Varsity Don Urges FG To Implement Biofuel Policy

Updated December 27, 2016

biofuelThe Nigerian government has been asked to implement the biofuel policy with full commitment to prevent total dependence on refined petroleum products.

A professor of Renewable Energy (Mechanical Engineering), at the Osun State University in Osogbo, Professor Oguntola Alamu, made the demand on Tuesday while delivering the 10th inaugural lecture of the university with the theme: “Sourcing Renewable Fuel for Diesel Engines”.

Professor Alamu tasked government on encouraging aggressive use of domestic, renewable energy option in order to reduce the impact of the importation of fuel on the economy.

Professor Alamu, who was a Vice-Chancellor of the university, urged the Federal Government to engage in massive oil crops plantation that would be dedicated primarily for the production of biofuel.

Renewable Fuel For Diesel Engine

He emphasised the need to embrace the renewable energy-options such as Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) as alternative to refined petroleum product so as to reduce the nation’s reliance on single-commodity economy and further strengthen the nation’s energy security.

He added that biodiesel was quickly becoming one of the fastest growing alternative fuels in the world and that this was with environmental benefits, including lower emissions, unlike petroleum that has high emissions profile.

Alamu said that in sourcing for the renewable fuel for diesel engine, he collaborated with other researcher and processed PKO biodiesel as alternative to petrol.

“Biodiesel from coconut oil and a few non-edible oil crops such as castor oil was also processed, optimised and characterised as diesel fuel.

“Fuel properties of the biodiesel produced were tested following the ASTM standards while engine performance test was conducted on diesel engine to obtain results for torque and power at various engine speeds. Generally, results obtained were found to be in good agreement and within limits set by a number of International Standards for biodiesel.

“The results will, no doubt, contribute to baseline data needed for future replacement of conventional diesel with renewable biodiesel to power diesel engine,” the renewable energy expert said.

Alamu emphasised the need for Nigeria’s biofuel policy to be implemented with total commitment saying that the nation should produce renewable feedstock such as vegetable oils and fats to keep the cost of biodiesel competitive with petroleum.

“Globally, there is the dire need for massive oil crops plantation dedicated primarily for biofuel use. Nigeria can decrease its dependence on refined petroleum product imports by an aggressive use of domestic, renewable energy options.

“The Nigeria biofuel policy should also be implemented with total commitment. This will not only reduce reliance on single-commodity economy as well as abate importation of refined petroleum products in Nigeria, but it will also strengthen the nation’s energy security.

“Alternative renewable fuel, found in vegetable oils is characterised by high viscosities thus limiting their applications as fuel. However, the use of transesterified vegetable oils as fuel has been yielding successful results besides being a domestic, renewable resource that provides environmental benefits with lower emissions.”

He went further to explain that “due to its clean emissions profile, ease of use, and many other benefits, biodiesel is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing alternative fuels in the world. With minimal subsidy, biodiesel is cost competitive with petroleum diesel, and millions of users have found and enjoyed the benefits of the fuel.”

“The future of biodiesel lies in the world’s ability to produce renewable feedstock such as vegetable oils and fats to keep the cost of biodiesel competitive with petroleum, without supplanting land necessary for food production or destroying natural ecosystems in the process.

“Creating biodiesel in a sustainable manner will allow this clean, renewable, and cost effective fuel to help ease the increasing shortages of petroleum, while providing economic and environmental benefits well into the 21st century,” Alamu noted.

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