Ethiopian University Launches Research Project Aiming to Recycle Waste Oil

The Addis Ababa University Institute of Technology (AAiT) has initiated a study project which aims to introduce the recycling of used motor oil to safeguard human lives as well as the environment.

Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Total Ethiopia for the support of the research project, Berhanu Assefa (PhD), acting scientific director of AAiT, told The Reporter that within the coming six months, the first phase of the research will be concluded. The outcome is expected to quantify and determine how much motor oil is cast off after use and is left in the environment, leaving a hazardous impact.

According to Berhanu, after every 5,000km of driving, three to five litters of waste oil from vehicles are discharged into the surrounding. Most of the waste goes into water bodies where it is very difficult and costly to filter the contamination.

Daniel Tilahun (PhD), dean of the School of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, said that within the coming seven months the university will establish a nationwide data that shows the amount of used waste oil discharge. According to him, the research will also look at ways of selecting appropriate and low cost technology to treat waste oil in the country. The study will suggest setting up a recycling plant, which will undertake the treatment process. Currently, there are a few cement factories and the likes that reuse waste oils from vehicles as a source of energy.

The research project is financed and assisted by Total. Total has been in collaboration with AAiT since 2014. In addition to extending finances and technical support to the used oil treatment project, Total has been extending assistance in areas of training. According to Christophe Ferrand, Sales and Marketing Director of Total Ethiopia, the company has extended training opportunities to 138 graduating class technology faculty students.

He mentioned that out of six students who have been enrolled for internship programs at Total Ethiopia, two are currently assigned at Total Dubai and Total Uganda as part of Total International Young Graduates program. In addition to that, Total Ethiopia will cover the costs of the first phase of the AAiT research project.

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