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An attempt to effectively have a databank of energy sources for proper planning, management and

Abdulkareem Ozi Aliyu and Ja’afaru Yahaya Bawa

Energy Commission of Nigeria, Abuja


Nigeria is Africa’s energy giant. Energy is a very crucial ingredient for development and has always been a
vital and indispensable input to the economic needs of our present civilization. Prior to the 1960s, energy
utilization consisted very predominately of non-commercial energy, namely: fuel wood, charcoal, agricultural
wastes and residues as well as solar (thermal) radiation. The structure of energy utilization has drastically
changed since then. Energy information system is a priority area, because every sector needs energy, so an
integrated development approach is needed in that regard. A well informed person, organization or Nation will
be knowledgeable to use, trade in or train on energy with maximum benefit being derive from. Energy
information system has enabled new energy sources and utilization be linked to people. We have moved
beyond stand-alone computers or component to build large, integrated distributed information system that are

in service to our society. It has become of paramount importance to build the energy system of the future in
Nigeria as well as Africa. This paper looks at a society required systems we can count on; that is designing a
new generation of energy information system that will make today’s applications and information reliable and
secure, to aid effective planning and research.


Energy information system can be defined as the combination of people, hardware, software, communication
devices, network and data resources that process (storing, retrieving, transforming information) data and
information for the purpose of adequately monitoring (quantitative and qualitative) and analyzing (quantitative
and qualitative) aspects of energy sources, processing and utilization. Energy information system has amplified
our intellectual and physical abilities more than anything since the development of the written word.
Technology marvels such as the internet and global positioning system became possible only with the
advances made in information technology. Today there are over eight billion computers in the world. Most are
embedded invisibly in products, making goods and service safer, more secure, flexible and energy-efficient
and less expensive than ever before. Quantitative changes in performance and affordability have led to
qualitative changes in application of computing.

A defining characteristic of our age is our reliance on vast, complex, and intertwined energy information
networks. These networks enable the exchange of energy analysis and control of energy information on a scale
and of a quality that has never before been realized. Energy information networks link elements in our
electrical grid and energy communication systems. They support the critical infrastructure that is responsible

for much planning, management and productivity behind our energy economic growth in recent years, and
they provide the foundation for the quality of life we enjoy.

In future, since every sector needs energy, we can expect our computational energy infrastructure to offer an
even more impressive range of energy economic benefits as it grows to include billions of people worldwide.
These new benefits will be facilitated by advances in electronic and optical communication.


 The need to build-up a committed Network: Energy information is usually disseminated slowly and,
in some cases unevenly.
 Experience of cognitive disability: Stress, fatigue and emotion reduces decision-making capabilities.
 Shortage of skills and training ability to process data and derive energy information, as well as to
deploy highly adaptive communication capabilities through which otherwise separate entities can
share energy information through coordinated transmissions


With the energy challenges facing us, we need to have greater access to modern energy which will make us to
achieve the poverty reduction goals of the millennium declaration, so it is important to establish an energy
information system that would be used to monitor the position of Nigeria energy sources and utilization in the
context of regional and global trends in the availability of energy commodities, especially price fluctuation of
individual energy sources.

Perhaps there is the need to mention that with modern energy information system, network reliability and
security will be increased by these systems that observe the current condition of the global network and
individual applications and adopt to deliver target levels of security and availability/reliable information. These
tasks would be performed without or with minimal human intervention. The goal is to achieve a mean time
repair that is accomplished in electronic time scales (seconds and microseconds), rather than human time
scales (minutes and hours).

If a distributed denial-of-service attack is launched: A Denial of Service (DOS) attack is an attack that is
mounted for the purpose of disabling systems that provide network services, rather than to steal data or inflict
damage. The targets of the attack can be network servers or network routers. The DoS attack prevents the
system from responding to legitimate requests, thus impeding network functions. The attack is usually
mounted through one of the three methods described below:

 Flooding a network with data to consume all available bandwidth.

 Sending data designed to exploit known flaws in a network application.
 Sending multiple service requests to a target system to consume its resources
For example, the energy system would replicate the service to alternate sites and coordinate the routing
infrastructure to route requests to new places. Similarly, if particular network links fail, the energy information
system might heal it-self by recruiting additional replicas and automatically retiring old ones.

The energy chapter of world energy outlook highlighted that there is need for better energy data collection,
including information on biomass use and its technologies. Over half of all the people living in Africa relied on
biomass for cooking and heating. Nigeria population relies primarily on biomass-fuelwood or charcoal, to
meet its residential energy needs. Expanded access to electricity in the coming decades, which low-income
households use primarily for lighting, is unlikely to reduce the demand for biomass in Nigeria. Therefore there
is the need for a self-adaptive and efficient energy information system to provide policy –makers the tools with
which to make informed decisions on efficient energy use and alternative energy sources to ensure sustainable
economic and energy development both at a national and region level. As we gain experience with these
networks, the attributes of the energy information utilities required to realize these advances become
increasingly well-defined, and these include:

 Global reach: Uniform service would be available and affordable worldwide.

 Persistence: Energy data committed to the energy information system would be accessible in 100

The mandate and architecture of energy information is to integrate Nigeria and Africa energy efforts,
strengthen regional co-operation and provide policy-makers with the tools to accelerate the penetration of
modern energy service across the continent. Audit trails are used to detect, analyze, and repair errors in human
and data systems. They are used to track hackers who penetrate servers, as well as to unwind energy financial
transactions that go awry. They can also be valuable in ensuring that privacy constraints are adhered to. Vast
implored auditing techniques are required to compare the robustness of computing and energy data systems.
The simple ways found to be demonstrative are:

 Support short and medium term training program’s and educate statisticians for Nigeria and
Africa energy scale cooperation.
 Identify and empower relevant, appropriately qualified energy data contacts in national
administrations that will form the core network for building and maintaining Nigeria and
African energy information system.
 Adopt an internationally recognized energy data frame work for Nigeria and Africa.
 Promote creation of the necessary software systems and communication networks essential
to improve energy information system and build Africa wide energy information system,
since Africa is the only region with no such regional network. This is even more significant
for Africa, given the relatively small national market and the need for regional co-operation
to ensure energy security and attract needed investment.


Processing energy data is just one element of energy information system safety net. The ability to face related
data from multiple sources to derive useful information is critical. The energy information system architecture

must therefore enable large-scale collection, archiving, and processing of live streams of energy data for on-
line and off-line analyses, decision-making, and dissemination.

The key technical challenges include

 The security of the energy data system.

 Privacy of individuals and related data.
 Integrity and authenticity of data.
 Well defined semantics for the behaviour of the information infrastructure under different
types of failure.
In other to facilitate higher-level inferences in data fusion.

 There is a need for application-specific data fusion in the presence of insufficient and error-
prone data.
 Risk analysis of confidence in the data.
 Making inferences from faulty and insufficient data.
 Analysis and interpretation of collected data in conjunction with information databases (that
could be often be out of date and/or have partial or incorrect information) are essential in
enabling sound decision-making for proper planning and management.
Other essential components of the energy information architecture include:

 Novel data models.

 Segmentation
 Organizational methods for storing and mining collected energy data in conjunction with
existing databases.
Linking networks of energy and actuators with existing energy information systems would create a platform
for performing data mining, fusion, and management such energy data system would implore both the quality
of energy information available to energy planners and the speed with which they receive it.

Data fusion would provide critical assistance for:

 Energy decision making.

 Rapid energy planning and management.
 Energy resources allocation.
The result would be a revolutionary enhancement of the efficient and effectiveness of the current 9-1-1
emergence response system.

Although the Energy Commission of Nigeria who is currently responsible for the development, operation and
maintenance of a National Energy Databank for the country is closely working with Federal Ministry of
Energy, National Bureau of Statistics and other energy parastatals on the development of an energy and non-
energy data fusion.














What has been said on oil also applies to natural gas and to a lesser extent to coal. As a consequence, with the
growing dependence of large energy consuming in Nigeria on emerging economies, of which we still face
challenges related to good governance, a new aspect of energy information system becomes increasingly
apparent. Under these conditions and concerns, therefore raising the importance of energy information system
becomes another issue.

As our reliance on energy information system networks grows, so does our vulnerability. In many applications
today, the reliability and security of these systems is unacceptable, creating problems that range from lagging
productivity to dangerous vulnerability.

There are two qualities that we require for all energy information systems: security and reliability/availability.

All too often security policies are implemented mechanically, producing no real gains in security. We therefore
require new specification techniques for security policies that are meaningful to energy information system
administrators and end-users, so that security is deployed in a way that meets the expectations of user’s
administrators and security engineers.

The improved techniques should include:

 Accommodating common operational scenarios in a straight forward way.

 Business failure of a security service provider
 The merger or fission of security administrative domain
 Compromise of a critical resource: Because there is always a trade-off between security and
convenience, since there are opportunities for user-centered design to improve the acceptance and
deployment of better security



One characteristic of the Nigerian energy economy is interdependence: no region or country is totally self-
sufficient or self contained in all aspect of energy supply and demand. Thus in addition to Energy information
system having an adequate database covering indigenous energy commodities, enterprises and activities, it is
important to establish a set of new information systems which would be used to monitor the position of
Nigeria’s energy.

With all the advantage of energy information, it is important to appreciate that there are a lot of problems
associated with their popularization, commercialization and market, such problems include:

 Difficulty in the minds of many people to accept or delve into new energy frontiers.
 Lack of suitable information on energy and their advantages.

 Not many people think of long term savings in fuel.
Human error is often cited as the cause for configuration errors in our energy systems. In reality, much of this
so called human error is not produced by carelessness or imperfect knowledge, but it has its roots in the design
of the energy information system and its corresponding administrative interface. Certainly, energy information
systems and their components will be more robust if we engineer them to require far less human intervention,
and to adapt and continue operating on their own under a wide range of conditions. Nonetheless, significant
improvement will accrue to energy data systems that are explicitly designed to work well with their
constituencies of users, administrators, and maintainers.


Global research: Uniform energy information for Nigeria and Africa would be available and
affordable worldwide.
 Scalability: We would be able to increase the capacity of energy service by devoting additional energy
 Persistence: Data that we commit to the energy information system would be accessible in 100 years.
 Efficient administration: There would be a very high ratio of users to support the energy information
 There would be changing requirement, technology and operation conditions: Our economy will
benefit from a more unified approach.
 Common investment in energy and shared vision: It would encourage the development of a consistent
set of standards that would lead to a more efficient technical and societal integration of new energy

 Nigeria should seek partnership, with public and private bodies and international
organizations dealing with other inter-African development, so as to create and maintain an
Africa-wide energy information system to facilitate the exchange of information between
member countries and regional organizations.
 To support energy information system, it is to develop capacity-building programmes; it has
a role in mobilizing resources for energy sector development. In this respects, we should
therefore submit an official request for assistance from IEA, Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC) and The Latin American Energy Organization, through providing us
with their questionnaires and their databases, training of our statisticians to improve data
collection in Nigeria and Africa.
 We should strengthen high-level political support for the concept on improving energy
statistics in Nigeria and Africa. Also we need to emphasize on the quality of the data
collected, and make sure that we are able to maintain the data properly.
 We should determine the information needs of decision-makers (in the Government and
private sector, and including investors), identify existing energy information systems
relevant to Nigeria and Africa, and determine how to learn from and build on these.
 We should consider how to implement a network for gathering and distributing information
that has drawn inspiration from the networks created by other international organizations,
keeping in mind not to duplicate work done by others, or cause an unnecessary reporting
burden on Nigeria and African Governments.
 We should also make a start in identifying the structural weakness in Governments that
hinder information gathering and distribution, and formulate (in cooperation with regional
organizations) an approach to build the required institutional capacity.

Meeting the challenges posed in this paper will require us to dramatically extend the frontier of our knowledge
in science and technology.

The aspiration that we have for our energy information system, the functionality that we desire and thus the
complexity of these information systems are constantly increasing. At the same time, our expectations for ease
of use and reasonable costs are similarly demanding and open-ended: Energy information system can never be
designed, implemented, installed, administered, and used too easily or too inexpensively.

Producing energy system for proper planning and management will always be viewed as a work in progress,
rather than as a destination with a definite end point.

If energy information systems are to be widely adopted, we must create meaningful metrics for information
system security and stability so that their attributes can be more widely understood and their development and
operational overhead can be justified.


A conference series on Grand research challenges in information systems: Computing research Association

Africa Energy Commission: Report of the seminar on energy

information system for Africa: Algiers


A.T. Sulaiman: Focusing on renewable energy sources in Nigeria’s

development strategy (Keynote Address, National

workshop on creating demand and removing barriers to

renewable energy market development in Nigeria, 2001).

C. Mandil: Executive Director International Energy Agency:

The International energy Agency and Africa.

Engr .D. A Bayero: Energy and related data Acquisition and Management

in the Petroleum and Gas sub-sector. (A paper

delivered at the workshop on the development of an

effective National Energy Data bank).



*Diya’uddeen B.H.1 and Mohammed I.A.2

Biotechnology Engineering Department, International Islamic University Malaysia - MALAYSIA. +60166786741
Chemical Engineering Department, A.B.U. Zaria - NIGERIA. +2348033611734

* Corresponding author


Four batches of chemically activated carbons were produced from corn cobs by impregnation at different time
intervals ranging from 3-24hrs using 25 wt% CaCl 2 as activating agent. Surface area of the activated carbons was
then determined using both BET technique in an AUTOSORB-1 analyzer and water adsorption techniques by
determining the volume at monolayer coverage. A temperature of 30 oC and equilibrium time of 24hrs was maintained
for all adsorbents in determining the volume at monolayer coverage; saturated solutions of four salts namely CaSO4,
LiCl, CaCl2 and NaCl were used. Results of surface areas obtained from the two techniques were compared. It was
established from the analyses that water adsorption technique approximate the BET technique reasonably well for
surface areas below 200m2/g, above this value results from water adsorption technique are not reliable.

Keywords: BET; Water Adsorption; Activated carbon; Corn Cobs

1. Introduction

Surface area is a measure of the exposed surface of a solid sample usually an adsorbent on the molecular
scale. The property has a pronounced effect on the amount of fluid adsorbed because adsorption takes place at the
interface boundary, therefore the surface area of an adsorbent is an important factor in the adsorption process.

As an adsorbent activated carbon has found considerable application in separation, wastewater and drinking
water treatment, this is due to availability and very low cost of the starting materials coupled with its high surface
area. This relationship between surface area and the extent of adsorption has led to the development of highly porous
material with areas as high as 3,000 m 2/g (Tseng, 2006, Kim et al., 2006, Lillo-Rodenas et al., 2001) and has brought
about diversification of its usage to include catalyst support for fuel cells (Tseng, 2006), electron base material for
manufacture of high–performance double layer super capacitors and storage for large quantities of CH 4 and H2 at the
same pressure (Kim et. al., 2001).

Abundant literature exists on the methods of activated carbon production namely chemical and physical
activation but the chemical method have been established to be more effective than physical activation in terms of
obtaining higher surface areas (Teng et. al., 2000, Lillo-Rodenas et al., 2003 and Guo et al., 2003)

There are various methods of determining surface areas of an adsorbent which include water adsorption
(Adefila et al., 2003), inverse of iodine value (Okafor & Aneke, 2005) and BET machine. The most reliable and
recognized internationally results are those obtained from BET machines. There are three major drawbacks to using
the BET technique in developing countries namely purchasing cost (because average cost the BET machine stands at
about $100,000.00), energy/power (because the machine needs constant power supply for its operation; average time
of degassing a sample is 16hrs while the analysis time ranges from 20-50hrs) and operating cost (because the
procedure consumes a lot of liquid nitrogen at temperature of -198.5 oC). This brought about the development of water
adsorption technique by the researchers Adefila et al., (2003), the technique utilizes water vapor as the adsorbate from
saturated solution of salts at ambient conditions. Thus BET and water adsorption techniques are the only techniques
that involves isothermal physical adsorption of a fluid on solid surface at low temperatures in the pressure range where
a monomolecular layer of fluid is adsorbed on the adsorbent surface.

This study was aimed at preparing activated carbon adsorbents from corn cobs, determining the surface areas
of same samples using both BET and water adsorption techniques and comparing the results obtained to ascertain the
validity of results from water adsorption technique.

2.0 Materials and Method

2.1 Sample preparation

The precursor was obtained from Shika farms of A.B.U. Zaria; it was grounded in a roll crusher and sieved to
the desired particle size of 350µm. Analytical grade (BDH) CaCl 2 was used as the chemical activation agent.
Deionized water was used for preparing saturated solutions of CaSO4, LiCl, CaCl2 and NaCl.

2.2 Production of activated carbon

Activation of the samples was carried in muffle furnace which does not allow air thus limiting excess air
necessary for combustion. Activation temperature of 550 oC and activation time of 2hrs was used for activating the

Samples were weighed into a crucible and charged into the furnace and switched on, at temperature of about
550oC the system was allowed to remain for the period of the activation time and the furnace is switched off at the
end of the desired time.

High purity nitrogen gas was introduced at a rate of 150mL/min (enough pressure to maintain an inert
environment without flushing the sample). The activated corn cobs were then removed from the furnace at the end of
each activation time using metal forceps allowed to cool in a dessicator to room temperature and weighed.

The resulting final product were all rinsed with distilled water (Gua et al., 2003) and dried in an oven
(Gallenkamp, OV-420) at 100oC overnight and kept in an air tight nylon envelope (Odebunmi et al., 2001).

2.4 Characterization of activated carbon

2.4.1 Determination of apparent density

Sample was placed in a previously weighed glass tube and the new weight recorded. It was tapped until there
was no change in volume and the tube and its content reweighed. The weight difference is calculated and equation 3.1
(Ahmedna et al, 1997, Akinyemi et al., 2005) was used to calculate the bulk density

weight of sample
% Apparent density  x 100% …………………. (3.1)
volume of sample

2.4.2 Determination of solid density

An Ultrapycnometer (UPY 1000) was used to determine the solid density. Samples were weighed on a
weighing balance, placed in the sample holder of the machine and the relevant options selected.

2.4.3 Porosity

This was calculated from the values of true and bulk densities (Ahmedna et al, 1997) obtained above for each
sample using equation 3.2

Apparent density  SolidDensity

% Porosity  x100% ………….. (3.2)
Apparent density

2.4.3 Surface area determination Water adsorption Technique

Saturated solution of the four salts CaSO 4, LiCl, CaCl2 and NaCl was prepared by dissolving the salts in a
100mL beaker using deionised water.

Sixteen (16) plastic containers with air tight covers were obtained and four (4) sample were weighed from
the activated carbon and placed in four (4) of the plastic containers. Each of the saturated was weighed into four (4)
petri dishes, placed into the covered plastic containers and the containers covered. All the containers were left for
24hrs to reach equilibrium after which the difference in weight was determined (Adefila et al., 2003). BET Technique

Sample cell with 9mm bulb diameter was weighed empty, sample C224 put into the cell and placed in the
heating mantle. Clamp was set in place, cell inserted into the fitting and tightened on outgassing station 1 on the front
panel of the BET machine (AUTOSORB-1, Quantrachome). A degassing temperature of 300 oC was selected and the
heating mantle switched on. Mantle power and thermocouple connectors were then plugged into the jacks, mantle was
placed over the sample cell, a clamp was slided over the mantle and the heater enable switch was turned on.

