BUSI­NESS Nigeria records break­through in lo­cal petrol re­fin­ing

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Daniel Adugbo

The Vice Chan­cel­lor, Ah­madu Bello Univer­sity Zaria, Pro­fes­sor Ab­dul­lahi Mustapha, has an­nounced the suc­cess­ful break­through in the lo­cal re­fin­ing of heavy crude for the pro­duc­tion of prod­ucts us­ing lo­cally sourced raw ma­te­ri­als.

This is the out­come of a 4-year in­ten­sive re­search on the pro­duc­tion of Ze­o­lite Cat­a­lyst us­ing clay by a team of re­searchers led by Pro­fes­sor Ab­dulka­rim Ahmed who is the Chair holder, Petroleum Tech­nol­ogy De­vel­op­ment Fund En­dow­ment in Chemical En­gi­neer­ing at the Univer­sity.

Ze­o­lite Cat­a­lyst is an es­sen­tial ad­di­tive in the con­ver­sion and re­fin­ing process of heavy gas oil into us­able gaso­line and petro­chem­i­cal prod­ucts in re­finer­ies.

The Vice Chan­cel­lor re­vealed this de­vel­op­ment at the 2014 An­nual Lec­ture of the PTDF Pro­fes­so­rial Chair in Chemical En­gi­neer­ing. He said the de­sign and fab­ri­ca­tion of the pi­lot plants for the pro­duc­tion of Ze­o­lite Cat­a­lyst has reached ad­vanced stage with a view to com­mis­sion­ing a pro­to­type re­fin­ery in Novem­ber this year.

The Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary, PTDF, Dr. Olu­wole Olul­eye, com­mended the PTDF Chair in Chemical En­gi­neer­ing , Ah­madu Bello Univer­sity Zaria, Pro­fes­sor Ab­dulka­rim Ahmed, for his high sense of com­mit­ment to ac­tu­al­iz­ing the re­search goals for which the univer­sity was en­dowed.

He de­scribed the out­come as fun­da­men­tal to the sourc­ing of lo­cal raw ma­te­ri­als like kaolin in pro­duc­ing Ze­o­lite Cat­a­lyst, with the eco­nomic im­pli­ca­tion of re­duc­ing the huge cap­i­tal flight on the im­por­ta­tion of the raw ma­te­ri­als for use in lo­cal re­finer­ies.

PTDF Chair holder and lead re­searcher, Pro­fes­sor Ahmed, said char­ac­ter­i­za­tion tests con­ducted abroad on the lo­cally pro­duced Ze­o­lite Cat­a­lyst us­ing Kao­line ob­tained from Kankara in Katsina State in­di­cate a 75 per­cent vi­a­bil­ity in out­per­form­ing the commercial cat­a­lyst cur­rently be­ing used by NNPC re­finer­ies.

The In­tel­lec­tual Property Rights and patent on two novel process tech­niques em­ployed in the pro­duc­tion of Ze­o­lite Y and ZSM-5 Ze­o­lite Cat­a­lysts have al­ready been ap­proved.

PTDF en­dows Pro­fes­so­rial Chairs to ad­vance indige­nous re­search in petroleum and other re­lated dis­ci­plines for the de­vel­op­ment of the na­tion’ s oil and gas in­dus­try.

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