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ABU Breaks Record, Invents Zeolite

Zeolite is a natural mineral which can be used when refining petroleum products in Nigeria

ABU Academic Calendar For 2015/2016 Session

The Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Prof. Ibrahim Garba revealed its recent scientific breakthroughs. The citadel of learning recorded major breakthroughs as a result of researches it carried out in petrochemicals and automobile engineering. He stated this on as a guest on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum at Abuja on Sunday, July 17.

He said ABU Zaria with the assistance of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) successfully invented a petroleum refining material called zeolite using a kind of clay called kaolin. Zeolite was a natural mineral which could be used while refining petroleum products in Nigeria. On the other hand, Garba lamented that zeolite was not available in commercial quantity in the country.


The university don stated further: “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 convert 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 commercialisation to produce it in large quantities and that has been successful. “PTDF is also ready to join hands with the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) to take it to commercial scale.”


The ABU Zaria number one man did not forget to state that his university had developed a mini-refinery in its Chemical Engineering Department to train would-be engineers the practical aspect of petrochemical engineering.

Likewise, Garba said the mini-refinery could process a barrel of crude oil daily. He said it was constructed with the aid of RMRDC.


The ABU said: “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.” While speaking further, he revealed why ABU went into such landmark scientific researches.


Garba stated: “We found that, in this part of the country, there are not many oil facilities. We found that if we develop this mini-refinery, our students, when they are really taking their degrees, should be able to 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 head of ABU Zaria said the university had also produced an eco-marathon car through a contest organised by Shell worldwide.


He challenged other universities in the country to produce vehicles that are fuel efficient. Garba added that the university won two awards with its Eco-Marathon Car while saying that both universities of Lagos and Benin participated in the two contests in which ABU’s car got the top positions. He concluded by saying: “There is also another research in the engineering department whereby we produced what we call the ABU Eco-marathon car. So, ABU has developed one. We participated in two events and we won both. “University of Lagos tried and came close and University of Benin also, but I think ABU is the one that has won the award.”


It should be noted that despite the landmark achievement by ABU Zaria, a recent ranking of the top 1000 universities in the world could not accommodate any Nigerian tertiary institution.


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