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Research

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Overview

Research activities at ACE-FUELS yields several useful outputs, in line with the Centre’s goal and objectives. These include cheaper solar cells with low production cost, high-efficiency hybrid, organic and inorganic solar cells with good stability; novel hybrid semiconducting materials for improved solar cell performance, more corrosion resistant and long-lasting PV panels, improved corrosion protection of oil and gas facilities, cleaner hydrocarbon production etc. Our research activities enable more innovative exploitation of Nigeria’s rich biodiversity and identify possible hi-tech applications.

The core research goal of ACE-FUELS is to develop novel technologies and new materials for efficient exploitation of the region’s abundant energy resources. ACE-FUELS model for achieving her research mandate is engaging in multi-disciplinary research projects in the core areas of Future Energies,Electrochemical Systems, Corrosion Protection and Advanced Functional Materials, based on a common pool of electrochemical facilities. Leveraging on a state-of-the-art / turn-key electrochemistry laboratory, with facilities for multi-disciplinary research projects based on current electrochemical technologies.Research projects in the different areas are distinctly stand-alone and well complement each other as well.

The Centre shall also focus on new technologies for the supply of off-grid power in remote regions and instand-alone devices that supply “residual” electricity with low maintenance and costs. The Centre is also interested in developing new conversion technologies to enable more innovative exploitation of the abundant renewable energy resources in the region.

Future Energies R&D

In the Sub Saharan Africa region, there is a strong local need for access to tailored solutions renewable energy, such as in photovoltaic and solar thermal systems, wind energy, biomass conversion, hydro energy and geothermal energy, since solutions currently developed for other markets cannot be directly used due to a number of reasons, including difficulties in technology and knowledge transfer, failure to adapt to local climate and local supply of materials. Consequently, the renewable/clean energy research at ACE-FUELS is focused on providing for these needs, and on developing new conversion technologies to enable more innovative exploitation of the abundant renewable energy resources in the region. Initial focus was on developing national/regional expertise and capacity in solar photovoltaics/solar thermal systems and biomass conversion systems. The Centre also focuses on new technologies for the supply of off-grid power in remote regions and in stand-alone devices that supply “residual” electricity with low maintenance and costs.

Solar Energy Research Projects are chiefly on improving design and performance of organic, inorganic, thin film, hybrid solar cells and 3-D printed solar cells, solar thermal systems, photovoltaic-thermal systems, development of novel polymers, semiconductors and nanostructured materials used in solar cells etc.

Hydro Energy Research Projects shall focus on development and domestication of the technology for small and micro hydro-turbine production using locally sourced materials. The small river crossing FUTO serves  as a good test site for these developed equipment.

Biomass Conversion Systems research initiative is on improving the efficiency of biofuel and bioethanol and biogas production systems, microbial technologies for bioenergy production. Our research efforts are on developing efficient and inexpensive catalysts for the complex electrochemical conversion of carbohydrates for electricity generation using carbohydrate fuel cell and biofuel cells, with focus on the starch-rich process water from cassava processing plants.

ACEFUELS Geothermal Energy research efforts are focused mainly on harnessing geothermal energy from mature oilfields in the Niger Delta, converting and utilizing oil oil wells for geothermal energy recovery, leveraging on oil and gas technology transfer/application in geothermal energy/reservoir systems.

Carbon capture and sequestration research endeavors include fabrication of distinct membrane layers to explore the separation performance and stability of membranes for CO2 removal; extensive synthesis and characterization of both modified and unmodified alumina porous membranes; etc.

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