The outgassed sample was immediately transferred to the p/po analyses station dewar which has a thermistor
level sensor that detect and control (raise or lower) the level of the dewar during analyses when the stem cell is not
fully dipped in the liquid adsorbate.

3.0 Results and discussion

Salts with low relative humidities were selected because they give better results than salts with high relative
humidities (Adefila et al., 2003) and the amount of water adsorbed on the surface of the activated carbon after
equilibrium from the saturated solutions of the salts is presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Amount of water adsorbed by samples with each salt.

S/No. Sample CaSO4 LiCl CaCl2 NaCl

1. C224 0.2246 0.1983 0.2292 0.1881 Key:

2. C212 0.2246 0.1421 0.0771 0.1347

3. C203 0.0534 0.0725 0.0193 0.0367

4. C206 0.1147 0.0195 0.0463 0.0559

ACC203: Activated corn cobs for 2h and 03h impregnation time

ACC206: Activated corn cobs for 2h and 06h impregnation time

ACC212: Activated corn cobs for 2h and 12h impregnation time

ACC224: Activated corn cobs for 2h and 24h impregnation time

Table 2a: RH, Vm and (P/Po) (1/V) values for C224

S/No Salt (P/Po) V (g/g) (P/Po) (1/V)

1 CaSO4 0.0100 0.2246 0.0445

2 LiCl 0.1130 0.1983 0.5698

3 CaCl2 0.3230 0.2292 1.4092

4 NaCl2 0.7530 0.1881 4.0032

Table 2b: RH, Vm and (P/Po) (1/V) values for C212

S/No Salt (P/Po) V (g/g) (P/Po) (1/V)

1 CaSO4 0.0100 0.1094 0.0914

2 LiCl 0.1130 0.1421 0.7952

3 CaCl2 0.3230 0.0771 4.1894

4 NaCl2 0.7530 0.1347 5.5902

Table 2c: RH, Vm and (P/Po) (1/V) values for C206

S/No Salt (P/Po) V (g/g) (P/Po) (1/V)

1 CaSO4 0.0100 0.1147 0.0872

2 LiCl 0.1130 0.0195 5.7945

3 CaCl2 0.3230 0.0463 6.9762

4 NaCl2 0.7530 0.0559 13.4705

Table 2d: RH, Vm and (P/Po) (1/V) values for C203

S/No Salt (P/Po) V (g/g) (P/Po) (1/V)

1 CaSO4 0.0100 0.0144 0.6944

2 LiCl 0.1130 0.7410 0.1525

3 CaCl2 0.3230 0.0915 3.5301

4 NaCl2 0.7530 0.0391 19.2583

Key RH: Relative Humidity Vm: Volume of water adsorded

From the results in Table 2a-2d, the adsorption isotherms were plotted in order to obtain the
volume at monolayer coverage (Vm) and the graphical representation is presented in Figures 1-4, the slope of the
figures gives 1/Vm which is then used to obtain the surface area by employing equation 3.3 (Adefila et al., 2003)

S g = 3897.63 Vm (m2/g) …………….……………….……… (3.3)

Figure 1: Graph of (P/Po)(1/V) vs P/Po for C224

Figure 2: Graph of (P/Po)(1/V) vs P/Po for C212

Figure 3: Graph of (P/Po)(1/V) vs P/Po for C206

Figure 4: Graph of (P/Po)(1/V) vs P/Po for C203

Outputs from the BET surface area analyser (AUTOSORB-1) are presented alongside the computed surface
area from water adsorption in Table 3. Porosities and densities calculated are also shown in the table. From the table it
is seen that impregnation time directly affect the surface areas and porosities of the adsorbent as evident in the linear
increase of those two parameters with increase in impregnation time. Also water adsorption surface areas are observed
to be higher than BET.

Table 3: Surface area, densities and porosities data of the activated carbon

S/No. Sample BET Water Bulk True Porosity,

(m2/g) adsorption Density density %


1 C224 385.16 764.24 1.9014 0.5189 72.71

2 C212 294.10 579.68 1.7223 0.5471 68.23

3 C206 147.53 198.95 1.6759 0.5457 67.44

4 C203 211.33 245.33 1.3917 0.4898 64.81

The wide difference of surface areas observed in the two techniques for the adsorbents could be attributed to

the fact that to achieve monolayer coverage the adsorbate used in BET technique was nitrogen gas which has a

molecular size of 16Å while water adsorption uses water molecule which has a molecular size of 2.8Å

(, 2007) as such all the micropore volume in the adsorbent would not be accessible

in the water adsorption technique as micropore has pore width of 20Å.

4.0 Conclusions

From the result of the analysis it has been found that comparing the BET surface areas values with water

adsorption values for the activated carbon samples shows that water adsorption technique closely approximates water

adsorption technique for surface area determination for sample with surface around areas exceeding 200m 2/g.


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I.I.Ozigis1, A. A. Asere 2 & I. S. Arudi 3
Deptartment of Mechanical Engineering, University of Abuja, Abuja
Deptartment of Mechanical Engineering

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife


The energy crises in Nigeria necessitated the need for coal fluidized bed reactor. The reactor was built entirely
on locally available materials. The research entails designed of air distributor, combustion and plenum
chambers which were constructed from 8mm thick mild steel plate while feed hopper, cyclone and the
centrifugal fan blower housing were constructed from 3mm thick mild steel plate. The heat exchanger tube
was made from stainless steel pipe of 20mm diameter and 22m long. The interior of the reactor was lined with
fired refractory brick from Enugu fire clay. Okpara sub-bituminous coal (Enugu state) was subjected to
combustion in the reactor at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University‘s Combustion test bay, Bauchi. The Reactor
wall temperature varies between 45 -1240 C and did not rapidly increase thereafter despite changes in operating
bed temperature of between 750-950 0C. There was adequate insulation and is a prerequisite in a coal reactor.
The steam temperature obtained was about 160 0C which can be superheated to 212 0C for steam turbines. Coal
fluidized bed reactor offers significant advantages to Nigeria especially in the area of power production. The
technology will stimulate more extraction and utilization of Nigerian coal in power and process industries.

KEYWORDS: Reactor, Fluidized, Coal, Construction, Plenum, Combustion


Coal utilization is almost zero in Nigerian energy mix. Coal firing method is more reliable than

unreliable liquid fuel supply constraints. Coal- fired fluidized bed combustion is the operation by which solid

particles are transformed into fluid-like state through suspension in a gas with the contacting processes which

aid rapid reactions (Kunii and levenspiel, 1991 & Anon, 2007). The heat exchanger was between fluidized and

moving bed within the Furnace. All types of Coal including low – grade coal and oil shale fines were

efficiently burnt in fluidized bed combustion in 1960 in China and Britain (Rao and parulekar, 2002 & Gupta,

2005). Fluidized bed combustion is a technique for burning coal, which offers significant advantages over

conventional industrial coal burning systems (Highley and Kaye, 1983 & Anon, 2004). The major components

of the fluidized bed combustor are vertical chamber (Cylinder or Square shell), heat exchanger, plenum

chamber, Bed materials, air distributor, feed hopper, cyclone, and centrifugal fan blower (Khurmi and Gupta,

2003 ). Mild steel was selected for construction because of its physical, chemical, mechanical properties on

one hand and its availability, suitability, and moderate cost on the other hand. Mild steel is an alloy of iron and

carbon with some elements to improve its desired properties (Khurmi and Gupta, 2005). It has density of 7850

kg/m3 and melting point of 1510 0 C. Its chemical composition has carbon in the range of 0.15 to 0.25 and

manganese ranges from 0.60 to 0.90%. It has ability to resist mechanical forces and load. Stainless steel pipe

for the heat exchanger tubes has the properties to resist oxidation and corrosive attack from corrosive media

such as furnace gases and water (Khurmi and Gupta, 2003 & Encarta, 2006). The present unreliability of the

oil and gas thermal power stations has made the use of coal fired thermal plant necessary since coal supply do

not suffer world politics as oil and gas among other advantages. The objective of the research is therefore to

construct a fluidized bed reactor with locally available materials, obtain its operating parameters and compare

with operational fluidized bed boilers used in power plants (Highley and Kaye, 1983 & Anon, 2002).


Materials: Mild steel of 8 mm & 3mm thick plates (4 ft x8 ft), gauge 10 electrode, refractory fire

brick and milled fire clay from Nigerian Railway corporation, Enugu; silica sand sized 0.6 -1.0 mm, sodium

silicate, thermo couples with maximum temperature of 13000 & 26000C, 300 µm screen mesh of 0.5 m by 0.5

m, 5 mm and 17 mm bolts and nuts, stainless steel pipe of 20 mm diameter x 22 m long, brass rods, 28 mm

diameter x 300 mm long rod, 25 mm inner diameter x 52 mm outer diameter x 18 mm width ball bearing, 2

KW 3 phase 1500 rpm x 50 Hz electric motor, 2.5 mm2 x 3 core workshop flex, 10 A direct on line starter, 30 A

gear switch, 4 mm2 x 3 core armoured cable, 4 KW x 4 m length heating element, 50 mm, 25 mm,& 12 mm

gate valves, union connector, hose, 50 mm, 25 mm & 18 mm diameter pipes, 4 bar pressure gauge, and 72 x72

x 8 mm angle iron.

Equipment: 100 A electric arc welding machine, oxygen – acetylene welding with completely filled,

pillar drilling machine, milling machine, lathe machine, anvil, bench vice, 5 kg sledge hammer, pair of tongs,

centre punch, guillotine, mallet, electric multi tester, sets of screw drivers, ring and flat spanners.

The Construction Procedures for each of the components:

(a) Combustion Chamber: (i) a square 450mm x450mm and 1000mm long was formed using 8 mm
thick mild steel plate. The joining methods were bolts and nuts as well as gauge 10-electrode arc welding.

(ii) There was 50mm flanged on all sides of the chamber with two drilled holes at each side. These were

to provide airtight sealing for the combustor when mated with the plenum chamber and steam and water tank


(iii) Service openings were drilled through for the thermocouple, heat transfer tubes and feed pipe.

(iv) The lining was made up of the refractory firebrick from bottom to top in interlock pattern.

3mm fire clay mortar was placed in between sides of the firebricks during lining

(b) Air Distributor: (i) Air distributor was constructed with 8mm thick steel plate. It has 42

drilled through orifices of 4mm diameter on 450mm X 450mm Square plate.

(ii) It was covered with 300 m screen mesh, which was fastened to the air distributor to retain

the bed materials while it allows upward flowing air.

(iii) 50mm flanged round had two drilled holes for 17mm bolt and nuts to hold firmly to the plenum

chamber and the combustion chamber.

(iv) Bed materials mainly silica sand sized between 0.6-1.0 mm with static bed depth of 40mm also serve

as an insulator to the air distributor.

(c) Plenum Chamber: (i) The plenum chamber was constructed with 8mm thick mild steel

plate with 450mm X 450mm Square and 200mm deep.

(ii) It was lined with 40mm thick fire clay mixed with water glass (or sodium silicate) and


(iii) It had 50mm flanged with two drilled holes for 17mm bolt and nut

(d) Heat Exchanger: (i). Stainless steel pipe of 20mm inner diameter and 22m long was used to

form the surface heat exchanger.

(ii). It was formed with the aid of un sized silica sand poured into the tube and covered at both ends,

heated, forged and constructed with the help of bench vice, hammer and pair of tongs.

(iii). The joints were soldered with brass rods while thread tape was used to seal water leakages at

instrumentation joints.

(e) Centrifugal Fan Blower: (i).3mm thick steel plate was used for the construction of the

forwardly curved blades, impeller and the casing.

(ii). 25mm diameter and 300mm long solid shaft was drilled hollow to 160mm with 20mm diameter to

couple the rotor shaft of 2kw electric motor.

(iii). A roller bearing of 25mm inner diameter, 52mm outer diameter and 18mm

Width was selected into housing to keep the fan shaft in proper position.

(iv) 5mm bolt key fastened the centrifugal fan and electric motor.

(v). The electric motor’s vibration was damped with (tyre) rubber on the floor, on which the fan

and the electric motor were placed upon

(f) Electrical System: (i). The three phase 2KW electric motor of 1500 rpm; 50 Hz (frequency)

was the drive power for the fan.

(ii). The power input was connected through stator terminals by 2.5mm2 x 3-core workshop flex.

(iii). 10A direct on line starter was provided for starting and protection, which was, connected to

30A gear switch by 4mm2 x3- core armoured cable.

(iv) 4KW x 4m length heating element placed in the plenum chamber, heats the incoming air. This was to

eliminate the difficulty to fire coal with moisture, smaller excess-air coefficient and reduces incomplete


(g) Feed Hopper: (i). 3mm thick steel plate was used to construct the feed hopper. The cylinder

was 300mm diameter with short cone of 50mm long.

(ii). The bottom was made 300 slanted for easy flow of coal.

(iii). The feed pipe was 50mm diameter and there was gate valve with union connector to the


(h) Cyclone: (i).3mm thick steel plate was used to construct the cyclone. The cylinder was 150mm

diameter and 300mm long cone to the apex

(ii). The over flow pipe was 60mm diameter. The vortex finder was 12cm deep into the cylinder. The inlet

pipe had union connector to the combustor.

(i) Wet And Steam Tanks: (i). The tanks were constructed from 3mm thick steel plate. Its dimensions

were 200mm x200mm x400mm each.

(ii). There were outlet pipe of 25mm diameter for the steam tank with a stopcock and 16mm diameter

drainpipe with 12mm diameter gate valve.

(iii). Water level recorder was constructed on each of the wet and steam tanks.

(iv). The inlet pipe of water tank was 50mm and the discharge pipe was 18mm diameter.

(v). It had 19mm diameter gate valve with flow meter and 4 bars pressure gauge on each of the water and

steam tanks.

(j) Assemblage of the Combustor: The entire components were structurally jointed and carried by

72mm x 72mm x 8mm angle iron column at 360mm height. The fluidized bed combustor was constructed and

ready for testing. The Figs.1& 2 shows the front elevation and isometric view of the combustor respectively

and the parts as in Table I.

(k) Testing procedure: A simple start up method of lighting coal was applied. It began by Ignition of

coal briquettes, booster and spirit placed on top of bed material. It took about 15 minutes for the coal to Ignite

and the smoke to reduce to minimum. Thereafter, the blower fan was switch on and air valve opened gradually

to supply air until steady flame was obtained. Coal was then gradually added while the supply of air and water

feed rates were regulated according to the desired temperature.


The equipment was test run as shown in Figures 1and 2.

Table I: Combustor Construction materials

No Description Quantity Dimension, mm


1. Fluidized bed combustor 8mm, m. s 1.93 x 056 x 0.56

2. Centrifugal fan blower 3mm, m. s 0.30 x 0.36 x 0.20

3. Electric motor 1 2kw, 3, 1500 rpm, 50Hz

4. Heating element 2.8mm 4kw, 1, 220v, 0.85

5. Plenum 8mm, m. s 0.45 x 0.45 x 0.20

6. Air distributor 8mm, m.s 42holes of 4mm diameter, 0.450

x 0.45

7. Heat exchanger 1mm, s. s .2 x 22m long

8. Wet and steam tanks 3mm, m. s 0.4 x 0.2 x 0.2

9. Cyclone 3mm, m. s  .30 x 0.30 with long cone

10. Feed hopper with short cone 3mm, m. s  . 30 x 0.30

11. Refractory brick. 50 pieces 0.24 x 0.125 x 0.06

12. Bearings, cm. 2 pieces I 0.25 x o 0.52 x 0.18

m.s=mild steel, s.s=stainless steel


Electric motor

Fig. 1: Front elevation (section A-A) of the fluidized bed combustor

Cylinder 25

Centrifugal fan)
Electric Motor
Fig. 2: Isometric view of the fluidized bed combustor

Adjustments were made and commissioned to burn coal sized between 4.5 – 37.0 mm. The most effective

coal size for the coal fluidized bed reactor was on the size range of 6-14mm at 2KW electric motor powered

centrifugal fan blower. It provides the greatest heat transferred to the fluid (water) in side the heat exchanger for a

period which ranges from 15 -35 minutes at 6.63 KW with steam temperature of 163 o C as shown in figs. 4 & 5. The

emitting pressure of the steam was not measured but with additional heat exchanger, the steam temperature will be

more than 1630C. Fluidized bed coal combustor for electric power plant requires temperature of about 212 0C

(Highley and Kaye, 1983). The consumption of coal was at about 4 kg/hr of operation. Once properly adjusted to

temperature of 850-9500C the reactor was effective and needed little attention. An excess coal feed and air will

decrease heat evolution hence the bed must be maintain within the narrow temperature limits of 750 o –950o C as

shown in fig. 3 . The physical and chemical changes took place between the hot temperature fluid and coal in

airtight fluidized bed reactor. The wall temperature of the reactor did not exceed 124 o C as in the experimental runs.

These low levels of wall temperature suggest that heat loss is minimal during the tests carried out. The feed hopper

had adequate size, angle of repose, size and programmed feeding to avoid choke – up, coal swell and sticky of coal

particles in the feed pipeline.





oC 14.0-20.0mm
ature 20.0-37.5mm
temper 400
Combu 300



0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
Time (minutes)
Fig. 3: Coal combustor bed temperature against time






80 6.0-14mm
Steam Temperature oC 140-20.0mm



0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Time (minutes)

Fig. 4: Steam temperature against time

Heat absorbed (gain)

Highest absorbed, kW

4,5 - 6,0mm 6.0-14.0mm 14.0-20.0mm 20.0mm-37.0mm
Coal Particle sizes

Fig 5: Heat transfer to the working fluid by coal combustion against particles sizes.


The coal fluidized bed reactor designed and constructed from locally available materials worked

satisfactory to produce steam temperature at 163 0C at atmospheric pressure. Fluidized bed reactor has inherent

advantages of pollutant free coal combustion, less disruption for maintenance, no moving part in the combustion

chamber and operating valves were amendable to automation. Coal fluidized bed reactor will encouraged the use of

coal utilization in industrial processes in Nigeria. Coal fuel supplies do not have crises as in oil fuel world politics. It

is clear that with adequate design considerations, commercial coal fluidized bed reactor can be constructed locally in

Nigeria which will compare favorably in many respect with oil and gas fired reactors as it burns coal-air mixture in

the same way as an atomized liquid fuel.


Anon, 2002 -http://www.freepatentsonline.com4259911.html

Anon, 2004 -http://www.freepatentsonline.com4446799.html

Anon, 2007-

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New Delhi, 110006 5th edition. Pp 174 – 176, 506- 509.

