PROJECT DETAIL: Development of Mini-refinery

Following are the details of the project:

This project seeks to domesticate the technology for naphtha hydro-treating and fluid cracking units in Crude oil refining. The specific objective includes:

  • Study of various Naphtha Hydro-treating and Fluid Catalytic Cracking processing routes employed in the Nigerian Refineries.
  • Process selection and preliminary design of the refinery.
  • Detail design of Naphtha Hydro-treating Unit and Fluid Catalytic Cracking
  • Fabrication of the design refinery units
  • Assembly of fabricated units
  • Test-running of the assembled unit
  • Plant commissioning


Most of the component required to build the cracking unit have been fabricated and assembled.  These include surge drum, heat exchanger, condensers, low pressure separator, NHU, reactor, furnace, burners, column, dis-engander, regenerator, cyclone, air grid and fluid catalytic cracking unit riser.  The Naphtha Hydro-treating unit is expected to produce one barrel of refined oil per hour while the fluid catalytic cracking unit is expected to produce 5 barrels of refined oil per batch (Batch time is nine hour).


  • The Design And Development of A Bio-Butanol Production  Plant

Butanol is an important raw material that is presently imported despite the availability of local raw materials for its production.  The project therefore is aimed at the following:

  • designing and constructing of a pilot plant for production of bio-butanol from lignocellulosic materials, and other industrial wastes and to investigate the unit operation arrangement with the aim of attaining higher efficiencies based on the types of waste treated, recycling targets of proposed plant in order to obtain an economical ABE fermentation.
  • To enhance the fermentation time, improvement in butanol tolerance of strain would be studied as this directly affects the productivity and economic feasibility of the process.
  • As ionic liquids may not be the best option for extraction of produced butanol due to cost and environmental concern, new deep eutectic solvent ( a class of ionic liquids which is cheaper and more environmental friendly) that have been established as excellent solvent for polar compound would be considered.

This project is being developed in collaboration with the National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT).