Zainab Bilyamin, a final year student of the Department of Chemistry Federal University Dutse has converted sachet water waste to hybrid fuel (kerosene and diesel) as her final year project.
Her research project is titled “Conversion of low-density polyethene and mixed low-density polyethene with polyethylene terephthalate into fuel”.
According to FUD Newsletter, the final result shows that the hybrid fuel produced from pure water waste products has similar properties as normal kerosene and diesel as it was used to light up a kerosene lamp and power a pumping machine successfully.
The FUD Newsletter also learnt that fuel can be used to power a generator to produce electricity.
Ms Bilyamin said she was motivated to carry out the research after reading about the possibility of converting polymeric waste into fuel because in Nigeria polymeric waste keep piling up on the street without recycling, which poses an environmental hazard whereas this waste can be converted to wealth.
Her research supervisor, Aminu Dauda, said he quickly key into the project when Ms Bilyamin brought the idea because combating the menace of polymeric waste pollution has become a global challenge, even though recycling rates are comparatively low, and this has led to polymeric waste pollution more than ever.
The supervisor said the research method used in the research is a normal process of Thermal cracking method where the waste was subjected to a high temperature of about 450-500 °C which causes the breakage of the molecular bonds and breaking down long-chained, higher boiling hydrocarbons into shorter chained, lower boiling hydrocarbons in the absence of oxygen.
In the course of the research, Mr Dauda said they had to design and fabricate a machine (reactor) at the Kano Technology Incubation Centre which was used for pyrolysis — the method used to convert the polymeric waste into fuel.
Ms Bilyamin, who hails from Jigawa State, said she would pursue a career in academia as she wants to carry the research further in her post graduate programmes.
She added that the research gulped more than N100,000 (about $150).
Ms Bilyamin and her supervisor, therefore, called on the government to invest in this area of research as it will ease the blockage caused by polymeric waste and at the same time serve as a source of revenue to the government and also a means of reducing youth restiveness.