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nagar New Delhi, pp 75 – 245
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Ram nagar New Delhi pp 230 – 360

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chander Khanna ltd Nath Market, Nai Sarak New Delhi – 110006 3 rd edition 3rd Reprinted, pp 424 – 426,

960 -962


*Diya’uddeen B.H.1, Bello T.K.2, Muhammad J.A.3 and Umar H.F.4

Biotechnology Engineering Department, Islamic International University Malaysia -MALAYSIA. +60166786741
Chemical Engineering Department, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria – NIGERIA.. +2348057271173 +2348036144603
Chemistry Department, Bayero University Kano - NIGERIA +2348037850469

* Corresponding Author

Formation of surface functional groups at different activation temperature during activated carbon production was
investigated by developing activated carbon adsorbents from corn cobs. KOH pellets were used as activating
agent, activation temperatures of 600, 700, 800 and 900 oC were employed and constant activation time of
2hrs was maintained for all samples. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was carried out on the
adsorbents, peaks observed were analysed and the functional groups detected on the surfaces of the
adsorbents presented. All the adsorbents samples showed presence of nitrile, ketones, alkynes, phenolic,
hydroxyl groups and aromatic functional groups within the temperature range considered of except C600
where in-plane ring deformations and C-H out of plane were identified. Results of the investigation showed
that temperature effect is plays no significant role in surface functional groups formation for KOH activated
corn cobs.

Keywords: Functional groups; Activated; Corn Cobs; FTIR


Adsorption is a surface process by which molecules accumulate from an ambient fluid phase on the active
sites of an adsorbent and lose their kinetic energies. Adsorption is governed by the chemical nature of the aqueous
phase, solid phase and chemical nature of the adsorbed organic waste (Cheremisinoff and Ellerbush, 1975).
In waste water treatment one of the methods that have found considerable application is adsorption
technique using activated carbon (Mohan and Pittman, 2006). The adsorptive capacity of adsorbent is not only
determined by the adsorbents textural or porous structure but is strongly influenced by the chemical structures of the
surface functional groups. This is because on the adsorbent surface there might be unpaired electrons, incomplete
saturated valences and most of all surface functional groups which would undoubtedly influence surface attraction
force and ultimately the adsorptive capacity.
Previous work was done by Guo and Lua (2003) investigated the surface functional groups on KOH
activated carbon oil palm shell but the method of developing the activated carbon varied. They activated the
precursor using the two stage activation (impregnation followed by activation) while in this research the single
activation technique was employed. Adoption of the single stage activation was based on recent researches that

showed the method to be more efficient when KOH or NaCl are to be used as activating agents (Lillo-Rodenas et.
al., 2003).
In this work, adsorbents were developed from corn cobs at different activation temperatures and their
surface functional groups determined by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The result presented and

Activated carbon production

The precursor was carbonized in carbonization rig (Carbolite HTR 11/75) for 2hrs at 20 oC/min. to a final
temperature of 300oC and then impregnated with KOH pellets physically in a ratio 1:3 precursor to activating agent
(Lillo-Rodenas et. al., 2003) and using distilled water the mixture was made into a homogeneous moist sticky paste
which was immediately charged into a furnace and heated at a rate of 20 oC /min from room temperature to 110oC in
a furnace for 24hrs.
The dried carbonized samples were then washed with distilled water and activated in the carbonization rig
under nitrogen flowing at 20oC/min. to final temperatures of 800oC and held at that temperature for 2hrs. Activated
carbon produced was washed, acid treated with 1M HCl, rinsed with distilled water and vacuum dried (Lua et. al.,
2004, Kim et. al., 2001). The samples were oven dried overnight at 110oC.

Fourier Transform Infra Red

Potassium bromide disk was prepared by grinding 1mg of the sample in a small agate mortar. 10mg of pure
spectronic grade KBr was added to the grinded sample and mixed.
The mixture was then placed in the hydraulic die press and subjected to high pressure of 10 bar for about
5min. by pumping with hand (Harwood, 1989). This causes the KBr to become fluid, resulting in the formation of a
very fragile translucent disk which was removed from the die with tweezers and placed in the sample beam of the IR

Results and Discussion

Spectrum obtained from the FTIR analysis carried out for the adsorbents are presented in Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4.

48.0 657.34

47.5 827.97
2929.97 2358.542336.13
42.0 1351.0 1216.78
4000.0 3600 3200 2800 2400 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400.0

Figure 1: FTIR spectra for activated corn cobs at 600oC

10. 3394.9
9. 1563.6 4
5 3

9.0 1194.41099.3
0120 0
0 4000. 360 320 280 240 200 180
160 140 100 80 60 400.
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Figure 2: FTIR spectra for activated corn cobs at 700oC

10. 3394.
9. 1563.
5 63
9.0 1194. 1099.
0 4000 360 320 280 240 200 180 160 140 120 30
40 100 80 60 400.
.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Figure 3: FTIR spectra for activated corn cobs at 800oC

% 11.
T 511.
10. 3394.
5 2364.
0 1359.
9. 1563.
5 63
9.0 1194. 1099.
4000 360 320 280 240 200 180 160 140 120 30
40 100 80 60 400.
0 cm-
.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Figure 4: FTIR spectra for activated corn cobs at 900oC

The various bands of significant peaks displayed by the adsorbents are extracted and highlighted in Table 1.

Table 1: FTIR wave numbers identified on adsorbents

S/No. Sample I.D. Wave numbers

1 ACC600 3386;3000;2358 ; 2336;1559 ;1351;1216;827;657
2 ACC700 3386; 3000; 2358; 2336; 1559; 1351; 1127
3 ACC800 3366; 2369; 2336; 1558; 1351; 1127
4 ACC900 3378; 2369; 2336; 1555; 1376; 1171
5 ACS600 3192; 2358; 2336; 1563; 1359; 1216
6 ACS700 2375; 2336; 1558; 1353; 1197
7 ACS800 2300; 1560; 1196
8 ACS900 2300; 1563; 1351; 1166
9 APS800 2369; 2336; 1558; 1356; 1205
10 RH 3411; 2375; 2336; 1103; 803; 600; 562; 471

Key: C600: Activated corn cobs at 600oC

C700: Activated corn cobs at 700oC
C800: Activated corn cobs at 800oC
C900: Activated corn cobs at 900oC

All the adsorbents have the C=N stretching and C=O stretching of nitrile and ketones functional group
observed for sharp peaks at band located between 2400 cm -1-2200cm-1 (Guo et. al., 2003, McMurry, 2004), the band
around 2332 cm-1 is ascribed to C=C vibration in alkynes group (Lua et. al., 2004) . O-H stretching at wave numbers
3600-3000cm-1 (Guo et. al., 2003, McMurry, 2004, Harwood et. al., 1989, Kim et. al., 2001) signifying phenolic
groups and hydroxyl groups on the surface of all adsorbents. Presence of aromatic functional groups were detected
on all activated carbon because of the C=C peaks detected in the range of 1600-1500 cm-1 (McMurry, 2004).

Peaks below 1500 cm-1 up to 400 are referred to the fingerprint region (McMurry, 2004, Harwood et. al.,
1989) and are observed at 1351 cm-1 for all samples.
In-plane ring deformations (600-850 cm-1) were identified on C600 at 657 cm -1 and C-H out of plane at
827 cm-1 (Kim et. al., 2001).

Conclusion & Recommendations

From the FTIR results obtained for the adsorbents, it was concluded that temperature has no significant
effect on the formation of surface functional groups for KOH activated corn cobs within a temperature range of 700-
The adsorbents would be useful in application for impurities removal of alkaline origin from aqueous
solution because of the phenolic presence on the surface which has strong affinity to adsorbing alkalis
(Cheremisinoff and Ellerbush, 1975). The adsorbents have no polar characteristics because there was no detection of
surface oxygen complexes such as NO 2 or SO2- which would have imparted polar character resulting in preferential
adsorption for a more polar component of a binary mixture or waste composing of polar constituents.
The adsorbents could be useful in waste water treatment of non-polar and alkaline origin.


Cheremisinoff, P.N., and Ellerbush, F. (1975). Carbon adsorption handbook. Ann Arbor science publishers, Inc.
Michigan, Michigan, USA pp.36-58.

Guo, J., and Lua, A.C. (2003). Surface functional groups on oil-palm-shell adsorbent prepared by H 3PO4 and KOH
activation and their effects on adsorptive capacity. Trans. IChemE; 81a:585-590.

Harwood, L. M. Moody, C.J. and Percy J.M. (1989). Experimental organic chemistry. 2nd ed. Blackwell Science Ltd,
Edinburgh, U.S.A, pp. 218-306.

Kim, J.W., Sohn, M.H., Kim D-S., Soh, S-M. and Kwon, Y-S. (2001). Production of granular activated carbon from
waste walnut shell and its adsorption characteristics for Cu 2+ ion. Journal of Hazardous Material, B85: 301-

Lua, A.K., and Yang, T. (2004). Effect of activation temperature on textural and chemical properties of KOH
activation Carbon prepared from pistachio-nut shell. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 274:594-601.

Lillo-Ródenas MA, Cazorla-Amorós D, Linares-Solano A. (2003).Understanding chemical reactions between

Carbons and NaOH and KOH: An insight into the chemical activation mechanism. Carbon, 2003; 41:267-

McMurry, J. (2004). Organic chemistry. International student edition, 6th ed. Brooks/Cole, Belmont, U.S.A, pp. 406-

Mohan, D., Pittman, C.U. (2006). Activated carbons and low cost adsorbent for remediation of tri- and hexavalent
chromium from water. A review paper. Journal of Hazadous Materials, B137:762-811.

Skoog, D.A. West, D.M., Holler, F.J. (1988). Faundamental of analytical chemistry. 5th ed. Saunders college
publishing, New York, U.S.A., pp. 684-687.

Diya’uddeen B.H.1, Muhammad J.A.2, Bello T.K.3 and Umar H.F.4
Biotechnology Engineering Department, Islamic International University Malaysia -MALAYSIA. +60166786741
Chemical Engineering Department, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria - NIGERIA. +2348036144603 +2348057271173
Chemistry Department, Bayero University Kano - NIGERIA +2348037850469
* Corresponding Author


Organic contamination in water has serious adverse effects and the various removal techniques employed do not
completely remove them because the contaminants are not easily biodegradable. The most effective technique
among the advanced chemical and physical treatments which includes electrochemical oxidation, membrane
separation, coagulation, filtration and adsorption is photocatalytic degradation. In this paper, precursors used in
photocatalyst preparation, chemical activation of precursors, TiO 2 catalyst preparation, and photocatalytic
degradation analysis are highlighted with the view of encouraging researches to focus on the technology for organic
waste management.

Keywords: Photocatalytic degradation; Organic contaminants; Aqueous medium


Wastewater is any water that has been adversely affected in quality by anthropogenic influence. It
comprises liquid waste discharged by domestic residences, commercial properties, industry, and/or agriculture and
can encompass a wide range of potential contaminants and concentrations (Ding et al., 2000; Loufi et al. 2008).
Organic contaminants are abundant in waterways and their adverse effects include eye burns which may be
responsible for permanent injury to the eyes of human and animals. If swallowed, they cause irritation to the
gastrointestinal tract with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It may also cause methemoglobinemia,
cynosis, convulsions, tachycardia, and dyspnea, if inhaled (Senthilkumaar et al. 2004, Sharkawy et al. 2007).
Generally they consume dissolved oxygen and therefore affect the aquatic life causing environmental problems.

Water pollution is arguably the most fundamental environmental issue caused by the industries such as
those of tin mining, natural rubber, and palm oil. Other sources include the agriculture-based industries (natural
rubber and palm oil production), manufacturing industry, and livestock industry.

Environmental pollution control of organic contaminated water has been extensively addressed through the
application of activated carbon as adsorbent due to availability and very low cost of the starting materials coupled
with high surface area of the developed carbon and tailored surface functional groups (Chuah et al. 2005, Mohan et
al. 2006, Jusoh et al. 2007). Most organic contaminants in water are not easily biodegradable and often are not fully
removed in conventional biological plants. Among the advanced chemical and physical treatments are ozone or
electrochemical oxidation, membrane separation, coagulation and filtration (Lorimer et al. 2001, Ferro, 2006) but
photocatalytic degradation is the only process that results in the complete mineralization of organic substances (Ding
et al. 2000; Subramani et al. 2006).

A degrading agent is a composite made up of activated carbon and a catalyst. Various precursors have been
used to develop activated carbon adsorbents some of which are date pits and olive (El-Sharkawy et al. 2007) wood
saw dust (Ferro, 2006), rice husk, peach stone (Martin et al. 2007) and oil palm shell kernels. In Nigeria also, a lot of
researches have been conducted where activated carbon was developed and used to remove organic contaminants
from aqueous medium (Madukasi et al. 2001, Gimba et al. 2001, Odebunmi & Okeola, 2001, Okafor & Aneke,
2005, Danjuma, 2004, Diya’uddeen et al. 2008) but yet the next step of producing a photocatalyst is yet to be

The production of photocatalyst from locally sourced lignocellusolic sources are reviewed with the view of
encouraging researches into the adoption of the technique for organic waste treatment

Background Theory


These are semiconductor materials that take UV light to promote electrons across energy gap into the
conduction band. These electrons may then form hydroxyl radicals, which decompose organic compounds. They
include ZnO, Si, CdS, ZnS, SrTiO3, Fe2O3 (Carlos et al., 2000). A composite photocatalyst is sometimes made using
activated carbon, the choice of activated carbon is to provide support`and also gives the advantage of adsorption and
release capability for the pollutants onto the surface of the catalyst. Thus bringing about an increase in charge
transfer between the activated carbon and the catalyst by the acidification of the surface hydroxyl group and
adsorption of the intermediates produced during the degradation (Chen et al. 2007). Another factor for the choice of
activated carbon as a photocatalyst composite component is the fact that it provides high concentration of target
substances around the catalyst particulate (Subramani et al. 2006).

TiO2 catalyst is reported to be the most promising and have found considerable application as a
photodegrading agent in industrial technologies related to environmental pollution control due to its low cost,
biologically and chemically inert, high activity, resistant to photo-corrosion, non toxicity and relatively high
efficiency (Alfano et al., 1970, Chen et al., 2007, Subramani et al., 2007, Laoufi et al., 2008). Moreover, TiO 2

requires low energy UV light. Most of other suffers from one drawback to another, some studies have shown that
CdS & ZnO does not have long term stability in aqueous media while Si & Fe 2O3 show poor oxidation kinetics and
metal sulfide are chemically unstable (Litter, 1999).

Titanium Dioxide

TiO2 exists in four structures depending on the temperature at which it is prepared; in order of increasing
preparation temperature they are: amorphous, brookite, anatase, and rutile (Ameena, 2006). The two most
commonly discussed forms, anatase and rutile, vary in their lattice structures (i.e., bond length, crystal orientation)
causing different mass densities (rutile: 4.25 g/cm 3; anatase: 3.89 g/cm3) and electronic band structures (Linsebigler
et al., 1995). The energy band gap of anatase is 3.23 eV, and that of rutile is 3.02 eV (Litter, 1999). Studies thus far
have indicated that the anatase structure is the most photoactive, with the activity of rutile debated, some claiming it
to be inert and others finding it to be active with certain substrates (Hoffmann et al., 1995). Anatase crystallinity is
usually achieved by heating the TiO2 sample to between 300 and 600 ºC, above which the material becomes rutile
(Takahashi and Matsuoka, 1988).

A photocatalyst composite made up of activated carbon and TiO 2 offers the merits of an adsorption effect
on the porous structure and a light excitation source for the photocatalytic degradation for the pollutant. Activated
carbon choice as a support provides the advantage of adsorption and release capability for the pollutants onto the
surface of the TiO2, an increase of charge transfer between the activated carbon and TiO 2 by the acidification of the
surface hydroxyl group and adsorption of intermediates produced during degradation (Chen et al., 2007). Also,
activated carbon provides high concentration of target substances around the catalyst particulate (Subramani et al.,


This is an advanced oxidation process that is based on the generation of hydroxyl radicals (HO •) which are
the principle agents responsible for the oxidation of numerous aqueous organic contaminants (Laoufi et al, 2008).
This powerful oxidant; however due to its high reactivity, it is unstable and must be continuously produced in situ by
means of a chemical or photochemical reactions. Among the different ways to generate the hydroxyl radicals are
ozone with UV light hydrogen peroxide with UV light and photocatalysis which uses semiconductors in
combination with UV radiation and molecular oxygen. The latter processes are more expensive than the latter.


The process consist of the excitation of the titanium dioxide by a UV light wavelength of λ ≤ 400 nm thus
generating electron – hole pairs. The hydroxyl radicals are generated by the hole which can degrade the organic
pollutants. Dissolved oxygen in the effluent scavenges the electron generated, preventing the recombination of

electrons and holes. UV illumination of the TiO 2 yields conduction band electrons and valence band holes as shown

TiO2 + hν → e-cb + h+vb

Generated band electrons interact with surface adsorbed molecular oxygen to yield superoxide radical

e-cb + O2 (ads) → O2•

The hydroxyl radical is then produced by the reaction of water with superoxide radical anions.

H+vb + Ti – OH2 → HO•ads + H+

HO•ads + Substrate → Photooxidized products


Photocatalytic reactions are promoted by solid photocatalyst particles, which are either dispersed in the
liquid (Matthews, 1992) or immobilized on a surface (Zeltner et al., 1993). However, the use of suspensions requires
the separation and recycling of the ultrafine catalyst from the treated liquid and can be an inconvenient, time-
consuming expensive process.

The mechanism of light absorption by solids is different from absorption by fluids. In crystals, multiple
atomic or molecular orbital are combined to form broad energy band. In the presence of light a valence electron is
fully occupied by electrons whereas the conduction band is unoccupied or partly occupied by the electron. The
energy difference between the conduction and the valence bands is called the band gap. A small band gap requires
only a small amount of energy (Ebg) to promote an electron from the valence to the conduction band. Metals have
small thermally accessible band gap, semiconductors have large band gap and insulators have very large band gap.

In semiconductors, electron transition between the valence band and the conduction can be affected by
visible and UV light with energy equivalent to or higher than the band gap energy. If the absorption of a photon
occurs with energy greater than or equal to Ebg, an electron is promoted from the valence band to the empty
conduction band of semi conduction particle creating an energy deficiency in the valence band called a valence band
hole (h+vb), which is a strong oxidant. The conduction band electron (e -cb) can recombine with a valence band hole
(h+vb) or they can migrate to the surface of the semiconductor particle. At the interface of the contacting medium, an
adsorbed electron acceptor substrate (Aads) is reduced by the transfer of a conduction band electron (e -cb) to a lowest
unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) of the acceptor molecule, while an adsorbed electron donor substrate (D ads)
or surface bound OH is oxidized by the transfer of donor electron from the highest occupied molecular orbital
(HOMO) to h+vb of the semiconductor particle. Thus, illumination of a semiconductor particle with radiation at the
surface initiates a redox reaction.

TiO2 + hν → h+vb + e-cb

This reaction is the major cause of inefficiency in the photocatalyzed reaction and competes with redox
reaction by h+vb + e-cb. Electron scavengers such as oxygen minimize reaction above at the surface and thereby
facilitate oxidation

e-cb + O2 → O2•-

h+vb can oxidize organic molecules directly by the electron transfer or oxidize water and surface TiOH to form
hydroxyl radical and TiO•.

h+vb + H2O → HO• + H+

h+vb + TiOH → TiO• + H+

Precursors and Preparation

All potential lignocellusolic materials for activated carbon production can be used; samples obtained would
be washed with water to remove dirt and sun dried for 24hrs. The dried sample would then be crushed in a local
pestle and mortar after which a roll crusher would be used to ground the samples and subsequently sieved to particle
size of 2.0 – 2.0 mm.

