Kessington Obahiagbon, professor of chemical engineering at the University of Benin, says his new research has shown that biodiesel can solve Nigeria’s energy problem.
Obahiagbon made this known on Thursday while delivering the 223rd inaugural lecture of the university.
According to the professor, the production of biodiesel can be scaled up to a commercial level which could help Nigeria achieve its desired energy sufficiency.
In the research paper titled; “The Battered Environment: Action and Reaction are Equal and Opposite; The Chemical Engineer as a Mediator,” the don explained that biodiesel is a clean burning fuel which can be produced from oils of plants.
His research, he said has shown that biodiesel – with properties comparable to petroleum-based diesel fuels can be produced from soybean oil, coconut oil and waste vegetable oil via a process known as transesterification.
One major shortcoming, however of biodiesel, which Obahiagbon noted in his research, is its oxidative stability, its capacity to withstand degradation during storage that is.
Obahiagbon said he and his team are working on novel methods of ensuring the “stability of biodieselduring storage”.
He also added that biodiesel produced by him and his team has been used to power various mechanical equipment and has been established to be a clean source of energy.
Obahiagbon, whose research interests are in renewable energy, pollution and bioremediation, is the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) professorial chair in renewable energy at the university’s department of chemical engineering.