In a bid to decrease the occurrence of building collapse in Nigeria, the National Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) introduced a peculiar technology in building infrastructure called Pozzolana. BINTA SHAMA reports.
The new product, Pozzolana are materials with the property of cement that offers 40% cement replacement in building construction.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), Prof. Danladi Slim Matawal, a professor of Civil Engineering, in an interview late 2017, with Remi Adebayo and George Onmonya Daniel of Montage Africa, expatiated the actual meaning of Pozzolana.
The invention: Pozzolana
“Pozzolana is either a naturally existing material or artificial material, particularly agro waste like rice, which has ash, groundnut which has ash, back ash which comes from sugarcane stem and quite a number of them which when you introduce into cement and behaves like cement, becomes a cementation ability. The essence of the presence of cement in a certain percentage is to introduce the basic components required for the reaction to start. Once it starts, it continues to react because cement is a binder when you mix it fresh it’s in liquid state but it goes through a process called hydration. It’s a combination of calsium hydroxide to give you gel that hardens with time ; that’s why the strength of cement keeps increasing to almost 2 to 2 years and the rate of decrease increases drastically after 28 days from day zero when it is liquid to day 7 to day 14, to day 21, to day 28. These Pozzolana materials behave just like cement in the presence of cement. We went to South Africa and they expressed surprise that Nigeria is not using Pozzolana; they said they have introduced Pozzolana since, far back as Cameroon from South Africa, they have used it for multi-billion naira projects in Namibia, solar power projects and many others.
Pozzolana to replace cement
“Our responsibility is to empower Nigeria with this research and applications that are available in other parts of the world. We have gone a bit farther than that; we have attempted to replace cement 100 percent instead of having partial replacement. We need to source for celsium hydroxide, we looked at carbide, a product of welding that is wasted all over the place, we tried it and it was successful.
“We have introduced two things in the industry, Pozzolana and we have tested it ourselves and we have specifications. We developed a small handbook which will be printed in due course for application. We have attempted Pozzolana working on its own with other waste products.
“About cost, it can replace cement sometimes as much as 40 to 50 percent and because it’s a waste product, it reflects approximately the cost effectiveness. You can have cost effectiveness as much as 30 percent less if you use Pozzolana and if the replacement goes higher.”
In the course of enforcing this initiative into being, NBRRI had series of evidential celebrated initiatives. Recently, the institute commissioned Pozzalana Pilot Plant and skills Acquisition Center in Bokkos, Plateau state.
Reducing the incidence of building collapse in Nigeria
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu as the guest of honour, said the federal government is encouraging the production of Pozzolana cement made from waste and other materials to make housing affordable for all and also reduce the incidence of building collapse.
Speaking further, he said that cement is very important in the construction industry and stressed the need for people to learn and produce more Pozzalana materials that can meet the infrastructural needs.
FG in support of Pozzolana
Onu said that the present administration is committed to provision of new skills so as to reduce poverty and create new jobs.
He called on the center’s director to bring students to learn at the centre and also initiate moves for collaboration with Plateau State University.
Earlier, the Acting Director-General of NBRRI Prof. Samson Duna said that Pozzalana Pilot Plant Project is hinged on the concept of promoting affordable and sustainable house where cement is placed partially thereby reducing the cost of cement, reducing the level of pollution and emission of gasses which are responsible for global warming.
“The commissioning of the Bokkos plant is one of the firsts steps taken by the institute to promote the utilization of artificial Pozzolana in the country” he stated.
Duna said the institute has built Skills Acquisition Centers in more than five Sates of the federation with Benue and Plateau States having the highest numbers.
It has been recorded that the plant after commissioning would be the first of its kind in the country that will process Pozzolana which is being handled by the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI).
It has been disclosed that Nigeria is building an additional Pozolana cement plants located in Ota, Ogun state.
The Director General NBRII Prof. Danladi Matawal said that the institute has succeeded specifically in one of the plant already available machines on ground which are being installed.
According to Matawal that, “the institute is collaborating with the Building and Road Research Ghana, a sister institute, through exchanged programmes for the country to come up with a pozzalana cement plant that will measure up to international standard. Ghana is already producing and why this project should not be viewed as theoretical is that it is already in existence in another country. You are aware that the Director of Building and Road Research Ghana has been here and gave suggestion based on the fine tuning aspects in Ota. Two of our technical staff have also visited Ghana and came back with recommendations as to how this plant will succeed and while the other plant is being completed for commissioning. I want to say these are the current stages, it remains fund issues to produce pozzolana and we will work very hard to actualize these projects.”
Means to create jobs
He said the project is an important one for the institute with one of the plant already completed and being used as a laboratory facility which a means for more of job creation. “The next phase after the building would be to install machines in building trades and carpentry, in welding, in cosmetology i.e. weaving of hair, things that have to do with clothing and generally women friendly. Apart from providing a Centre for community meetings, some of them are ready for the next stage. The ones that are primarily for NBRRI, the institute will do all within its powers to equip them for the skills that are intended for, while the ones that are meant for legislators will be initiated by them,” he added.