Activated carbon production

Thermogravimetric analysis using a differential thermogravimetric machine would be carried out on the
precursor in order to determine the appropriate carbonizing temperature. Precursor sample would be heated under
nitrogen flowing at 2.5 mL/min. and a heating rate of 20oC/min. to a final temperature of 1000oC from 0oC.

Based on the TGA profile obtained the precursor would be carbonized in a carbonization rig for 2hrs at
20 C/min. to a final temperature determined from the profile. The carbonized samples would then be impregnated
with KOH pellets physically in a ratio 1:3 precursor to activating agent (Lillo-Rodenas et al. 2003) and using
distilled water the mixture made into a homogeneous moist sticky paste which would immediately be charged into a
furnace and heated slowly from room temperature to 110oC in a furnace for 24hrs.

The dried carbonized samples would be washed with distilled water and activated in the carbonization rig
under nitrogen flowing at 20oC/min. to a final temperature of 700 oC for 2hrs. Activated carbon produced would be
washed with distilled water and dried in an oven at 110oC overnight.

Catalyst preparation (Pure TiO2)

Two different methods can be employed in the catalyst preparation. The first is by mixing water,
hydrocholoric acid and ethanol and adding TEOT with vigorous stirring to the mixture at room temperature. White
precipitates of hydrous oxides would be produced instantly which would be continuously stirred for 24h. A rotary
evaporator would be used to remove the alcohol by heating at temperature of 75-80 oC for 5hrs. After the ethanol

evaporation, the solution would be dried in oven at 100oC for 24hrs with subsequent calcinations for 5hrs at 400oC to
obtain the catalyst (Moonsiri et al. 2004).

The second catalyst preparation would involve dissolving TEOT in ethanol and adding nitric acid at room
temperature drop wise. Water would be added also dropwise with vigorous stirring and the gelation allowed to
proceed slowly untilled completed. The mixture would be allowed to age at room temperature in a covered beaker
after which it would be dried at 100 oC for 5hrs to obtain a glassy material that would be calcined at 400 oC (Moonsiri
et al. 2004). .

Photocatalyst Preparation

One gram (1g) of the prepared activated carbon would be mixed with 0.2g (TiO 2) in a Teflon liner. An
effective mineralizer such as HNO 3 (1.5M) would then be added to the mixture and then placed in an autoclave. The
autoclave assembly would then be placed inside the furnace and the temperature of the furnace set to 150 oC. After
the experimental run the resultant product inside the liner would be separated from the solution and washed with
double distilled water till the pH of the washed becomes neutral, and then ultrasonicated. The product would be
centrifuged in three or more cycles to remove the undesired components and finally dried at 35-40 oC in a dust proof
environment (Subramani et al. 2006).

Photocatalytic Degradation Analysis

50 mL of prepared samples of known concentration would be taken into 500 mL clean beaker and a known
amount of the catalyst added. The beaker would then be placed in a closed chamber with a UV source and
illuminated from the top. A distance of 18 cm would be maintained between the UV light and the solutions while the
intensity of the UV light estimated by photolysis.

To analyze the solution, samples of 2-3 mL would be taken at regular intervals from the test solutions,
centrifuged for 4-5 min. at 1000rpm and then used for measurement of percentage transmission (%T) in a
spectrophotometer at 610 nm (Byrappa et al. 2006).

Initial COD  FinalCOD

Photodegradation  x 100 ……………… (2.1)

Photocatalyst Preparation

One (1g) gram of the prepared activated carbon would be mixed with 0.2g (TiO 2) in a Teflon liner. An
effective mineralizer such as HNO 3 (1.5M) would be added to the mixture and placed in an autoclave. The autoclave
assembly would be placed inside the furnace and the temperature of the furnace set to 150 oC. After the experimental
run the resultant product inside the liner would be separated from the solution and washed with double distilled
water till the pH of the washed becomes neutral, and then ultrasonicated. The product would be centrifuged in three
or more cycles to remove undesired components and finally dried at 35-40 oC in a dust proof environment
(Subramani et al., 2006).

Photocatalytic Degradation

To analyze the solution, samples of 2-3 ml would be taken at regular intervals from the photocatalytic
reactor, centrifuged for 4-5 min. at 1000rpm and then used for measurement of percentage transmission (%T) in a
spectrophotometer at 610 nm (Byrappa et al., 2006).

Initial COD  FinalCOD

Photodegradation  x 100

Other related analysis to be carried out are investigation of effect of TiO 2 impregnation on activated carbon,
efficiency of TiO2 photocatalyst over untreated TiO 2, effect of amount of photocatalyst and effect of contaminant

Photocatalytic Reactor Design

The basic difference between a photocatalytic reactor and the other conventional thermally activated
reactive process is involvement of radiation. The rate of electron-hole formation step is directly dependant on
radiation intensity, but due the fact that the step is a fast one (time constant ≈ 10 15 s-1) its effect is negligible in a well
illuminated reactor and therefore not the rate determining step (Cassano et al., 1995). In photocatalytic reactor
design, though other conventional reactor design factors comes to play but the most important factor is catalyst
illumination. Maintaining uniform light intensity is difficult as such light intensity invariably become a determining
factor of the reactor performance. Thus the reactor design would target maintaining uniform light intensity within
the reactor

Photocatalytic reactions occur on the catalyst surface and accessibility of the catalytic surface to photons
and pollutants significantly influences the degradation rate. Usually the pollutant concentration is low, and there is
an increased diffusion length of pollutant from the solution to the surface. Thus the catalyst would be immobilized
on surfaces of the reactor because use of suspension requires the troublesome recovery and recycling of ultrafine


From the above it could be seen that to photocatalyst degradation process for addressing environmental
pollution could be utilized and adopted as an approach to be explored in Nigeria due to availability of the precursor,
ease of processing and effectiveness in organic waste removal.


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*Usman Idris Nda-Umar, Innocent Stephen and Yahaya Alhaji Yusuf

Department of Science Laboratory Technology,

The Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State, Nigeria.

*E-mail & Phone:; 08056794707


Biogas generation from melon seed husk (MSH) and the effect of co-digestion with cow dung (CD) was investigated
in an improvised laboratory digester at ambient temperature range of 28-31 oC for 26 days retention period. The
MSH resulted in 2110cm3/day total biogas with 48.8% methane content. Co-digestion of MSH and CD in different
ratios of 4:1, 3:1, 2:1 and 1:1 resulted in 2985, 3425, 3790 and 4085cm 3/day total biogas with 61.5, 60.4, 60.7 and
60.5% methane content respectively. The results revealed that co-digestion resulted in higher biogas production with
higher methane content. In addition, co-digestion of MSH and CD promotes synergistic effects resulting in higher
percentage degradation of the substrate.

Keywords: Biogas generation; Co-digestion; Cow dung; Degradation; Melon seed husk.


Melon is a tropical crop of the guinea savannah belonging to the family of Cucurbitaceae. Of interest is

Cucumeropsis mannii Nand commonly known as ‘Egusi’. Morphologically, it is an herb crawling plant

characterized by ramifying but shallow root system and hollow angled and stem with bicollateral bundles. The fruits

are large, round with light brown seed arranged in false axile placentation. The seeds are flat, oval with papery coat,

which are thicker at the margins (Mann et al., 2003).

This crop is widely grown in Caribbean, Indonesia and many parts of Nigeria (Tindal, 1986). It has many

applications ranging from medicine to food. It is commonly consumed in Bida and its environs by removing the

husk covering the seed. This has led to large production of the husk which is being disposed indiscriminately. Some

are thrown into the refuse dumps, thereby contributing to the heaps of domestic and municipal solid wastes. These

waste heaps constitute environmental nuisance and breeding ground for disease vectors, especially if there collection

is delayed (Audu et al., 2003).

This waste can be collected and converted to gaseous fuel known as biogas through a biochemical process of

anaerobic digestion or fermentation (Garba et al., 2002; Audu et al., 2003, Nda-Umar and Usman, 2008). This

process, apart from providing clean fuel, the spent slurry is an improved compost manure and can provide soil with

necessary organic matter, it also ameliorate hygiene and environmental sanitation (Garba et al, 2003).

Literatures have reported studies on the conversion of different plants and their residues into biogas (Akinluyi and

Odeyemi, 1987; Abbasi et al., 1990; Kivaisi and Eliapenda, 1992; Sidibe and Hashimoto, 1996; Bamgboye and

Abayomi, 2000, Garba et al., 2002).

Further studies revealed the importance of microorganisms as well as the C/N ratio in biogas production. The

microbes are responsible for degrading organic waste into methane and their presence in large quantities accelerates

and enhances the quantity and quality of biogas generation. This is why some digesters are seeded or inoculated with

bacteria from different sources (Fernando and Dangoggo, 1986; Torres-Castillo et al., 1995; Sidibe and Hashimoto,

1996; Aliyu et al., 1996; Maishanu and Maishanu, 1998). Plant materials are also known to be deficient in nitrogen

but rich in carbon (Kivaisi and Eliapenda, 1992; Ezeonu et al., 2002; Nda-Umar and Usman, 2008). To effectively

digest plant materials by anaerobic microorganisms it will require mixing with materials rich in nitrogen such as

animal wastes. This will provide nitrogen as well as enough micro flora population to stabilize the slurry and

increase biogas yield as reported by various researchers (Hartman and Ahring, 2005; Carucci et al., 2005; Macias-

Corral et al., 2008).

The aim of this study is to produce biogas from melon seed husk and to evaluate the effect of co-digestion with cow



Feed stock materials

Melon seed husk (MSH) was used for this experiment. It was collected dry from Doko village, 8 Km west of Bida.

The husk was separated from sand and dirt by sieving and picking the pieces of sticks there after. The resultant husk

was grinded using a grinding machine to pass though 2mm sieve and stored in polythene bag until use. While a day

old cow dung (CD) was collected from abattoir in Bida, Nigeria.

Feed stock analysis

The melon seed husk (MSH) was characterized. The sample was subjected to oven drying to estimate moisture

content and total solids content. The dried material was further analyzed for volatile solid and ash content by

igniting a known quantity of the sample at 540°C for 3 hrs as described in Fernando and Dangoggo (1986). The

carbon content was estimated as 58% of the volatile solid according to Tinsley and Nowakowski (1959) as contain

in Ezeonu, 2002. The total nitrogen was determined using the Kjeldahl method and the cellulose was determined as

described in Ezeonu, 2002.

Slurry preparation and digestion

The feed stock slurry was prepared by diluting MSH with distilled water in ratio 1:12 (w/v). To study the effect of

co-digestion, the MSH was mixed with different quantities of cow dung (CD) to get feedstock/cow dung ratio (w/w)

of 4:1, 3:1, 2:1 and 1:1 in 4L locally fabricated digesters. The mixtures were each diluted with appropriate volume of

distilled water to ratio 1:12 (w/v). The pH of the slurries was adjusted to 7.1 ± 0.1 with few ml of 2M HCl. The

fermentation was initiated with 20ml of fresh rumen filtrate. The mixtures were thoroughly stirred and the digesters

perfectly sealed with araldite. The gas outlet leads to an inverted measuring cylinder containing water in a though.

The digesters were swirl once daily.

Biogas and methane measurement

Biogas yield was determined daily by down ward water displacement method and similarly the methane yield was

also measured by the same method after absorbing hydrogen sulphide in 10% lead acetate and carbon dioxide in

10% potassium hydroxide as described by Garba et al., 2003. The fermentation experiment was carried out at

ambient temperature range of 28-31oC for 26 days retention period. All set-ups and analysis were carried out in



The characteristic of MSH used as feed stock is given in Table 1. The moisture content was low showing that the

feed stock was relatively dry. The total solid is appreciable; as such it may be a good feed stock for biogas

production if conditions in the digester are right. The nitrogen content of the feed stock is low and therefore, its co-

digestion with cow dung may improve the nitrogen content of the slurry and subsequently may enhance gas

production. Generally, the values obtained in this study do not vary much with other plant materials used as feed

stock for biogas generation (Abbasi et al., 1990; Kivaisi and Eliapenda, 1992; Sidibe and Hashimoto, 1996; Macias-

Corral et al., 2008).

Table 1: Characteristics of Melon Seed Husk (MSH)

Parameters MSH

Moisture content (%) 25.67

Total solid (%) 74.33

Ash (%) 27.51

Volatile solid (%) 72.49

Organic carbon (%) 43.11

Cellulose (%) 14.71

Nitrogen (%) 1.07

C/N ratio 40:1

Figs 1 and 2 show the daily biogas and methane yield from all the digesters for the 26 days retention period. There

was no gas produced from all the digesters on the first day despite the addition of cow dung. This confirms the

report of Audu et al., 2003 that considerable adaptation time of at least 24 hours is necessary for the commencement

of microbial activities. Fig. 1 indicates that gas production started on the second day from the three digesters

containing MSH with high proportion of CD (3:1; 2:1; 1:1). While gas production started on the third day in the

digesters containing MSH only and MSH with lower proportion of CD (4:1). The gas production continues until the

experimental set-ups were dismantled on the 26th day. The difference in the days of production may easily be

attributed to the addition of cow dung. Literatures have reported the availability of microbes in animal dung

especially cow dung and this usually leads to elimination of unnecessary lag phase, increased biogas and methane

productions (Kanwar and Guleri, 1994; Aliyu et al., 1996; Maishanu and Maishanu, 1998, Ezeonu et al., 2002).

Fig. 1: Daily biogas yield from the substrates.

Fig. 2: Daily methane yield from the substrates.

Bamgboye and Abayomi (2000) reported that it is expected that biogas production will start after the digestion

process has stabilized and the yield will be increasing gradually to a point before declining until the entire substrate

is used up. However, in this experiment there was a slight variation as shown in the figures. There are slight

fluctuations noticed and this may not be unconnected with some environment factors, such as fluctuation of pH and

temperature since the experiment was not under taken at control pH or temperature. These factors have been known

to affect microbial activities (Fernando and Dangoggo, 1986; Torres-Castillo et al., 1995; Nda-Umar, 1992; Yerima

et al., 2002 and Garba et al., 2002).

From the figures the highest biogas and methane production from the digesters containing mixture of MSH with CD

in different ratios (4:1; 3:1; 2:1 and 1:1) were noticed in the 8th day with 200, 250, 290 and 340 cm 3/day of biogas

and 125, 135, 180 and 200 cm 3/day of methane. While the highest gas production occurred on the 13th day in the

digester containing only MSH with 120cm3/day of biogas and 70cm3/day of methane. The cumulative volume of

biogas and methane produced for the 26 days retention period are compared in fig 3. The figure revealed that as the

proportion of cow dung increases, the biogas and methane produced also increased. However, the percentage of

methane in the four digesters containing MSH + CD does not differ much as shown in Table 2.

The above observation may be attributed to the fact that animal dung are sources of microbes and are also rich in

nutrients, especially nitrogen. As the proportion of CD increases the nitrogen in the digester may also increase to a

level that the carbon/nitrogen ratio will favour more gas production. Literatures have shown the importance of

adequate level of nitrogen in the biodegradation of organic waste into biogas (Fernando and Dangoggo, 1986;

Ezeonu, 2002; Nda-Umar and Usman, 2008). In a similar study of single anaerobic digestion and co-digestion of

municipal solid waste and agricultural waste (cattle manure), Macias-Corral et al., 2008 concluded that co-digestion

of municipal solid wastes and cattle manure produced more biogas with higher methane content couple with weight

and volume reduction which was attributed to synergistic effect which overcomes the imbalance in nutrients and

improves biodegradation.

Fig. 3: Cumulative biogas and methane yield of the substrates.

Table 2 shows the solid and cellulose degradation of the substrates. The values obtained showed a relationship

between the percentage degradation and the total gas production, such that the higher the biogas production the

higher the percentage solid and cellulose degradation. Similar findings have also been reported by various

researchers (Torres-Castillo et al., 1995; Maishanu and Maishanu, 1998; Hartman and Ahring, 2005; Carucci et al.,


Table 2: Co-digestion of MSH and CD process performance and solid degradation

Parameters MSH MSH/CD

4:1 3:1 2:1 1:1

Biogas (cm3/day) 2110 2985 3425 3790 4085

Methane (cm3/day) 1030 1835 2070 2300 2470

Methane (%) 48.8 61.5 60.4 60.7 60.5


Total solid (%) 20.7 21.5 24.9 25.5 35.4

Volatile solid (%) 27.5 28.3 28.9 30.1 32.8

Cellulose (%) 14.7 19.5 19.9 21.0 21.8


From this study, it can be deduced that addition of CD to MSH at different ratios improved biogas and subsequently

methane yield. The quantity of CD was also found to influence cumulative biogas production and percentage solid

and cellulose degradation. The ratio of 1:1 MSH/CD mixture gave the best gas yield as well as highest percentage

degradation. The results further suggest the potential of these waste materials in energy production as well as

ameliorating waste management problems.


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Yusuf Saleh

Department of Geography, Faculty of Science,

Kaduna State University, Kaduna


This paper examines how waste can be utilized to produce energy for sustainable development. It analyses the
problem using strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) strategy. The result establishes that with
adequate use of science and technology waste can be utilized as a source of energy. It is recommended that there
should be policy proposal and implementation to encourage public, private and individuals to utilize waste through
availability of loans, tax holiday, man power training. Awareness campaign should be carried out by both
government and NGOs to enlighten people on the benefit of utilizing waste as a source of energy.


The idea of utilizing energy from waste as a renewable source of energy in Nigeria is one whose time has come.
Renewable source can serve as an alternative to some non renewable sources of energy particularly in Kaduna state.
Various ways of converting waste to resources, particularly to energy have been documented from various part of
the world by American Petroleum Institute (2007), Burrow (1993), Gartnee Lee Limited (2005), Harrison (1997),
New Scientist (11/12/ 1993), Saleh (2008), Strahler and Strahler (2007), and Uchegbu (1998),.

Thus the concern for production of energy from waste has become an important issue today and is very central to a
sustainable use of the natural resource of a place.

In Kaduna state domestic wastes, agricultural bye products and to an extent institutional wastes are the main types of
wastes generated in rural areas. Most of the agricultural bye products are used as sources of fuel for cooking. In
urban and peri-urban areas the types of wastes found comprises of domestic, industrial, institutional commercial and
agricultural. Industrial and commercial wastes are utilized, most especially at the Kaduna Petrochemical and
Refining Company Limited (KRPC), Kaduna.

This paper examines how waste can be utilized to produce energy for sustainable development. It analyses the
problem by using Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats (SWOT) strategy. In doing this, literature will be


The phenomenon of waste been utilized as sources of energy is being practiced in both the developed and
developing countries. However, the degree to which waste is converted to energy varies markedly between the two
worlds. In the developed countries the degree is much higher due to their vibrant economy, high level of technology,
and the commitment by both public and private sectors of the economy. This is motivated by the urge to diversify
their energy sources, thus they generate a lot of energy and revenue from wastes. In developing countries due to low
technology, both the private and public sectors are not committed in recycling waste to energy policy most
especially with the availability of crude oil in Nigeria.

