Nigeria gets closer to producing ethanol fuel in commercial quantity from cassava
London, July 27, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Ethanol fuel is soon to be a popular commodity in Nigeria as the Nigerian government has taken a giant step towards realising its dream of methanol fuel technology to generate electricity and expand the chemical industry.
This is because the Nigerian government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Kebbi State Government have cultivated 2,675 hectares of cassava farm for the production of bio-ethanol in the country
Cassava starch is one of the best fermentable substances for the production of ethanol.
The 2,675 hectares of cassava farm was part of the 5,000 hectares acquired for the project to be jointly financed at the cost of N500 million each by both NNPC and Kebbi government.
“The obligation of both partners is that the state government is mandated to provide 20,000 hectares of land each for the cassava and sugarcane projects while the NNPC on the other hand is responsible for land validations.” said the chairman of the Kebbi State Standing Committee on Biofuel, Prof. Mohammad Ka’oje
According to Ka’oje, the land validation is contracted to Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto and Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, in Sokoto and Adamawa States, for cassava and sugarcane respectively.
Bio-ethanol is the fuel used as a petrol substitute for road transport vehicles Bio-ethanol fuel is mainly produced by the sugar fermentation process, although it can also be manufactured by the chemical process of reacting ethylene with steam
Bio-ethanol has a number of advantages over conventional fuels. It comes from a renewable resource i.e. crops and not from a finite resource and the crops it derives from can grow well in the Nigeria (like cassava, cereals, sugar beet and maize).
Another benefit over fossil fuels is the greenhouse gas emissions. The road transport network accounts for over 70 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions and through the use of bio-ethanol, some of these emissions will be reduced as the fuel crops absorb the CO2 they emit through growing.
By encouraging bio-ethanol’s use, the rural economy in Nigeria would also receive a boost from growing the necessary crops. Bio-ethanol is also biodegradable and far less toxic that fossil fuels.
It is recalled that NNPC and the Kebbi state government signed an MoU in 2017 on cassava and sugarcane projects for bio-ethanol production.