ETHANOL PRODUCING COMPANIES IN NIGERIA
Nigeria is endowed with many human and natural resources distributed in various geographical locations. Some of these natural resources include; Tin, gold, and crude oil. Ironically, while some resources are not exploited at all, other resources seem to be over-exploited. For instance, crude oil is the most exploited resource in the country, amidst other resources with similar economic value.
With the discovery of crude oil, companies have sprouted in upstream, midstream, and downstream to ensure that the utilities of crude oil are achieved.
The upstream sector is responsible for the actual exploitation and exploration of the resource, the midstream sector is responsible for the transportation, and the downstream sector carries out the refining processes.
In Nigeria, there are three refineries, although the working conditions of these institutions cannot be established.
The availability of petroleum is very crucial to ethanol production; since the raw material is obtained from cracking the less volatile fraction of petroleum. Therefore, this article is built to explain the processes of ethanol production and the ethanol producers in the country.
What is Ethanol? C2H5OH
Ethanol is an organic compound belonging to the Alkanol group of organic compound classification. It is the second in the series preceded by methanol and followed by Propanol. Ethanol; is the only consumable compound in the Alkanol series.
Ethanol, like many other compounds, could be synthesised in the laboratory; by either reducing “Ethanal” with nascent hydrogen, or by hydrolysing Ethyl Esters with hot alkali.
The above-listed methods are laboratory methods, hence cannot produce the quantity commiserate with the demand and utilities of this compound. It is on this note that the industrial production process comes in. In Nigeria, Ethanol is commercially produced;
- From Ethene
Ethene is produced by the cracking of petroleum. This process involves the hydration of Ethene with tetra-oxosulphate (v) acid; between 550-600°C, and 85-100 ATM.
- By Fermentation
Fermentation is a chemical process by which large organic molecules naturally decompose into smaller molecules. Fermentation is carried out on foodstuffs with high starch content like maise, rice, etc. Fruits are also sources of Ethanol.
Ethanol has many uses including; its use as fuel, solvent, anti-freeze agent, and its predominant use in wines and alcoholic drinks.
Due to the high demand for Ethanol in the country, many companies tow this line of business. Some of these companies include
- Nosak Distilleries Limited
This company is regarded as the pioneer in industrial production of Ethanol in Nigeria. It was incorporated in 2001 although its first plant was commissioned in 2003. This company is a product of the entrepreneurial prowess of Mr Toni Ogunbor.
His company has grown in leaps and bounds and with the completion of its second production plant in 2006, the company has gone to the extent of controlling over 65% of local production of Ethanol within the country. It is one of the largest ethanol production companies, having a storage capacity of 24 million litres of Ethanol.
Its facility located at the industrial layout, Lagos has a production capacity of about 400,000 litres of Ethanol per day, which they envisage will enable them to have a 5% increase in the local production and market control. It is important to Note that Nosak Distillery is just a fraction of the Nosak group of companies. Other subsidiaries specialise in the production of chemical supplies, palm and vegetable oil refining, etc.
- Unilane Industries Limited
This company was established in 2015. It is located in Kogi State; where the production of basic chemical products is carried out. Their major products are Ethanol and Ethyl-alcohol. It is currently headed by the following persons: Hanna Ayoub; serving as production manager, Oladapo Tunde; serving as quality control manager, and Aminu Okiriki; serving as General manager.
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- Ideal Chemicals and Distributor Limited
Ideal chemicals offer both manufacturing and distribution services of chemical products. It was founded in 2006, and it has branches across the country. Although the productivity is relatively high, they are more committed to ensuring their production capacity is at least equivalent to 70% of the demand. They are known for high-quality ethanol grade usually referred to as Extra-neutral Alcohol.
- Zex Standard Pharmaceutical
Zex Standard Pharmaceutical is a subsidiary of Nosak Distillery. It was incorporated in 2014. They produce Ethanol in 25L keg, 210L sealed drum, 250L sealed drum. Their target is to satisfy customers by meeting a yearly demand of 30million litres of Ethanol.
- Allied Atlantic Distilleries Limited (AALD)
This company is part of Lexcel group of companies; chaired by Mr.Ola Rosiji. The group consists of various companies involved in the manufacture of wines, spirits, plastics, and other engineering products.
The managing director of Lexcel group is Mr Anil Kumar Ahluwalia. AADL started its operation in 1999 with the processing plants producing extra-neutral alcohol from rectified spirit.
The company doesn’t just specialise in the refining of Ethanol, but also has a workforce that is being engaged in the cultivation of the raw material (cassava) on their 10,000 Hectares of land.
Other chemical products of AADL are raw materials for fertiliser production and animal feed.
One of the outstanding records of this company indicates that it was the first company in Africa to initiate the production of Ethanol by fermentation of cassava.
Its latest plant is located at Igbesa, Ogun State. The capacity of the plant is estimated to produce 10 million litres of Ethanol per annum.
The Ethanol distilleries listed in this article are the ones that carry out large-scale production. There exist a greater percentage of small companies involved in the same line of business. As such, I strongly advise the government and private individuals to look into the small companies by giving them the funds, as well as enabling environment to expand their business. This will go a long way in making the supply of Ethanol equal to its demand.
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