Professor William Kwame Buah, Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), has projected that Ghana will soon use home-made reactors to produce activated charcoal or carbons to reduce foreign exchange on their importation.
Activated carbons are porous carbon materials that show strong sorption properties both from gaseous and liquid phases and could be produced from coal, coconut and palm kernel shells and corn cobs.
He said the gold industry used cyanide and activated carbons and other processes to produce gold bars, which contributed about 33.3 per cent of the country’s export earnings, with Ghana importing about 5.5 million dollars of the product into the industry.
Prof. Buah made this projection at an inaugural lecture on the theme: “The Production of Activated Carbons from Biomass Waste in Ghana- A Boost for the Gold and Oil Industries,” at the UMaT in Tarkwa.
He said Ghana had the potential to reducing imports on activated carbons and producing them for the water and beverage industries and for local gold production, adding that the country could create wealth with that valuable asset.
“Activated charcoal or carbons are potential candidates for the One District, One Factory programme and we can produce the quantities needed by industries in Ghana”.
In Ghana, key materials which could aid in producing the activated carbons were regarded as waste but those were avenues for wealth creation, he said.
Prof Buah said the new reactor had the capacity to produce activated carbons in large quantities to meet industrial demand.
“It is estimated that a 500kg/h plant requires capital injection of $745,232.66 and has the potential to operate at a monthly profit of $90,720”.
“I am happy to announce that a new reactor for the production of Activated Carbons (ACs) in Ghana has been designed in UMaT, and I prophesy that Ghana is about to establish a plant for the production of ACs to meet the demands of the gold and oil industry; and I am technically and technologically ready,” he said.