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University of Ghana Plans to Commercialize Plastic-Derived Fuel

Science Fuel Plastics
Fuel Plastics

The Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) of the University of Ghana (UG), is seeking partnership to scale up the production of high-value fuels made from plastic waste.

The IAST, with the support of the French Government, has developed a plant that converts plastic waste into high-value fuels and chemicals for households, outboard motors and small running engines.

The project, which is the first to be piloted in Ghana, is aimed at addressing the plastic waste menace sustainably and creating employment opportunities for the youth.

Speaking to journalists at the 7th IAST Industry-Academia Interaction Series at the UG in Accra, Professor David Dodoo-Arhin, Director, IAST, said a conversion plant had been installed at Osu in Accra to collect and process plastic waste that hitherto would have entered the sea directly.

He said the project had targeted producing fuel on the industrial scale, adding that efforts were underway to train the youth in the area on the value chain and the process of conversion as part of its community impact project.

He said the target of the project is to produce affordable fuels while protecting the environment.

“The idea is to incentivise our fisher folks that when they go to sea and they are catching plastics instead of fish, this is not waste. We are providing other alternatives that we can convert it into high-value fuel that can be used.” Prof. Dodoo-Arhin said.

“We are looking for partners to scale it up. We cannot do it alone going into large scale commercialisation,” he added.

The 7th IAST Industry-Academia Interaction Series was on theme: “Sustainable energy transitions and climate change: The role of partnerships.”

Speakers at the event emphasised the need for academia, industry, and experts to work closely to develop innovative products to support the realisation of Ghana’s energy transition agenda.

In keeping with global climate commitments, Ghana has developed a comprehensive framework, seeking to transition from fossil fuel to green energy by 2070.

Prof. Chris Gordon, Chairman, Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, said Africa must fully participate in the global energy transition discourse and utilise its resources to make a meaningful impact in creating opportunities within that sphere.

“We need to think about the African voice in the energy transition discourse so we are not always recipients of information but also providers of information,” he said.

Nana Osei-Bonsu, Chief Executive Officer, Private Enterprise Federation, said the private sector must be incentivised to stabilise their operations and create solutions to support the national transition agenda.

He encouraged the IAST to develop policy briefs from the dialogue series and share with relevant stakeholders to support policy decisions.

Dr Joseph Essandoh-Yeddu, Former Director, Strategic Planning and Policy, Energy Commission, said affordability and reliable energy should be a key component of the energy transition agenda.

“We must not just complain about climate change, but we must adapt through technology and innovation,” he said.

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