Ibrahim (2002) viewed waste as unwanted materials or substances generated in the process of production and
consumption of goods. Waste can be categorized into solid, liquid and gaseous. While solid can be technically
regarded as refuse, liquids are effluents while gaseous are in form of emissions, mostly from industries. Based on
biological composition solid waste can be classified into the following three main types:

1. Biodegradable (composed of garbage and trash that can be degraded biologically overtime)
2. Semi biodegradable (partially biodegradable)
3. Non biodegradable (comprising of metal scraps and polythene/plastic waste)
Based on the chemical composition the liquid substances (effluents) are categorized into two types of toxic and non

Just as there are different composition and types, wastes are generated in different ways. However, in general and
irrespective of composition, wastes are generated from five main sources in Kaduna state.

(1) Agricultural
(2) Industrial
(3) Domestic
(4) Commercial
(5) Institutional
The first four listed are those mostly used in the production of energy in Kaduna state. As Burrow (1993) observed,
cities generate large quantities of refuse; in the developed countries this can be 500 to 800 tones per day per million
people, in less developed countries refuse is likely to contain less packaging and more organic waste matter and
may thus be easier to compost or generate methane from, but difficult to compress or incinerate. According to
Uchegbu (1998) and Saleh (2008) per capital waste generation varies very widely. In industrialized countries, the
amount of waste generated is estimated at 1.80kg/person/day while in developing countries represented by Nigeria
the estimate is 1 kg/person/day.

Energy derived from waste can be in various forms viz electricity and or heat. Waste conversion to energy processes
involves several technological processes i.e physical, biological, chemical and thermal processes. Electricity can be
obtained directly through combustion or to produce combustible fuel such as methane, ethanol, synthetic gas

(Syngas) and several others. Waste materials are now been recycled especially metals, paper, plastic, bottles and so
on which gives the following:

(i) Refuse derived fuel (RDF): This is the fuel that is derived by shredding and steaming municipal waste
i.e steaming under pressure in an Autoclave. RDF is based on organic components of municipal waste
especially organic biodegradable waste etc. RDF processing facilities are normally located near waste
sources.The product of RDF is used to produce electricity by feeding into gasification or pyrolysis
(ii) Biogas: This is the extraction of energy from biomass using anaerobic digestion to produce biogas. In
this process animal and human wastes are fed into a closed digesting chamber where they are broken
down anaerobically to produce a gas which is a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide. It can be used
for cooking or generation of electric power (Strahler and Strahler, 2007). In countries such as
Switzerland, Germany, Sweden etc the methane in the biogas may be concentrated in order to use it as
vehicle fuel or as direct input into the gas mains (Saleh, 2008).
(iii) Landfill Gas: In a well managed landfill, when the biodegradable materials decay, gas especially
methane, carbon dioxide with traces of nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, hydrogen sulphide and a range of
trace organic compounds are produced. These are extracted or pumped out of the land fill using
perforated pipes, the gas may be flared off or burnt in a gas engine to generate electricity or it may be
piped into homes to be used for domestic purposes.
(iv) Synthetic gas (Syngas): This is obtained through the process of gasification and the process is
characterized by the partial combustion of municipal waste at a high temperature in a reactor, with
combustion facilitated through the application of air, oxygen or steam. The resulting chemical
reactions produce Syngas. It can be used in gas engine and turbines for the production of electricity
(Gartnee Lee Limited, 2005).
(v) Ethanol: This is also obtained from waste through many processes. First, is from the bye product of
agricultural produce such as corncobs, straw, rice hulls, saw dust and sugar cane bagasse among others.
Cellulose is produced from these materials which are converted to sugar, sugar is then later fermented
to produce ethanol. General motors on January 14, 2008 announced a partnership with Coskata Inc the
goal of which is to produce cellulose ethanol cheaply, with an eventual goal of $1 per gallon for fuel
(Wikipedia, 2008). Secondly, ethanol can be produced from the bye product of petroleum refining and
recently from commercial chicken waste. Ethanol is used largely as motor fuel and fuel additive mostly
in Brazil, Canada and the United States.
(vi) Energy from incineration: Incineration is a process that involves the complete degradation and
combustion of carbon based material in municipal waste through the application of heat in an oxygen
rich environment. The excess heat produced is recovered during combustion to produce steam or
converted into electricity by means of steam turbine generators. It can be done on a small scale by
individual or on a large scale by industries. This is commonly practiced in countries such as Japan, UK,
Germany, USA and Canada among others.

(vii) Energy from used oil: This process involves refining and the removal of waste, insoluble dirt, heavy
metals, nitrogen, chlorine and oxygenated compounds from oil drained, from automobiles or other
machines. The resulting product is called Re-Refine oil. Extensive laboratory analyses and field studies
have shown that re-refine oil is equivalent to virgin oil. As observed by American Petroleum Institute
(2007), recycling just two gallons of used oil can generate electricity to an average house hold for 24
hours and it takes 42 gallons of crude oil, but only one gallon of used oil to produce 2.5 quarts of high
quality lubricants.


As a result of the need for man to seek for growth and development which encourages him to exploit the
environmental resources, this has resulted in generation of enormous amount of waste. This has prompted the need
to protect, safeguard, manage and conserve the natural resources. This is the main reason why the concept of
sustainable waste management was established. Oladipo (2006) observed that in the context of global development,
there is a general concern that if the present rate of human induced depletion of ecosystem resources continues
unchanged, the limits to growth on earth could be reached in less than one hundred years. In other words, the
current pattern of development may not be sustainable, and sustainable development must therefore balance the
needs of society, the economy and the environment (Ivbijaro, 2006). According to Olofin (2001) the concept of
sustainable development explains that with proper development strategies, environmental resources can be exploited
(or developed) gainfully for the well being of the present generation and still be available in good condition for
generations yet unborn.


S- Strength: The Urban, Peri urban and the rural areas of Kaduna state generate large volumes of waste. As
shown by the Federal Ministry of Housing and Environment (1990), Kaduna city alone is projected to
generate 1,058,500 tonnes of waste in 1996. The major types of wastes are biodegradable which can be
composted while the rest can be incinerated to produce electricity. This project can be spearheaded by the
state government and supported by the private sector. Others are:-

Agricultural bye products such as corncobs and straws which are used for cooking purposes in rural areas and
used to provide light in Koranic Schools at night in the Northern part of the state. The stems of fell trees are
utilized to produce charcoal..

Commercial Wastes include those generated from carpentry and or tailoring activities among others. They are
used as fuel additives in homes, popularly known as “kashin Tela” or “kashin Kafinta”.

Industrial Waste are utilized at the Kaduna Petrochemical and Refining Company Limited (K.R.P.C), here oil
waste obtained during refining process are reused as oil as fuel in some machines, also cabon monoxide (CO) is
utilized for steaming purposes.

These various wastes can be used as raw materials for small scale industries which may be supported by the state
government and the private sector.

W- Weaknesses: The major weaknesses are inefficiency in the methods of waste collection, lack of waste
sorting at household level, lack of depot where waste sorting can be actually done, in availability of capital
and poor technological knowledge in Kaduna state. All these slow down the whole process of recycling
wastes to energy; so also the low level of awareness and literacy vis-à-vis the cultural settings and political
instability among others.

O- Opportunity: This is an important sector on its own and a lot could be achieved if it is wisely utilized. It
creates substantial employment opportunities and generates a lot of income or revenue to its practitioners.
There would be better sanitation, reduction of the amount of waste that will be physically disposed,
reduction of air pollution, elimination of the breeding ground of disease vectors e.g mosquitoes, rodents etc
while the contamination of underground water through leachate from the dumps or land fill sites would be
minimized. The use of waste as a source of energy would lead to preservation of natural resources for
generations yet unborn for sustainable development. An example is that the effluents from both domestic
and industrial areas can be diverted using canals to a reservoir to serve as Boiler water. Energy would be
utilized from RDF/ Incinerators to process it to generate electricity apart from the energy obtained from the
RDF or Incineration. The processes of waste to energy are as illustrated below:-

Biomass Gas collector Biogas Fuel + Electricity

Waste Autoclave RDF Pyrolysis/gasification Electricity

Waste Landfill Methane/gas Landfill gas Electricity+Gas

Waste Reactor Syngas Electricity

Waste Cellulose Ethanol Fuel

Waste Incinerator Stem turbine generators Electricity

Used Oil Laboratory Re-refine Oil + Electricity

Waste→ Household Burning → Energy

T- Threats: The contemporary ways of processing waste to energy is not currently practiced due to the
heterogeneous nature of the waste which make it difficult to handle; workers’ health risk; lack of finance;

as some of the methods are expensive; difficulty of locating waste processesing near the sources of waste;
low quantity of waste available; ignorance because as it needs to be practiced by every one even at the
grassroots so as to maximize energy utilization; maintenance culture and so on.


As is obvious from the above, this paper at least provides the current nature of how energy is been utilized from
waste in the state. Although this may not give an accurate reflection of what is on ground, however it has to be
noted that the practice of utilizing energy from waste is technical and costly but will save a lot of natural resources
in Kaduna from been exploited and reduce the amount of waste that will be physically available. Finally, various
ways of converting waste to energy are now widely practiced in developed countries and there is need to emulate
them in this country as it can help to improve the local economy. These may be encouraged through appropriate
policy formulation and implementation, provision of loans, tax holidays, man power training etc to public, private
and individuals. Awareness campaign should be carried out by both government and NGOs to enlightened people on
the benefit of utilizing waste as source of energy. These will reduce the threat to public health and aid in conserving
natural resources, most especially the non renewable resources.

Thus, the paper has shown that with adequate use of science and technology, waste can be utilized as a source of
energy, much in the way the KRPC utilizes its carbon monoxide (C0) in steaming. But the practice is very low in
the state, much the same as in other states in Northern Nigeria.


American Petroleum Institute (2007) in asssess on 04/02/2008

Burrow, C.J (1993); Developing the environment: problems and management;Longman.

Federal Ministry Of Housing and Environment (1990): In Sankey, A.N (1999): An Evaluation of Kaduna
Environmental Protection Authority (KEPA) Solid Waste Management Practice in Kaduna Town from 1980 to
1996. Unpublished MSc Thesis, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Jos.

Gartner Lee Limited (2005): New and emerging residual waste management technologies, Paper for Regional
District of Nanaimo (RDN) and Cowichan Valley Regional District (CURD), Canada.

Harrison, R. M. (1996) in Burrow, C.J (1993); Developing the environment; problem and management; Longman.

Ibrahim, A. M. (2002): Introduction to environmental problems and management;kano,Wa’adallah Environmental

Consults (WADEC).

Ivbijaro, F.A.M, Akintola, F. & Okechukwu, R.U (2006); Sustainable environmental management in Nigeria;
Mattiu Production Ibadan, Nigeria.

New scientist (11/12/1993) in Burrow, C.J (1993); Developing the Environment: Problems and

Oladipo (2006) In Ivbijaro, F.A.M Akintola, F & Okechukwu, R.U: Sustainable environmental management in
nigeria; Mattiu Production, Ibadan.

Olofin, E.A (2001): The Meaning, Concept and Application of E.I.A in Planning. Workshop in Futy, Yola

Saleh, Y (2008): The Management of Waste As A Resource, Paper Presented at the Nigerian Institute of Management
Monthly Meeting,Kaduna.

Strahler, A and Strahler, A (2007); Physical geography; science and systems of the human environment ;John Wiley
and Son (Second Edition), India

Uchegbu, S.N (1998): Environmental management and protection; Precision Printers And Publishers, Enugu ,

Wikipaedia (2008) accessed through asssess on 04/02/2008

Univariate Modeling and Forecasting of Electricity Generation in Nigeria
Godwin, Harold Chukwuemeka(1) ,Igboanugo, Anthony Clement(2)
Department of Industrial/Production Eng’g, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria (1)

Department of Production Engineering, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria(2) 08068503773(1), 080330934 (2)


This paper examines the application of autoregressive and moving average (ARMA) process to the modeling and

forecasting of electricity generation in Nigeria. Box –Jenkins (B-J) Methodology was employed to fit 36 – year

annual electricity generation data into autoregressive (AR) process and moving average (MA) process from which

ARMA model was developed. The model developed predicts that electric power in Nigeria will have to rise from the

current generation capacity of 6500 MW to 15,715.47MW in 2009. A tapestry of test statistic computed tends to

justify the validity of the B-J model as evidenced by the standard error of estimate (SEE), the adjusted R-square (R 2)

and the Durbin – Watson’s test statistic (DW) whose values are 286.38, 0.878 and 2.36 respectively.

Keywords: Power generation, Time-series, Correlogram, Hilbert Space,



Constant power supply is the hallmark of a developed economy. Any nation whose energy supply fails to

keep pace with demand prolongs her development and risks losing potential investors. Nigeria, a country of about

140million people, has for the past 36 years of establishment of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA),now

known as Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) –an agency empowered with the electricity generation,

transmission and distribution, witnessed frequent and persistent outages. Past studies have shown that there appears

to be no near accurate and reliable forecast of power generation in Nigeria. Previous researchers built their estimates

on a number of policy variables not accounting for future uncertainties. In view of this state of uncertainty, it has

become expedient that a more reliable forecast of energy supply for the near and distant future be established so that

it can guide the energy policy makers in undertaking aggregate planning.

Many Nigerian researchers on energy have identified the inadequacies in Nigeria power supply and have

accordingly discussed such in their publications. The papers of Okoro(2003), Odubiyi(2003), Igbinovia(2003), and

Mohammed(2007) discussed challenges and opportunities in Nigeria electric power generation and distribution.

Also, the time series of electrical energy generation and consumption in Nigeria is unique due to intermittent power

outages and increasing demand. The Energy commission of Nigeria -ECN and International Atomic Energy Agency

-IAEA (2006) carried out a study in Nigeria on energy demand and power planning. They predicted that the future

installed electricity generation mix by fuel and nuclear option scenarios are 31,758Mw and 32,208Mw respectively

for 2030 (subject to attain the status of an industrializing country in 2020). The contribution of natural gas and hydro

to power supply in the base year were 68.63% and 31.01% respectively. By 2030, the contribution of natural gas

would have risen to 75% for the reference scenario.

Box-Jenkins oriented forecasting models have been widely used successfully in different context by

researchers to forecast phenomena of interest. For example, Samer et al(2001) reported the successful modeling and

forecasting of electricity energy consumption in Lebanon using the autoregressive integrated moving average

(ARIMA). Rachmatullah et al(2007) applied the scenario planning method for the electricity generation in

Indonesia. Peard(2002), Jebaraj(2007), Sugarithi(2007) and Ringwood(2001) examined the application of neural

network and time series to the modeling and forecasting of electricity in India and Republic of Ireland. Were as Saab

and his co-researchers compared the relative forecast accuracy of some time series models as well as carrying out a

one month ahead forecast of electricity consumption in Lebanon. Our study fitted B-J into a 36 year electricity

generation in Nigeria and projected the forecast into vista.

The aim of the current study is to provide a near accurate and hence a reliable forecast of power generation

in Nigeria using B-J methodology. The model proposed incorporates a correction factor for suppressed generation.

Energy planners need reliable forecast figures to do strategic planning in the electricity sector. The planning is then

translated into tactical operations and programme for implementation.


Data for this study were obtained from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) as published in the

Central bank of Nigeria statistical bulletin, volume 16, December 2005. The data consist of yearly power output

from different generating stations in Nigeria from 1970-2005. The Box-Jenkins three - stage procedure involving

model identification, fitting and diagnostics checks were applied to the set of data. The data were treated as

univariate time series. Many lags, up to lag 35, were obtained. The autocorrelation function (ACF), rk , given by

T K

 y t  y  y t  k  y 
rk  t 1

 y y
t 1

was used to develop a correlogram which is the main instrument for determining stationarity and hence structure and

selection of appropriate model that achieves a good fit to the data. The computed ACFs were fed into Yule-walker

scheme from which the partial autocorrelation function (PACFs) were developed. The theory governing the PACF

derivation from ACF is detailed hereunder. The ACF, in conjunction with the PACF guided the development of

ARMA model which used a set of normal equation that was developed by a method of Ordinary Least Square (OLS)

and solved by Gaussian elimination method with the aid of MATHLAB Software. Finally, several test statistics such

as Lujung, Q-statistic, SSE, Dubin Watson etc were computed and used to check the adequacy of the model.

Theoretical Derivation of PACF from ACF

There are some measures of inaccuracies associated with the computation of PACF from ACF. A tapestry

of techniques exists in the literature for achieving this. In this study we employ the projection of arbitrary ACF, b =

{rK} into orthogonal space through a recursive algorithm called Gram-Schmidt process to obtain b ^ which is the

PACF ( fKK ). The projector is a matrix, A, constructed with the span of { rK } with full column rank which

properly guarantees that A has at least as many rows as columns. Set fKK = x and the system.

ATAx = ATb (1)

is called the normal equations corresponding to Ax = b. This projection minimizes the imputed


The aim of this analysis is to provide a sound theoretical basis for the use of projection into vector space H

to find the best approximation to b from an orthogonal vector space H into which b is projected. Since the properties

of norm and orthogonality are wielded by the vector space, then H is a Hilbert space.

b – b^


a1 Pb

Col[a1,a2] H

Fig. 1: Projection of b into Col(A)

Col(A) = Col (a1, a2) = Column space (Hilbert space) into which vector b is projected.

b – pb = b - b^ is perpendicular to column space, Col(A). It is obvious from Fig. 1 that for any arbitrary

vector u �Col(A),
║b-Pb║≤║b-u║, an important property of Hilbert space.


Let H  Rn be a Hilbert space and {a1, a2, …, ak} be a basis for H. Define A = {a1, a2, …, ak}. then the

projection of b into H is the vector in H given by

b^=A(ATA)-1ATb (2)

= f KK , the PACF.


Suppose the system Ax = b is inconsistent so that b �Col(A) and for each x, b  Ax  0 . Define r =

b – Ax and call this residual vector and its norm, r=║r ║, the residual. The residual is a measure of the closeness of

a given x to a solution; it is a non-negative function of x and is always positive for inconsistent systems. We show

that there is a unique X �R , written as x , which minimizes the residual.

m In fact xm is the solution of Ax = b^,

where b^ is the projection of b into Col(A) �H, and the minimum residual, r , is given by

rm = ║b-Axm║

Clearly rm = ║b-Axm║≤║b-Ax║ (3)

Recall QR factorization theorem of Gram-Schmidt process, which is a decomposition equation of the form:

j 1
V j  u j   u j , q j q1 , rj  V j (4)
j 1

q j  V j / rj , j  1,2,..., K (5)

To see how this comes about, first rewrite equation (5) as:

Vj= rj qj

and define rij= (uj,qi) = (qj,ui)< j

Next solve u j in equation (4)

j 1
u j  rj q j   rij qi , j  1,2,..., K (6)
j 1

Now set A =  u1 , u2 ,..., uK  and Q =  q1 , q 2 ,..., q K 

Finally define R by

r1, r2 ,..., r1K 
0, r ,..., r 
2 2K 
R=  r1 , r2 ,..., rK (7)
............... 
 
