/2015 and 2015 /2016 academic sessions.
Professor Garba who justified the choice of Dangote as Guest Lecturer, said that his success as Africa’s richest man and a great entrepreneur is not an accident, adding that Dangote should come and share the secret of his success.