University of Ghana converts plastic waste to fuels
The Institute of Applied Science and Technology, of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University of Ghana, has begun turning plastic wastes into three different kinds of fuel.
It is producing petrol, diesel and gas from plastic waste .
This is done by reprocessing them into high value fuels and chemicals for households or small running engines.
Professor David Dodoo-Arhin, the Director of the Institute, told the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a five-day workshop on Monday that the initiative was at a stage that needed more funding for up-scaling.
He said a 20 kilogramme capacity, semi-laboratory batch reactor system that used pyrolysis – a process of using temperature to decompose materials in the absence of oxygen – had been built
The reactor yields three litters of fuel when fed with three kilogrammes of waste plastic depending on the conditions the waste was subjected to.
“The fuels are up to standard and are usable. We have been cooking with the gas and our cars are running the petrol and diesel,” he said.
The model, he said, included all the people in the value chain, especially the collectors and could be a good avenue for job creation for many people.
Prof. Doodo said the project was under the plastics-to-fuel initiative, which started in 2018 with initial funding support from the University of Ghana BANGA Africa seed grant programme.
He said it was followed by a two-year funding in 2021, through the University of Ghana Research Fund “multidisciplinary category” and in 2022, another two-year co-funding by the French Embassy’s “FSPI NYANSAPO programme.
Prof. Doodo said the initiative was in line with the Ghana National Plastic Action Partnership to support public and private sector transition to a plastic circular economy thereby, ensuring sustainable plastic management.
Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, in a statement delivered on her behalf, said plastic waste menace continued to pose challenges to the environmental and socioeconomic well-being of the country.
She said there was the need for sustainable waste management systems to help stem the debilitating consequences of plastic waste nationwide.
The workshop was organised in collaboration with the 20th Anniversary team of the School of Engineering Sciences and the 75th Anniversary of the University of Ghana.
It was funded by the French Embassy and on the theme∷ “Strengthening research and innovation capacities in sustainable energy production”.
Mr Jules Armand Aniambossou, the French Ambassador to Ghana, said ensuring access to higher education and research were high priorities of his country and reiterated the country’s commitment to the project.
He said it was the aim of the French Government to increase the collaborations between educational institutions of the two countries through new partnerships, exchanges, joint curricula, double diplomas, joint research programmes and joint research facilities.
“All these activities and programmes should focus on the priorities of our partner countries and aim at contributing to their development through the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.