Our Impact

Developing Orange Mesocarp and Red Onion Skin into Multifunctional Materials for Oilfield Applications

Thematic Area: Energy including renewables

University: University of Port Harcourt (UniPort)

Project Leader: Prof. Onyewuchi Akaranta

Collaborating Partners: Kumasi Technical University, Kumasi, Ghana

Duration: 2 years

Project Overview


Petroleum accounts for a large proportion of global energy consumption and is presently Nigeria’s most vital revenue source. A plethora of chemicals are required for oil and gas operations. However, the petroleum industry in Nigeria remains heavily reliant on imported oilfield chemicals, a situation that is unfavorable to the local economy. Moreover, many of these imported synthetic oilfield chemicals are implicated in cases of eco-toxicity and environmental damage. Hence, the growing stringency of environmental regulations has created an urgent need for eco-sustainable alternatives.

The technology

Red onion (Allium cepa) skin and orange (Citrus sinensis) mesocarp, which are locally abundant agro-wastes in Nigeria, are veritable sources of natural products which hold great potential as chemical feedstock for development of multifunctional chemicals for oilfield applications. Red onion skin extract (ROSE) and orange mesocarp extract (OME) obtained from the waste biomass will be systematically derivatized, exploiting the chemistry of the active components of the extracts while adopting low-energy, one-pot reactions in line with the principles of green chemistry. Formulations of the derivatives will be evaluated in simulated media relevant to the intended oilfield application.

Expected Impact

By developing globally acceptable and locally relevant low-cost chemical solutions to oil and gas industry problems through valorization of agro-wastes, this project will facilitate development of indigenous capacity in oilfield chemistry via knowledge sharing; transform waste to wealth by increasing agro-produce value chain and encourage migration to more eco-sustainable production chemicals by industry operators in the Niger-Delta and beyond.

For more information, please contact the Project Leader.