0,0,....., rK 
Then, with a little effort, it follows that equation (6) has the matrix formulation,

A = QR

called the QR factorization or decomposition of A. Note that

u j  Qrj j 1,2,..., K

Thus stemming from the preceding QR decomposition theorem,

A = QR,

R is non-singular and Col(A) = Col(Q). Also

Q = AR-1 and

ATA = RTQTQR, (note QT = Q-1 and QQT = I if Q is orthogonal)


Given b, it follows from projection theorem hereunder that for a known basis Q =  q1 , q2 ..., qK 

b^ = (b, q1) q1 + (b, q2) q2 +…+ (b,qK) qK

= QQTb

 b^ = QQTb

= AR-1R-TATb

= A(ATA)-1ATb = f KK

And the proof terminates.


Figures (1) and (2) show a plot of the 36-year time series for both real and predicted total electricity generation in

Nigeria on different axes and scales. The Nigeria power sector operates well below its estimated capacity, with

power outages being a frequent occurrence. At present, whereas power demand stands at 20,000Mw, we are able to

generate 3,000Mw(Owan2008).This information is collaborated by J.A Tinubu , the Group Chief Executive Officer,

Oando Plc, who reported that current power generation is between 2500Mw-3500Mw out of an installed capacity of


Fig.1: Real Time Series Plot Fig.2: Predicted Time Series Plot

Figures 3 and 4 depict correlograms for AR and MA processes respectively.

Fig.3: Correlogram for AR Process Fig. 4: Correlogram for MA Process

Eighteen (18) outstanding ACFs were selected and their corresponding lags became influential variables for the set

of normal equations that were used to generate our AR model parameters. The same procedure was used for the MA


Our B-J model follows:

yˆ  b0  b1 yt 1  b2 yt 2  b3 yt 3  b4 yt 4  b5 yt 5  b6 yt 6  b7 yt 7  b8 yt  23  b9 yt  24  b10 yt 25  b11 yt  26

 b12 yt  27  b13 yt 28  b14 yt  29  b15 yt 30  b16 yt 31  b17 yt 32  b18 yt 33  b0  b1et 1  b2 et 2  b3et 3
 b 4 et  4  b 5et  7  b 6et 8  b 7 et 11  b8et 12  b 9et 14  b10 et 15  b11et 16  b12 et 17

With this model, we obtain a forecast for 2009 as 15,715.47 MW. The accuracy of this forecast was justified by the

ARMA model parameters shown in tables 1 and 2 respectively

Table 1: Nigeria Total Power Generation Parameters

Number of iteration 1

Usable observations 36

Degree of Freedom 35

R2/BIC 0.8785/250.10

Residual Standard Error (RSE) 82,015.67

Standard Error of Estimates (SEE) 286.38

Standard Deviation of dependent variable (SD) 1,080.11

Durbin Watson Statistic (DW) 2.36

Akaike Information Criteria (AIC) 266.65

Table2: Autos and Partials (ACFs and PACFs)


1 : 0.6169 0.5145 0.3450 0.3136 0.2759 0.2572

7 : 0.2305 0.2005 0.1641 0.1262 0.11960.0681

13 : 0.0365 -0.0063 -0.0462 -0.0743 -0.1017 -0.1257

19 : -0.1556 -0.1717 -0.1846 -0.1971 -0.2009 -0.2181

25 : -0.2379 -0.2371 -0.2399 -0.2510 -0.2543 -0.2451

31 : -0.2412 -0.2379 -0.2201 -0.0808 -0.0413


1 : 0.4594 0.2260 -0.1255 0.0415 0.0506 0.0223

7 : 0.0182 0.0239 -0.0017 -0.0189 0.0644 -0.0273

13 : -0.0108 0.0056 -0.0255 -0.0087 -0.0022 -0.0072

19 : -0.0281 -0.0055 0.0014 -0.0186 0.0052 -0.0091

25 : -0.0452 0.0057 0.0047 -0.0431 -0.0386 0.0008

31 : 0.0101 -0.0765 -0.1089 0.1851 0.0349 0.0042


The outstanding ACFs selected and their corresponding lags that became influential variables for the set of

normal equations are statistically significant and gradually diminished in magnitude. This is a confirmation that

corresponding PACFs wields lag variables that can yield forecast model with intuitive appeal as against many

influential candidates suggested by ACF. Moreover, the high value of R 2 = 0.878 suggest that our model is

meritorious since it was able to explain 87.8% of the variance of the time series used. However, the Durbin Watson

test statistic computed is 2.36 suggesting that there is no auto correlation of residuals, which are in the same

neighbourhood. The import is that we did not under fit the ARMA model, by which we mean we did not use

insufficient number off ARMA variables namely, p and q respectively.

The B-J forecast employed is a projective technique which relies on past and present data to project into the

future. In order to account for some uncertainties inherent in this type of forecast a correction factor using stochastic

estimates of growth in demand, population dynamics, GDP drifts, economic boom or depression and improved

government policy on energy etc. could be incorporated.

We noticed that some forecasts with ARMA gave spurious (negative) values which we consider as outliers.

To reduce the outliers, perhaps differencing, which will lead to ARIMA, might achieve better fit. In this regard the

use of Genetic Algorithm - employing selection, mutation, cross-over and so fort – will guide in the selection of the

model that will yield optimum result

The R2/BIC=0.8785/250.10 is substantial suggesting that the model fitted has a fairly good fit. Moreover the Durbin-

Watson test statistic computed is 2.36 which suggests that the errors are uncorrelated, by which we mean that

enough variables were employed in the model.


We are firm in our belief that the B-J methodology adopted has facilitated the development of a forecasting

model that predicts future energy demand. The model assumes that past situations do not change significantly within

the range of forecast made. The study has also ascertained that the current power generation of 6000MW falls short

of the actual demand of 20,000MW.

The need to upgrade generation facilities and develop infrastructure that will enable Nigeria attain the forecasted

generation capacity of 15,715Mw is a goal that needs to be achieved.


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Power and Energy Systems.

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Assessment and Integration. Journal of Power and Energy Systems. Pp.379

3. Igbinovia, S.O., Orukpe, P.E(2003) rural electrification: The propelling force for rural development of Edo.

Journal of Power and Energy Systems.

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Energy Demand Projections. Technical Report No ECN/EPA/04/01

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of electricity in Lebanon, Science direct, Energy volume 26, Issue 1, pp 1-14.

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Energy policy vol. 35, no.4, pp. 2352-2359.

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Power flows in both Radial and meshed Electrical Networks, Australasian university power Eng’g


9. Jebaraj,S., Iniyan, S., Hemanth, K (2007) forecasting of Commercial energy consumption in India using

Artificial Neural Network. International Journal of global Energy Issues, vol. 27, no.3 pp. 276-301.

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the impact of Environmental Tax on Energy Demand for India. Proceeding (539) power and Energy


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Atadious, D,1, Dagwa, I.M.2

1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, P.M.B. 20, Effurun Delta

State, Nigeria.

2. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Abuja, P.M.B. 117, Abuja, Nigeria.


In this paper an attempt was made to carry out a comparative economic analysis of power supply and generation for

industrial utilization in Nigeria. Two industries that have used natural gas and diesel power generation as an

independent generation option and supply from the national grid (Power Holding Company of Nigeria) were

selected for this study. The result shows that 78-82% and 35-48% annual cost savings were made when running an

independent power plant on natural gas as compared to diesel power plants and PHCN respectively. Hence, the

natural gas power generation option was an alternative, which was recommended based on its cost advantage and

other favourable operating parameter.

Keywords: Power generation, Electricity, Natural gas, Annual savings,


Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and belongs to the group of countries with the lowest electricity

consumption per capita (140kWh) in the continent (Ibitoye and Adenikinju, 2007). It is a country where availability

and reliability of electricity supplies have always been vexed issue. Emphasis has been placed in recent times on

electricity generation and transmission in Nigeria. This is because Nigeria’s National Economic Empowerment and

Development Strategy (NEEDS) has identified that, substantial expansion in quantity, quality and access to

infrastructure services, especially electricity, is fundamental to rapid and sustained economic growth, and poverty

reduction (World Bank, 2005). Though endowed with rich oil, gas and hydro resources, yet, for the past three

decades, electricity services and access is low, and where available, supply is inefficient. The national utility, Power

Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) , is unable to meet the demand for electricity, imposing a high economic

burden on firms and households ( Iwayemi, 2008).

In practice Nigeria’s energy mix for electricity generation consists of only two primary sources, hydro and natural

gas, with hydro accounting for 30% while natural gas providing the remaining 70% (Sambo, 2008).

1.1 Status of electricity industry in Nigeria

In 2001, generation went down from the installed capacity of about 5,600MW to an average of about 1,750MW as

compared to a load demand of 6,000MW. Also, only nineteen out of seventy-nine installed generating units were in

operation (Sambo,2008b). Electricity demand in Nigeria reached 10,000MWh by the beginning of 2008

(Presidential Committee on Power Reforms, 2008).

The Nigerian power sector operates well below its estimated capacity, with power outages being a frequent

occurrence. The electric power supply from the PHCN is characterized by power outages. For instance, the

experiences of Dunlop PLC, a major multinational manufacturing firm will further buttress this crisis. In 2004, it

experiences 316 outages. Outages in 2005 jumped to 405 an increase of 28%. It experienced an increase of 36.5% in

2006 and then an explosive 43% increase between 2006 and 2007, from 553 to 791. In October of 2007 alone, the

outage was 100 (Vanguard, 2007).

To compensate for the power outages, the commercial and industrial sectors are increasingly using privately

operated diesel generators to supply electricity (EIA, 2007).

1.2 Problems arising from inadequate electric power supply

There is a crisis in the power generation and supply sector in Nigeria. Some of the problems encountered as a result

of associated with epileptic power supply to industrial infrastructure are;

i. Delay in delivery date

ii. Under production of products
iii. Wastage of materials during processing
iv. Loss of man-hours during production
v. Loss of profits
vi. High cost of production
vii. Job insecurity
viii. Collapse of industries e.g. Textile industries, and many other problems.

The most common for industrial utilization in Nigeria are PHCN, Gas generators, and Diesel power plants. Since for

the industry, profit maximization at minimum operating cost is the goal, factors leading to low productivity must be

eliminated. Therefore the need to introduce an alternative solution whereby industries can independently generate

electricity for their use while a general and improved means of power production for consumption by industrial

infrastructures is established.

Hence, this paper therefore, wishes to make a comparative economic analysis of power supply and generation for

industrial infrastructure.

1.3 Natural gas

Nigeria is blessed with abundant deposit of natural gas. Nigeria’s proven natural gas reserves, estimated at about

187. 44 trillion standard cubic feet in 2005, are known to be substantially larger than its oil resources in energy terms

(Sambo, 2008b). Natural gas is a mixture of hydrocarbons and minor proportion of gases such as carbon - dioxide,

nitrogen, and sometimes hydrogen sulphide. The principal hydrocarbon is methane with ethane, propane, butane and

pentane. By shifting the balance of the fuel mix from coal to natural gas, carbon dioxide emissions in new power

generation can be reduced by 50% (SNG, 2004).

The advantages of using natural gas over other forms of energy are numerous. It is less expensive, cleaner and more

abundant. Also, storage, transportation and safety problems are minimal. It has found several uses amongst which

are; industrial fuel, chemical feedstock, agricultural/food processing, power generation, metallurgical processes, and

domestic. At present over 70% of the total natural gas utilized in the country is consumed by PHCN for power

generation at several power stations. PHCN is making a substantial saving of about 40% on fuel costs alone in

addition to reduced maintenance and operation costs by running these stations on natural gas instead of fuel oil

(NGC, 2004).

The Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) plans to push the industrial growth through the extension of its pipeline network

to ultimately serve the whole country (see Appendix, Tables 4 and 5). It has also manifested its concern for the

environment by integrating environmental control measures into the design and operation of its gas facilities.

The costs involved in converting to natural gas are basically an initial investment cost in changing the basic

equipment such as boiler unit or power generating plant to use gas, operational services and maintenance cost. These

costs will normally be recovered within a reasonable period of time via the cost saving in natural gas compared to

the alternative fuel. Coupled with this, the government provides incentives to businesses wishing to invest in gas

usage, which include:

i. Duty free and VAT free import of machinery and equipment,

ii. Tax holiday for companies using natural gas as feed stock,
iii. Zero % petroleum profit tax for gas used,
iv. Tax deductible interest on loans for gas projects,
v. Investment capital allowances and tax free dividends for five years.

Again, there are no special risks involved in converting to natural gas. All risks that pertain to construction,

conversion, and basic operation within customer’s plant are considered before actual construction starts and risk

mitigation procedures are incorporated (SNG, 2004).

1.4 The gas generator

The natural gas generator operates in a more or less the same manner as the gasoline powered generators. It could be

used as a standby electric power generator for home and commercial consumption or for continuous power

generation at heavy loads for industrial consumption. The natural gas generators cost 40 to 50 percent less per hour

to run than gasoline power generators. It does not require any fuel to be stored for operation (Perkins equipment


Natural gas is supplied to the equipment through pipelines from a gas transmission and distribution station.

Natural gas generators are available in a variety of sizes from 5kW – 700kW or more according to the electrical


Some of its advantages and disadvantages include:


 Requires minimum maintenance

 Provides 120 volt and 240 volt service at 30 amps, and 60 amps, 125 amps or more.
 Consumes less fuel
 Original spare parts by manufacturers and reliable companies are available.
 Digitally controlled panel
 Compact design, reliable and efficient


 High cost of investment
 Flammability of gas
 Expensive to Construct

Since energy resources are critical to the development of all other sector of our national life, and Nigeria being

endowed with these resources in abundance, it therefore become imperative to search and develop a more

reliable and efficient means of power generation in the country.

1.5 Oil

Based on various oil prospects already identified especially in the deepwater terrain and the current (2006)

development efforts, it is projected that proven reserves will reach about 40 billion barrels by year 2010. Domestic

utilization of Natural gas is mainly for power generation which accounted for over 80% while the remaining are in

the industrial sector and very negligible in the household sector. Given the current reserves and rate of exploitation,

the expected life-span of Nigerian crude oil is about 44 years, based on about 2mb/d production, while that for

natural gas is about 88 years, based on the 2005 production rate of 5.84 bscf/day. It has been reported that hydro

accounted for about 31.30% of grid electricity generation by 2005 while natural gas accounted for the balance of

68.30% (Sambo,2008b). Diesel and petrol powered generators are frequently used for domestic and industrial

purposes in Nigeria nowadays because of the epileptic power supply. This alternative to PHCN supply have

associated challenges, which include; noise and air pollutions, cost of procurement and maintenance, etc.


To carry out this comparative study using the national grid (i.e.PHCN) power supply and natural gas/diesel (as an

independent source of power generation), a manufacturing company labeled A situated in Ogun state and an Oil

company labeled B situated in Delta state – two companies that have employed the use of three options of power

generation under study were selected for the case study.

The choice of these industries was based on their;

 High energy demand for its infrastructure

 Continuous shift method production process
 High material wastage and man – hour loss due to power outages

2.1 Equipment used

Company A in Ogun State:

Type of equipment - Perkins Gas Generator

No - Four

Capacity - 2.0MW

Company B in Delta State:

Type of equipment - Ruston gas turbine

Model - TB 5,400

No - Two

Capacity - 6.0MW

Company A has a total of eight (8) Perkins natural gas generator of 0.5MW capacity each. Presently, only four of

these generators were put to use while the remaining four is awaiting further expansion of the company. The

company’s power requirement is 1.5 MW excluding auxiliary equipment and lighting. Although, Company B has a

total four (4) Ruston gas turbine (TB 5,400) of 3.0MW capacity each, only two of the turbine is presently been used,

while the other two are undergoing turnaround maintenance.

2.2 Cost data

Case 1: Company A Gas Generator

Combined Plant capacity - 2000kW

Cost of (AGO*) Naira/Litre - N120.00

Cost of Natural Gas fuel - N530.13k/1MScf

PHCN tariff - N12.50k/kW-hr, industrial tariff

Diesel fuel consumption - 0.30 litres/kW-hr Equip. manual

Gas fuel consumption - 12.35 Scf/kW-hr, Equip. manual

( Prices as at October 2008).

*AGO – Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel)

Investment in Gas Generator

Cost of equipment, shipment, delivery and installation - N 105,158,536.00k

The amounts expended in generating 1kW-hr using different methods were obtained as follows:

Cost of AGO power per unit = Diesel fuel consumption X Cost of AGO


Cost of gas power per unit = Gas fuel consumption X Cost of gas fuel


Number of units generated p.a. = Combined plant capacity x number of days in one year x


=17,520,000.00 kWh

Case 2: Company B gas turbine

Combined plant capacity - 6000kW

Volume of gas consumed - 810,686,124 Scf per annum

Cost of natural gas - N 530.13k/1MScf

Volume of AGO consumed - 16,368,000 litres per annum

Cost of AGO - N 120.00 per litre

PHCN tariff - N 12.50k/kW-hr

No. of units per annum - 52,560,000.00 kW

Gas consumption rate

Cost per unit gas power

Diesel consumption rate

Cost per unit diesel power =0.31 x N12.00 =N37.20/kWh


Comparison based on gas generator

The results from company A, indicates a variation in the cost economics of power generation when using PHCN and

other independent generation alternative, that is, Natural Gas and Diesel. As earlier stated, the costs per unit (kWh)

were: N 12.50k, N 36.00k, and N 6.55k for PHCN, Diesel, and Natural Gas respectively. This shows that, it cost less

to produce a unit power when running an independent plant on natural gas. The annual running costs( ) to generate

17,520,000 (kWh) number of units per annum for a combined plant capacity of 2000kW using PHCN,

Diesel(AGO), and natural gas were; 219,000,000.00k, 630,720,000.00k, and 114,756,000.00k respectively.

These amounts show that, it is cheaper, to operate an independent power generation plant on natural gas compared to

the other alternatives. Furthermore, for 17,520, 000kWh units per annum, the annual savings of N 515,964,000

could be made when running an independent plant on natural gas as compared to when running on Diesel. This

represents an annual savings advantage of 81.81% over Diesel. While an annual savings of N 104,244,000 could be

made when running an independent plant on natural gas as compared to power supply from PHCN, representing an

annual savings of 47.76% over PHCN

Payback Period:

A total initial capital investment of N 105,158,536 on the gas generators was enormous; however, the simple

payback period calculation reveals that with the cost savings on natural gas system it will take about 3 months to

recoup this investment capital in relation to running a diesel power plant. And it will take approximately 13 months

to recoup this investment capital in relation to power supply from PHCN. The simple payback period was computed

as shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Payback Period

Comparing Diesel and natural gas Comparing PHCN and natural gas

Annual savings 515,964,000 Annual savings 104,244,000

Monthly Saving 42,997,000 Monthly Saving 8,687,000

Payback Period in Months Payback Period in Months

Comparison based on gas turbine

The cost of generating power for the company using AGO and the provision of power through PHCN were
compared with gas generation. Although, efforts to get the cost of investment on this gas turbine from company B
was unsuccessful, the cost savings on natural gas compared to the other alternatives, from the calculations made so
far, suggest that the expected huge initial capital investment on gas turbine could be recouped in a reasonably short
period of time.

