Professor Omodele Eletta of the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Ilorin, has discovered the use of eggshell, coconut shell, sawdust and croaker fish scales for the prevention of environmental pollution.
Eletta disclosed this in her Inaugural Lecture entitled: “Bad yet good: Rummaging and Combatting for Future Water and Land Security”.
The don, who lectures at the Faculty of Engineering, also listed pawpaw leaf, coconut shell and cocoa pod among agricultural wastes that could be used to combat environmental pollution.
According to her, the exploitation of agro-waste could afford both a strategy for waste minimisation and a more sustainable production of energy and chemicals.
The expert warned that environmental pollution was an unfavourable alteration of the environment, adding that it was a global problem and Nigeria has its fair share due to the lack of strict monitoring of people’s activities.
According to Eletta, every farm activity, however, low leaves some wastes in the environment and these wastes end up in various sectors of the earth.
She explained that different agricultural wastes have been optimised for use for waste water treatment prior to discharge to the environment.
She observed that eggshell, which ordinary is a waste material, has beneficiation and thermal treatment, as it could be used as absorbent for the removal of heavy metal from the solution.
The expert also disclosed that eggshell could be used as a bio-resource in a number of formulations.
Similarly, the expert also disclosed that plant wastes have also been investigated for suitability for absorption process in the quest to extract value “good’ from the wastes of agricultural practices.
“Sunflowers are plants that grow wild and widely in Nigeria. It is regarded as a weed, with the stem/stalk having little economic importance,” she said.
Eletta stated that the Sunflower was used as a precursor for developing an absorbent for wastewater treatment.
She noted that the studies she carried out indicated that Sunflower stalk could be used to prepare low-cost absorbents for water treatment.
The don advised government at all tiers that the utilisation and environmental protection initiative could help push an awareness campaign for sustainable future.
“Non-compliance to environmental regulations has led to serious degradation of the environment in Nigeria.
“It is recommended that realistic policies and legal structures must be put in place to harmonise government policies among industrial sectors and develop more holistic interventions and, not just peripheral actions,” she said.