UNN professor advocates gasification technology as solution to electricity crisis, national grid collapse

The Vice-Chancellor of UNN, Prof Charles Igwe, (3rd from right); the 190th Inaugural Lecturer of UNN, Prof. Emenike Ejiogu and his wife(4th from left) and other Principal officers of the UNN at the 190th Inaugural Lecture of UNN held on Thursday

A professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Nigeria, Emenike Ejiogu has called on Nigeria government to liberalize the generation and distribution of electricity through the gasification technology. 

He also said that adopting the proposal would end the frequent collapse of the national grid.

Prof Ejiogu, made the proposition when he delivered the 190th Inaugural Lecture of the University of Nigeria titled; My Engineering Odyssey: Energy Security, Energy Sustainability and Bringing Power to the People. 

He said that the gasification technology, which converts municipal and agricultural organic wastes to energy, presents a viable option to give Nigerians clean and affordable energy. 

Ejiogu, who doubles as the Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Director, Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Power and Energy Development (ACE-SPED) said that the gasification technology has the potential to inject over 6000MW of electricity into the Nigerian economy within a short period of time. 

According to him, a study carried out by his team to assess the waste to energy generation potential of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and its environs showed that the city had enough waste to generate about 20MW of electric power.  

He argued that a replication of similar potentials in 300 localities in Nigeria would ensure a rapid injection of 6000MW of electricity into the economy. 

“With 6000MW of electric energy available by distributed generation all over Nigeria, we would really have given power to the people”, he said. 

The don argued that the waste-to-energy generation system presents a triple advantage to Nigeria as it could provide electricity, clean up the environment, and create many waste management value chain jobs. 

He said that the time was ripe for Nigeria to utilize available technologies to harness its energy potentials and decentralize power generation to the people instead of holding on to the epileptic national grid system which throws the country into darkness whenever it collapses.   

He disclosed that his team had been experimenting with the gasification technology to provide electricity at his residence, the Faculty of Engineering and the administrative office of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. 

“I can tell you that it is one of the low-hanging technologies; it is four times cheaper than the solar energy”, he said. 

The professor said that his research group has also designed a bioreactor that could transform waste vegetable oils into clean biodiesel at a competitive cost of N500 per liter.

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