Table 2: Some operation parameters (Based on results and equipment manuals)


1 Cost of fuel Low, based on calculations and High, compared to natural gas N/A
prevailing price

2. Fuel logistics Transmitted &distributed by NGC Requires storage facilities Provide by


3. Fuel combustion Low carbon emission, due to low High carbon emission (C5+) N/A
carbon content (C1 – C5)

4. Performance High: high power-to- weight ratio Low: low power-to-weight ratio Load shedding
and constant running at peak load. non-constant running at peak load.
Low performance at part load. Better performance at part load

5. Cost of unit power Low High Moderate

6. Reliability High: can run for 24hrs, three (3) Low: could run for about one Very low: not
months or more uninterrupted and month provides standard voltage reliable even
without breakdown providing and frequency but which may for a day.
standard voltages and frequency fluctuate Voltage and

It is well known that the aim of every business enterprise is profit maximization and the major factor considered

before investing into any business venture is the economic of cost. Hence, the results in this study are based on the

cost relationship as well as other relevant operating parameter that is common to any of the three alternative sources

of power generation that have been investigated.

The results from Company B are as earlier stated, the costs per unit (kWh) were: N 12.50k, N 37.20k , and N 8.19k

for PHCN, diesel, and natural gas respectively.

Therefore the annual running cost( ) to generate 52,560,000 (kWh) number of units per annum for a combined

plant capacity of 6000kW using PHCN, AGO, and Natural gas were 657,000,000.00k, 1,955,232,000.00k, and

430,466,400.00k respectively.

From the calculated values it shows that it would also cost lesser to produce unit power when running on a natural

gas. For 52,560,000kWh units per annum an annual savings of N 1,524,765,000 kWh could be made when running

an independent plant on natural gas as compared to when running on diesel. This represents an annual cost saving

advantage of 77.98% over diesel. And an annual savings of N 226,533,600 could be made when running an

independent plant on natural gas compared the use of electricity power supply from PHCN. This represents an

annual cost saving advantages of 34.48% over PHCN.

Looking at the operating parameters in Table 3, it will be observed that natural gas fuel an independent power plant

has the following advantage over the two alternatives.

(i) Less fuel consumption and cost compared to diesel fuel

(ii) Fuel logistics is handled by the supplier, Shell Nigeria Gas Ltd, (SNG) or NGC, compared to

diesel system when space and other logistics are required

(iii) Low operating cost, arising from low cost of fuel and less breakdown compared to diesel

system with its attendant high cost of fuel and frequent breakdown

(iv) High power output and performance at peak load, compared to PHCN with low and

fluctuating output.

(v) Less shutdown, compared to PHCN with incessant power outage.

(vi) Reliability – far better than PHCN and diesel system.

Even with all these advantages enumerated above, natural gas plant has as its major disadvantage a high initial cost

on equipment in relation to diesel plant; nevertheless, the payback period reveals that this high investment cost can

be recovered over a reasonably short period of time.

Furthermore, the natural gas plant has the disadvantage of high fuel consumption rate at base load, leading to

reduced efficiency. This makes the system to be more suitable for application where there is high power demand like

the industries.

The result of this enterprise will be; employment creation, sustainable technological development, economic growth

and closing the gap between power demand and the exiting generation.


It was observed that natural gas, as an independent power generation has outstanding and overwhelming advantages

over the other alternatives based on the factors and parameters used in the comparison. Although natural gas system

has its few drawbacks, such as high initial investment cost and high fuel consumption rate at base load; these are,

however balanced by several other factors such as, high reliability, low operating cost, low cost of fuel, short

payback period etc whereas, the low tariff advantage of PHCN and the high performance at base load benefit of

diesel system were by far overwhelmed by its numerous drawbacks.

It is therefore, recommended that heavy industries with high demands for electricity for their infrastructure, running

24 hours shift system with little or no time for shutdowns and would wish to eliminate frequent power outages and

load shedding as experienced from PHCN national grid, should embrace the technology of the natural gas power

generation to maximize profit and economic growth both for the industry and the nation.

Furthermore, since gas powered plants are the new avenue for power generation, and with governments resolve (see

Table in appendix) to make gas supply a key component of its power generation target (Anuforu, 2008), the private

sector should also look in this direction in order to revive the industrial development in Nigeria.


Anuforu, E. (2008) Fear Grips Agencies over Emergency in Power Sector. The Guardian Newspaper, 2nd July,


EIA (2007) Nigeria Energy Data, Statistics and Analysis - Oil, Gas, Electricity, Coal. Energy Information

Administration (EIA),

Ibitoye, F.I. and Adenikinju, A. (2007) Future Demand of Electricity in Nigeria.

Iwayemi, A. (2008) Investment in Electricity Generation and Transmission in Nigeria: Issues and Options.

International Association for Energy Economics.

NGC (2004) Nigerian Gas Company Ltd,(NGC) and Natural Gas Utilization in Nigeria. Publication of the

Media and Publicity Department, NGC.

Sambo, A.S. (2008) Electricity Demand from Customers of INGA Hydropower Projects: The case of Nigeria.

Paper presented at the WEC Workshop n Financing INGA Hydropower Projects, 21 – 22nd April, 2008, London, UK.

Sambo, A.S. (2008) Matching Electricity Supply with Demand in Nigeria

SNG (2004) Shell Gas and Power. Publication of the Communication and Media Department, SPDC.,

Vanguard, 20th December, 2007. Page 22

World Bank (2005) Nigeria: National Energy Development Project.


Table 3: Ongoing and Proposed Gas Supply Projects

S/ Pipeline Gas Consumers Pipeline Line Design

N Length Diameter Capacity
(km) (Inches) (MMScf/day)
1 Ajaokuta PHCN and Industrial 460 14, 20/ 36 1000
Geregu/Abuja/Kaduna Consumers
2 Ikorodu Spur Spintex, Ital Tile and other 13.5 4 10.00
3 Eyan Spur Industries in Benin 3 4 3.00
4 Otta – Agbara – ECOWAS Otta – Agbara and 50 20/24 300
5 Iwopin Spur Nigerian Newsprint 30 8 15.00
Manufacturing Co.,
6 Athena Investment Lapeleke Brick Industry 2 4 5.00
7 Presco Industries Agric Industry 2 4 3
8 Osubi Airport SPDC 1 4 2.50
Source: NGC, Warri, 2004

Table 4: Existing Gas Supply Systems

S/ Gas Supply System Gas Consumers Pipeline Line Design

N Length Diameter Capacity
(km) (Inches) (MMScf/day)
1 Aladja Gas Pipeline System Delta Steel plant, Aladja 130 6,8,14 & 70
2 Oben – Ajaokuta Gas Pipeline Ajaokuta Steel Plant 198 24 200
3 Sapele System PHCN Power Station, 44 10 & 18 200
4 Obigbo North – Afam PHCN, Afam 19 14 135
5 Imo River – Aba IGI, PZ, ABATEX, 28 12 35
6 Alakiri - Onne NAFCON, Onne 17 14 90
7 Escravos – Lagos, Pipeline PHCN Egbin Spur, 16 30 600
(ELP) and the Spur lines PHCN Delta IV Spur, 4 12 172
Ughelli 1 18 40
Warri Refinery 27 14 45
WAPCO Ewekoro 15 18 94
WAPCO Shagamu 15 14 50
Ikeja City 13.5 4 4.26
Gate/Otta/Agbara 13 6 26
PZ Industries, Ikorodu
Edjaba & Ogunu Housing

8 Alakiri – Obigbo North Ikot Aluminium Smelting 117 14,16 & 20 450
Abasi Company (ALSCON)

Source: NGC, Warri, 2004

Efficient procedure for route determination for solid waste collection in Onitsha, Nigeria

Ogwueleka, T.C.

Department of Civil Engineering,

University of Abuja, Nigeria


Routing of solid waste collection vehicles in developing countries poses a challenging task because of attitudinal

and haphazard infrastructural problems. New decision procedure for solid waste collection was introduced in this

study. The problem objective was to minimize the overall cost, which was essentially based on the distance travelled

by vehicle. The study proposed heuristic method to generate feasible solution to an extended Capacitated Arc

Routing Problem (CARP) on undirected network, inspired by the refuse collection problems in Nigeria. The

heuristic procedure consists of route first and cluster second method. The computational experience with the

heuristic in Onitsha was presented. The technique was compared with the existing schedule with respect to cost,

time and distance travelled. The adoption of the proposed heuristic in Onitsha resulted in reduction of the number of

existing vehicles by one, 22.86% saving in refuse collection cost and 16.31% reduction in vehicle distance travelled

per day. The result revealed that the proposed heuristic method, which would be useful in vehicle scheduling.

Keywords: waste management, route optimization, heuristic programming, CARP,

Solid waste collection is one of the most difficult operational problems faced by most cities in Nigeria. In
most Nigerian cities, solid waste collections are done in an adhoc manner, which contributes to high solid waste
collection cost. Solid waste collection vehicles are assigned to zones without any serious demand analysis, route
construction being left to the drivers. Every time the vehicle is filled up, it heads to the disposal site to unload and
then returns to the zones. This method contributes to high solid waste collection cost.

This research stems from the need to address the solid waste collection truck routing problem for urban
areas. Emphasis was placed on minimizing the cost of solid waste collection through collection route optimisation

since nearly 77- 95% of the solid waste budget is spent on collection and haulage in developing cities (Ogwueleka,
2003; Agunwamba et al, 1998). Operation research techniques concentrating on the vehicle routing and scheduling
of a fleet were applied to address the management concerns.

Some methods have already been advanced for improving solid waste management system. Prominent
among these methods include vehicle routing and optimisation of solid waste collection routes (Chang and Wei,
2002; Mourăo and Almeida, 2000). Nevertheless, the many papers that have reported studies on scheduling and
routing of solid waste collection vehicles as a method of minimizing solid waste collection cost are surprisingly low.
Wang et al, (1996) proposed a model where waste collection, recycling and disposal were explicitly considered, but
route design problem was solved only by considering the districts as the sources of demand, without analysing
collection routes inside each of the zones. Agunwamba et al, (2003) have chosen to associate the demand to a set of
points representing a set of streets, instead of considering in details the arcs of the network. Solid waste is collected
from different sanitation zones, transported to some transition stations, and finally to a landfill. The model
developed can be used to assess the convenience of setting up a new transition station and to determine the way to
transport waste. Most of these works have considered waste collection problem at a district level.

None of the above literatures took into account the road network detail in finding solution to waste
collection problem. This study optimized distance travelled for an undirected capacitated arc routing problem,
inspired by the refuse collection problems in Onitsha. The study’s main objective was to minimise the collection
cost and distance travelled by collection vehicles.

Solid waste management in Onitsha

Onitsha is located on the bank of River Niger in Anambra State of Nigeria. It lies on latitude 6 091 North and

longitude 60491 East of the Greenwich Meridian. Onitsha with a population of 509, 500 people cover 13,249

hectares of land area. Management of solid waste in Onitsha is the sole responsibility of Anambra State

Environmental Protection Agency (ANSEPA). The solid waste generation rate is 0.54 kg per capita per day

(Agunwamba et al, 1998). Onitsha Municipality is subdivided into six zones: Okpoko, Fegge, Housing Estate,

Upper Iweka, Inland and GRA.

GRA is a residential district with few businesses. The algorithm was applied to GRA, a district in Onitsha, whose

urbanistic structure is similar to that of the whole town. The solid waste daily production is 66 m3/day about

10.59% of the whole town’s daily production. Presently, ANSEPA has adopted hauled container system (HSC)

and stationary container system (SCS).

A very interesting result for real world problems lies in the fact that the vehicles carry excess of 5 – 10% of
their full capacity in the majority of trips. The total route length in GRA is 26.53 km. The collection vehicle crew is
one driver, four labourers and operate 8 hours per day with maximum of two collection trips per day. There is no
transfer station in Onitsha. Recycling technologies are new in the town but not common. ANSEPA at the outset
performs collection services 5 days in a week. Monday to Friday (8.00 am - 4.00 pm). Solid waste collected is taken

directly from the collection areas to the disposal site at the landfill located 10 km North East of Onitsha on the road
to Nkwelle Ezunaka without treatment.


Data were collected from both primary and secondary sources. Some tools of participatory appraisal
techniques namely semi-structured interview schedule and focus group discussions were employed in data
collection. The location of the disposal sites and collection points, serviceable streets, collection routes, vehicle
speed, collection duration and frequency, number of trips per day, number and capacities of available vehicles, round
trip duration, were collected from ANSEPA. The reliability of these data was checked by joining some of the trips
and by observing same activities within the garage and outside. The traffic volume, street width, direction of traffic
flow, characteristics of each street was obtained from observation and measurement. The distance was obtained by
computing the Euclidean (or taxicab) distance between each pair of the nodes.

The road network of GRA, Onitsha is presented in Figure 1. The nodes were numbered for identification
and each street was uniquely defined by a pair of nodes. The vehicles travelled at a speed of about 50 km/h in the
town, thus the travel time was presumed proportional to the travel distance. Inspection of overtime, incentive time,
vehicle capacity utilization, distance travelled, productive time and quantity of refuse handled yielded data from
which cost and efficiency analyses were made.

Residential refuse collection requires services at a large number of discrete points. These points are close together
and distributed along the arcs. Algorithms for solid waste route are considered to belong to Capacitated Arc Routing
Problems (CARP) (Amponsah, 2003). The Capacitated Arc Routing Problems (CARP) arises when arc has
associated with it a positive demand and the vehicles to be routed have a finite capacity (Greistorter, 1994). One
truck may not be able to service all the roads in a town due to its limited capacity. The CARP is to find a set of
routes from a single depot that service all arcs in the network at minimal cost and subject to the constraints that the
total demand on each route does not exceed the capacity of the vehicle. A single route covered all streets (arcs) was
developed (solve CARP). And the single router was decomposed into a collection of M sub tours, each of which
could be handled by one vehicle (see Figure 2). CARP was solved by using an integer linear programming below
(Ogwueleka, In Press). Network G = (V, E), V is the set of vertex (node) and E is the set of edges (arcs). Eqn (1) –
(4) was solved as a matching problem on the odd degree vertices of V with matching costs C ij. Xij is the integer
variable equal to the number of copies of edge (V i,Vj) that must be added to G in order to make it Eulerian. Original
network was converted to a unicursal network-matching algorithm.

Subject to

The constraints in Equation 2 stipulated that each node in G(x) must have an even degree. Constraints (3) enforced
the solution to be connected.

The cost of a trip comprises the cost of its serviced arcs and that of its intermediate connecting paths.
Demands were usually the amount of waste to be collected along the streets (urban waste). The techniques combined
computer and heuristics approaches for solution. The study took into account the road network detail in finding
solution to waste collection problem in undirected network.

The program was written in Visual Basic.Net and designed to run on a PC. The code ran on a PC with Centrino

Duo 1 GHz with 1 Gbytes RAM.

Determining capacities of containers and vehicles

Container number (nk) is computed as follows


Where p is population living in the area and Pk is population for a container. Pk is written as


Where Vk is the volume of a container (m3) and VRP is the volume of MSW per person (m3).

VRP is found thus:


VR is the volume of MSW per residence (m3), PR is the number of people per residence. MSW container number to
be collected by a vehicle (nk) is presented as follows.


where Vv is the volume of a vehicle (m3) and α is the vehicle compaction factor. Where PR = 4, VR =.0088, Vk =
0.3m3 , P = 30,000, nk = 220, and α = 0.8


Comparison between existing situations and optimal results in Onitsha were done with respect to cost, time and
distance travelled as shown in Tables 1 and 2. Table 2 revealed 16.31% reduction in travelled length and 25.24%
saving in collection cost. The optimal collection cost was N 218, 602.00 per day. In the current practice in Onitsha,
ANSEPA employed four (4) vehicles, with operating cost of approximately N 292, 400.00. Therefore, daily saving
of proposed solution was about N73, 798.00 in collection cost and one vehicle. Cutting down the work of one
vehicle would not only reduce labour and maintenance cost, but also greatly reduces total travelling distance and
fuel consumption

Table 1 Time and distance comparison between existing and optimal systems for GRA, Onitsha

Route Name Route distance, km Route Time, s Optimized Route Route Time, s
distance, km

Route 1 11.43 2280 16.54 2780

Route 2 14.14 2940 12.44 2440

Route 3 13.22 2760 15.11 2680

Route 4 12.44 2820 11.46 2340

Route 5 15.73 3300 12.62 2480

Route 6 15.78 3000 13.70 2700

Route 7 15.08 3060 - -

Total 97.82 20,160 81.87 15,420

Table 2 Comparison between existing and optimal systems for GRA

Existing Optimal

1 Total number of collection vehicles required per day 4 3

2 Total vehicle distance travelled for collection per day (km) 97.82 81.87

3 Costing of hiring of collection vehicles and labour (N ) 292,400 218,602

4 Travel time, s 20,160 15,420

5 Percentage savings

In route length 16.31%

In collection cost 25.24%

In collection time 23.51%

The optimized route number and travel distances for truck types were obtained as shown in Table 3. In
GRA (Onitsha) situation, vehicles of different capacities were used; open loader (5m 3), rear loading compactor
(7.5m3) and container truck (15m3). The total length of routes using container truck was 81.87km and that using rear
loading compactor was 104.2 km. Open loader had a total travel distance of 132.1km. Optimum route length
required to completely service GRA is a function of truck volume and crew size. Smaller vehicles would be required
to make a greater number of trips to the refuse disposal area than would large vehicles in order to service a given
collection area. Route length seemed to generally increase with decrease in vehicle size. Table 4 shows the total cost
comparison among vehicle classes for GRA. The total cost for using 5 m 3 vehicle was N 302,866.00 per day and for
7.5 m3 vehicle was N 252,072.00. For 15 m3 vehicle, the cost was N 218,602.00. In this route optimization, the use
of 15 m3 vehicle would be the most optimal.

Table 3 Optimized route number and travel distances for truck types

Vehicle Total container Container Vehicle route Vehicle travel distance per day, km
capacity, m3 number number per number per day
vehicle Collection Hauling

5 220 14 16 36.1 96

7.5 220 20 11 38.2 66

15 220 40 6 45.87 36

Table 4 Costs developed for optimized collection/ hauling as depending on truck types

Vehicle capacity, m3 Collection Hauling Total N

N 200 km-1 ton-1 N 120 km-1 ton-1

5 116,242 186,624 302,866

7.5 123,768 128,304 252,072

15 148,618 69,984 218,602


Adoption of the proposed heuristics decreased the number of vehicles required to complete the service from
4 to 3. It enabled a cut back in the number of runs for trucks per day. Because of the shorter operational time and
reduced runs for trucks, reductions in operational and labour cost were achieved. In the proposed algorithm, it was
easier to pull a truck off the road for repair and maintenance, thus helping to extend vehicle life. The proposed
heuristics provided a great deal of insight for the human router. Some portions of the routing task can be done easily
by a computer while others required judgement and intuition. The new decision procedures for scheduling of solid
waste collection routes would go a long way in solving the problem of indiscriminate dumping a solid waste since it
will reduce the collection cost, and increase the frequency of solid waste collection. Efficient routing of solid waste
collection vehicles would reduce costs by reducing the labour expended in collection. The algorithm would provide
optimal route, conserve energy, and reduce working hours and vehicle fuel consumption.

