23 April 2014, Kaduna – 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.
– Daily Trust