THE quest for alternative cheaper sources of energy has spurred a Zambian researcher to develop a formula of how to generate high-Grade industrial fuel from waste materials. University of Zambia (UNZA) School of Engineering lecturer and researcher Sam Sichilalu has developed the innovation through which the fuel will be generated from used tyres, plastics, and rubber.
The poly fuel prototype converts waste into the high-grade industrial fuel, which is a hydrocarbon mixture of petrol, diesel, and kerosene with methane vapor. Dr. Sichilalu said the innovation is aimed at contributing to improved sanitation, cheaper energy, and reduced deforestation.
“The innovation will also help generate income for waste collectors and is a climate change mitigation on all non-biodegradable products,” Dr. Sichilalu said. This is according to a statement issued yesterday by UNZA spokesperson Brenda Bukowa.
Dr. Sichilalu said the poly fuel innovation will not only provide a cheap source of energy but will also solve the problem of disposal of old tyres and plastic, thereby contributing to environmental management. He said there are a number of drainages which are blocked because of indiscriminate disposal of plastics, the problem which the innovation will resolve.
Dr. Sichilalu said the innovation will also help reduce high dependence on petroleum products. “The poly fuel produced is safe to be used as industrial fuel in generators, boilers, diesel pumps, furnaces, and cars,” Dr. Sichilalu said. He said the project will eventually be commercialized to benefit the entire country. Dr. Sichilalu said other organizations will be needed in commercializing the project and investors are welcome to partner with the university and researchers. “It’s cheap because we are using waste.
We intend to start doing it at a large scale because right now we are only collecting about 20 kilograms of waste,” he said. Dr. Sichilalu said the project has the potential to contribute to the country’s economic growth as it will create jobs for Zambians, especially youths.
He said the innovation will be exhibited at the 93rd Agricultural and Commercial Show