One of the conclusions is that system analysis can be applied successfully to urban refuse management
problem. The study has shown how simple heuristic methods provided decision makers with efficient solutions in
the intricate problems of urban refuse administration. The success of the optimal solution provided a basis for
further study on the sensitivity of the solution to the amounts of resources available.


Agunwamba J.C., Ukpai O.K. and Onyebuenyi I.C. (1998). Solid waste management in Onitsha, Nigeria, Waste
Management Research, 16 (1), 23-31.

Agunwamba J.C., Egbuniwe N. and Ogwueleka T.C.(2003). Least cost management of solid waste collection.
Journal of Waste Technology and Management, Vol. 29, N03, 154-167.

Amponsah S.K. (2003). The investigation of a class of capacitated arc routing problems: the collection of garbage in
developing countries, Ph.D Thesis, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Birmingham,

Chang N.B. and Wei Y.L.(2002). Comparative study between heuristics algorithm and optimization technique for
vehicle routing and scheduling in the solid waste management system. Civil Engineering and
Environmental System, Vol. 19, No 1, 41-65

Greistorter P. (1994). Algorithms and implementations for the mixed capacitated Chinese Postman Problem,
Working Paper 33, Department of Business, University of Graz, Austria.

Mourão M.C. and Almeida M.T. (2000). Lower-bounding and heuristic methods for a refuse collection vehicle
routing problem. European Journal of Operational Research, 121, 420-434.

Ogwueleka T.C.(2003). Analysis of urban solid waste in Nsukka, Nigeria, Journal of Solid Waste Technology and
Management, Vol. 29, No 4, 234-245.

Ogwueleka, T.C. Route optimization for solid waste collection. European Journal of Operational Research (In

Wang F.S., Richardson A.J. and Roddick F.A. (1996). SWIM- A computer model for solid waste integrated
management. Computer, Environment and Urban Systems, 20 (4), 1996, pp. 233-246.


Are there any Correct errors
errors in the data


Select time period over which to

form routes

Use Route first, cluster second

Create network

Number of cluster = M =1
Solve the CARP

The resulting network is subdivided into

a set of cycles to facilitate the formation
of collection districts.

Create cycles nodes

Form minimum cost capacitated

spanning tree

Decode into tours

Are all

Print results


Figure 2. Flow chart for the procedure of route construction


Ibrahim .D. Muhammad*, Adejumo I.O**, Shehu A.A** and Musa Mohammed**

* Department of Mech. Engi., University of Abuja. Email: ibrahimuhd@yahoo.coom

** Agricultural Engineering Department, Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State.

* Corresponding author.


In Nigeria and in many other countries in Africa, the Informal Sector is considered to be one of most dynamic in
terms of employment generation and productivity growth. However, the sector is currently facing several constraints
including low training after apprenticeship as well as unstructured training programs. This paper offers a way out in
capacity building/development in the informal sector by presenting the steps involved during a 12 week training
program organized for metal workers/welders and blacksmith selected from six (6) LGA in Niger State on
fabrication of Agro-processing machines. In the paper, it was established that all trainings for workers in the
informal sector must be structured to strengthen the abilities and skills of individuals and supported by necessary
institutional structures and processes for desired targets to be attained in a sustainable way.

Key words: Informal sector, training, capacity building


The term “informal sector” was used for the first time in the reports on Ghana and Kenya prepared under the ILO
World Employment Programme at the beginning of the 1970s. The term is commonly used to refer to that segment
of a heterogeneous phenomenon which encompasses a wide variety of economic activities which tend to be
overlooked in statistics, including all sorts of manufacturing activities, construction, trade and commerce, repair and
other services. For example, informal sector workers make beds, pots and pan, repair watches, cars and radios, write
letters, lend money, run restaurant, and barbering shops in the side walk, transport goods and people on their
motorbikes, sell fruit and cooking oil and cigarettes by the piece. Informal sector activities are mostly carried out in
small units owned and operated by one or a few individuals with little capital, and are usually labour intensive
activities producing relatively cheap goods and services. Sometimes informal sector is referred to as “hidden”,
“second“, “cash-“ or “parallel“, economy, shadow economy, non-corporate enterprises, microenterprises and petty
producers, [Schneider(2002), and Ijaiya and Umar (2004)]

The informal sector is vital in the economy of developing countries; but what is the actual or approximate
contribution of the IS? Many who try to measure the informal economy face the difficulty of how to define it.
According to (Ajayi and Akanji, 2000) one commonly used working definition is: all currently unregistered

economic activities which contribute to the officially calculated (or observed) Gross National Product. Although
there exist quite a large literature on some aspects of IS, the subject is still quite controversial and there are
disagreements about the size and also the consequences are different for different countries. Thus there is a variety
of estimation from different sources such as:

 "In Africa as a whole, the informal employment accounts for over 60% of total urban employment". (ILO,
 Estimates suggest that the sector accounts for between 45% and 60% of the urban labor force,
 The average size of the informal economy, as a percent of official GNP in the year 2000, in developing
countries is 41%, in transition countries 38% and in OECD countries 18%, (Ajayi and Akanji, 2002).
 Nigeria ranks 44th worldwide and third in Africa in factory output (Hans, 1994). Along with the endemic
malaise of Nigeria's non-oil sectors, the economy continues to witness massive growth of "informal
sector" economic activities, estimated by some to be as high as 75% of the total economy (Hans, 1994).
 In Africa, the informal economy is large and it is more like a parallel economy. On average the informal
economy in Africa is estimated to be 42% of GDP in 1999/2000: Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Nigeria were at
the high end with 59.4%, 58.3% and 57.9%, respectively (Djankov, 2003).
 The informal sector in developing countries represents about 50 percent or more of full-time workers and
produces 40 to 60 percent of the national income, (Demeke and Amha 2005).

 The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that the proportion of the urban work force engaged
in the informal sector is highest in sub-Saharan Africa, and accounts for more than 50% of urban
employment in two-thirds of the countries surveyed in 1999, (ILO, 2000).

From the above information, it can be stated that the Informal Sector in Nigeria is vital and have grown from
neglect to recognition. The development of the informal sector follows closely the general pattern of urban
development in Nigeria, (Nwaka, 2005). Each phase in the development of Nigeria's cities and economy has its
own dynamics in informal sector development. This was clearly recognized in several economic policies including
the recent Industrial Policy of Nigeria 1999 - 2003 where the IS was selected as one of the high priority sector and
also identified as an avenue for industrial development.

However one of the main obstacles facing the informal sector is related to manpower development. It is manpower
that co-ordinates and enables the effective utilization of other resources. The level of training and development of
human skill is fundamental to deciding how much an organization will accomplish. This is more significant in
relation to current trends of globalization and competition, which increases the volatility of the environment in
which enterprises operate and demand better quality standards and access to new skills, a difficult challenge for
informal enterprises because of their weak resource base.

Most training in the informal sector is carried out using apprenticeship system. It is the oldest and the traditional
mode of training. The training is intensively practical, focusing on immediate problems with little initial skill and
experience. Duration of apprenticeship may range from six months to ten years, and sometimes continues as long as
a decade (Hans, 1994).

There are many methods of apprenticeship training, such as Traditional Apprenticeship Training (TAT), Informal
Apprenticeship Training (IAT) and Modern Apprenticeship Training (MAT). In most African countries, trades/skills
are acquired by observation and practice through informal apprenticeship training method.

Informal Apprenticeship Training (IAT) has some features, such as easy access, acquisition of relevant skills; build
up of business network, and low cost. It has been observed that IAT have some problems, such as lack of training

plan, limited adoption of new technologies, limited trade testing and certification, exploitation of trainees, etc (Hans,

As a way towards solving some of their training problems, The Association of Blacksmiths in Bida Niger State
contacted the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) for necessary assistance with specific reference to
upgrading of skills in Agro-processing machines. The request made by the blacksmiths coincides with one of the
schemes of GTZ under the Employment-Oriented Private Sector Development Programme (EoPSD). The EoPSD is
a bilateral agreement between the governments of Nigeria and Germany in order to assist the small, medium micro
enterprises (SMME) initially in Niger and Nassarawa States, (EoPSD, 2008).

One of the three components of EoPSD is skills development training (SDT), which involves developing new
methods and instruments to upgrade SMME entrepreneurs and employees by providing capacity building options
and helping them to develop cost effective measures for operational sustainability.

Sequel to above, GTZ mandated two consultants to conduct a comprehensive study of the options available taking in
to consideration prevailing conditions. In order to effectively utilize available resources, potential trainees were
selected to include blacksmiths, welders and teachers on metal works from six (6) local government areas in Niger
State, Nigeria.

The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the training approaches for upgrading the skills of blacksmiths,
welders and other related craftsmen in the informal sector. The specific objectives are to:

i. Identify skill gaps in some areas of the IS.

ii. Develop appropriate curriculum for training of trainers in relation to blacksmith and welders.

iii. Implement prepared curriculum with changes where necessary.

The programme for training the blacksmiths and others was conducted in stages.

Stage I: Skill Gap Analysis

Due to diverse background of the potential trainees, a study was conducted to asses the skill gap(s) and competences
of blacksmiths and other prospective trainees in relation to metal works and fabrication of agro-processing
machines. Questionnaires and personal interviews were used for data collection. At the end of the study, the
following observations were made:

1. Up to 80% of the blacksmiths assessed are literate and are less than 35 years old.
2. Up to 90% of the blacksmiths are full time and were trained as apprentices due to their family background.

3. The products that gave the blacksmiths the highest income are agricultural tools.

4. Other items produced by blacksmiths are either obsolete or have low demand.

5. Associations of craftsmen in the IS are well organized, but have minimal programmes for manpower
development and/or capacity building.

6. Up to 50% of the blacksmiths interviewed acknowledges the potentials in the fabrication of agro-processing
and are willing to contribute financially for training.

7. All the welders interviewed during the study fabricates doors, windows, burglary proofs and other metal
structures; only about 20% had fabricated agro-processing machines, which are limited in scope and only on

8. Welders contacted during the study acquired their skills through informal apprenticeship and lack some skills
for the design and/or fabrication of agro-processing machines, such as technical drawing and interpretation of
detailed Engineering drawings.


Based on the skill gap analysis conducted, a schedule was developed for training in fabrication of Agro-processing
machines in order to develop a team of master craftsmen and instructors that will later be able to act as trainers
who will transfer the knowledge and skills acquired to others. Summary of the modules developed and contact
hours are shown in table 1.

Table1: Modules for training of blacksmiths, welders and others in fabrication of Agro-processing machines.

S/No Module Contact Hours

I Introduction to equipment, tools and accessories 40 hrs (one week)
II Sheet metal work 80 hrs (two weeks)

III Electric Arc Welding 80 hrs (two weeks)

IV Gas welding and flame cutting 80 hrs (two weeks)

V Structural steel works 80 hrs (two weeks)

VI Fabrication of Agro-Processing machines 80 hrs (two weeks)

VII Setting up and management of fabrication/welding shops 40 hrs (one week)

Total contact hours 480 hrs (12 weeks)


In order to select qualified trainees, visits were carried out to various blacksmith and welders shops in six(6)
LGAs in Niger State, namely Bida, Wushishi, Minna Municipal, Borgu, Shiroro and Suleja. Visits were also
carried out Technical Colleges at Minna, Kontagora, and Bida for selection of metal works teachers and
assessment of facilities available.

At each of the venues visited, all potential trainees were examined.. Each stage of the assessment was allocated
marks. Only potential trainees having a total of 70% and above were recommended for final selection; based on
the criteria, only 17 (33%) out the 51 applicants were successful. Summary of those selected for the training is
shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Summary of those selected for the training

Background No. of those Assessed % No. of those selected %

Blacksmiths 41 80 11 65

Welders 5 10 3 17.65

Metal works Teachers 5 10 3 17.65

TOTAL 51 100 17 100

Based on facilities and manpower available, the Engineering workshops at the Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger
State was selected as the venue for the training.


For effective implementation of all activities related to the training, all stakeholders were consulted and thereafter
a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was prepared. The MOU specifies the vision and philosophy of the
programme and gave details of what is required from all the stakeholders. Those involved at various stages of the
training are:

1. EOPSD –GTZ (Employment-oriented Private Sector Development- German Agency for Technical
2. Federal Polytechnic Bida, Niger State.

3. Niger State Science and Technical Board.

4. Executive Councils of the affected LGA’s.

5. The Association of Blacksmiths in affected LGA’s.

6. Welders Association in affected LGA’s.


For effective training, the following preparations were done:

1. Orientation of the training team made up of seven (7) core trainers, three (3) trainers, four (4) craftsmen and
other supporting staff.
2. Preparation and/or purchase of machines, tools and consumables required during training.

Stage VI: Training

Based on modules developed on the curriculum (Table 1), the training was conducted from 23 rd May to 25th
November 2006 with breaks between modules to allow the trainees to go back to their respective shops/working
centers to meet up with their respective commitments and needs.

In order to ensure effective transfer of information and/or skills, the training was conducted through lectures (30%),
group discussion (20%), fabrication and visits (50%). At the end of each module, trainees fabricate relevant items
such as models of funnels, tubes, developed surfaces etc.

During module V, the trainees were divided into groups to visit relevant locations where agro machinery are
fabricated and/or utilized in order to conduct study. Each group selected a machine of their choice, conducted market
survey, carry out design/sketch, calculate cost estimate and fabricate a part of the machine

At the end of module VI (Fabrication of Agro-Processing machines) the trainees produced Cassava grating machine,
groundnut oil extraction machine and Acetylene generator from design drawings provided. The fabricated machines
were demonstrated during the closing ceremony and at the GTZ stakeholders meeting held at Abuja in December

Also, training for module VII on setting up and management of fabrication workshops in collaboration with CEFE
consultant in addition to lectures on HIV/AIDS by medical personnel provided by GTZ.


During training in all the modules, the trainees appreciated the scheme and hoped for more thereafter. This can be
attributed to the pattern the training was prepared and the desire to acquire more skills using a formal approach; even
after the training, those that participated acknowledged the outcome as summarized by the views of one of the
trainees in a national newspaper (Mohammed, 2006). During the entire period of the training, the following were the
observation made:

1. There was educational and skill gap among the trainees due to their diverse background; this partially
affected the pace of some modules
2. Most of the trainees, especially blacksmiths and welders, appreciated the importance of drawing and
sketching before fabrication. Some of the trainees requested for an additional training with emphasis on
Engineering drawing.

3. Contribution by some stakeholders to the training was below expectation; this had initial negative impact
on the morale of trainees.

4. In all modules, at least 80% of the syllabus was covered with minor alteration to suit reality on ground.

5. Most of the trainees indicated their most interest during module VI (fabrication of agro processing
machines), which is the ultimate goal of the training.

6. The NGO sponsoring the training had an independent staff available at all modules and venues. The staff
monitors all activities, interact with all and submit independent reports for all modules.

7. The method used for sensitizing the trainees on entrepreneurship in module VI was appreciated by the
trainees, who requested for more after the programme.

8. Safety practices among the trainees is average or below average as exemplified by their attitudes towards
safety gadgets given to them during demonstrations and fabrication.


1. In subsequent trainings, those to participate in a specific programme should be or near same background in
other to minimize gaps.
2. Syllabus to be used in modules should not be rigid, but according to prevailing circumstances. To assist in
standardization of the similar trainings, relevant bodies and institution should prepare acceptable syllabus
with details and method(s) for assessment.

3. Venues for training should be similar to what trainees are exposed to in their respective places of practice
so that they can face challenges they may encounter later.

4. Specific training on safety should be in subsequent programmes to reduce hazards many are exposed to in
their place of work.

5. Associations of skilled workers in the informal sectors should be encouraged to upgrade any of the
workshops in their domain to be used as centre for capacity development.

6. The development plan of the nation should at all times acknowledge the contribution of the informal sector
to the economy with adequate support for maximum utilization.

7. Type(s) of machine(s) or items to be designed and/or fabricated during trainings should reflect the
economic level and demand in area of operation of those to be trained.

8. There should be a follow up visit to all trainees at their places of work in order to monitor the effect of
training in their output to be used for future plans and for linkage with local microfinance institutions.


The informal sector contributes in various ways to the development of many of the so called third world nations,
Nigeria inclusive. The level of contribution is high but in most cases not acknowledged or easily quantifiable due to
obvious reasons. But one of the major problems facing the informal sector is lack or inadequate plans for upgrading
skills at various levels, which is contributing immensely to under utilization of potentials in the sector. This is
because the level of training and development of human skill in any organization is fundamental to deciding how
much such an organization will accomplish. This was confirmed by from the output obtained after the training given
to blacksmiths, welders and others that were selected from six LGA in Niger State over a period of twelve weeks


Authors express their gratitude for the financial support provided through the Employment-oriented Private Sector
Development Programme (EoPSD), which is a bilateral agreement between the Nigerian and German Federal
Governments and being implemented by the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ). Authors are also thankful to
The Federal Polytechnic Bida and other stake holders for their respective assistance granted in various means during
the programme.


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International Labour Organization, ILO (2000), World Employment Report 1998-99

Mohammed Lawal Shuaibu, Blacksmiths and Welders Showcase Product in Abuja, Daily Trust Newspaper, 4/12/06
pp 27.

Nwaka G.I (2005), The Urban Informal Sector in Nigeria: Towards Economic Development,

Schneider F. (2002), Size and Measurement of the Informal Economy in 110 Countries around the World, Book of
Proceeding of the Workshop of Australian National Tax Centre, ANU, Canberra, Australia, held
on July 17, 2002.




1. Name: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Age: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

2. Sex: Male Female Marital Status: Married Single Divorced

3. Highest Qualification with Dates:

Qualification (tick one only) Year Obtained

i. Primary School Leaving Certificate
iii. City and Guild
v. HND/
vi. Others(specify) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

4. Do you have any formal training as welder/blacksmiths? YES NO

5. If yes in (4), state location _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ and duration (years) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

6. For how long have you been working as a welder/blacksmith? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ years

7. Nature of work as welder/blacksmith: a. Full Time Part time b. Master Apprentice

8. Are you registered with your trade association? Yes No

9. If (8) is yes, state the year _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ and level: Member Official/Executive

10. Range of products made by you and others in your workshop: i. ii iii

iv v vi vii viii

11. Mention the most expensive item produced _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ and cost of the item _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

12. How frequent do you weld? Always Frequent Rarely Never

13. How much will you contribute for your training in fabrication of agro processing machines? i 0% ii 5-
24% iii 25-50% iv 51-75% v. >75%

1. Using your own words, define welding. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
__ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _

2. List three (3) tools that can be used for fabricating. i ii iii
3. Can scraps from blacksmithing be used for welding? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

4. Which electrode can you use to weld aluminium pipes? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _

5. Identify specimens presented to you as labelled.
A_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ B_ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _C_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ D_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _