A Nigerian Professor – David Sunday Ogunniyi of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Ilorin, has discovered that used tyres could serve as fuel in cement factory.
Ogunniyi who confirmed this while delivering 125th inaugural lecture of the institution entitled “My Adventure with Polymers”, said instead of Nigerians using old vehicle tyres as bonfire and execution of jungle justice, it could be turned to energy generation.
The university Don, who had spent nineteen years in the institution, researching and impacting knowledge on Industrial Chemical disclosed that dispose waste tyre if reduced to crumbs through cryogenic, irradiation, pulverizationa, chemical and ultrasonic methods could be re-utilised for commercial purpose.
“Also rubber can be pyrolysed in the absence oxygen to obtain char, gases and oils. Some of the gases and liquid hydrocarbon obtained may be useful as fuel or valuable chemical feedstock.
“Another interesting method of disposing waste tyre is by using them as fuel in cement kilns and this use could account for 20% of energy requirements of a cement factory.
“Also, rubber from waste tyre could be reclaimed by ‘devulcanization’ or regeneration of rubber compound to its original plastic state. The product can be used as a raw material in. In the manufacture of rubber goods, with or without mixing with crude rubber or synthetic.”
The University Don who lamented the extinction of Dunlop Nigeria and Michelin in the country, noted that over 160 million population of Nigeria depend on imported tyres.
To restore the glory of the country in rubber production, Ogunniyi appealed to federal government to ensure regular supply of electricity and resuscitates all ruined rubber companies in Nigeria to encourage new ones.
He added that apart from enactment of waste management policy involving recycle, federal government should equip laboratories in various institutions across Nigeria.