The University of Calabar’s 112th inaugural lecturer, Professor Ayi Ayi has said that Nigeria’s overreliance on fossil fuels remains the root cause of environmental contamination.
Ayi, a Professor of Inorganic/Materials Chemistry made the assertion on Friday while delivering the institution’s 112th inaugural lecture on the topic “Metal-Organic Frameworks as Panacea for Global Energy and Environmental Pollution Problems”.
During his lecture, Ayi said that fossil fuels account for the majority of energy production and that burning them results in environmental issues, particularly the issue of global warming.
He noted that Nigeria was at a crossroads with regard to energy, noting that various energy sources, including wood, coal, gasoline, and natural gas, were all carbon-based and hence contributed to environmental pollution by releasing undesired gases into the atmosphere.
In his words, “The energy consumption in Nigeria, with a population of about 200 million, is growing and there has been a constant electrical power outage resulting in total blackouts most time in the country,”. “The over-dependence on fossil fuel with the attendant environmental pollution constitutes a major problem confronting our nation and the world at large.”
He said that using fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and oil, inexorably increased the number of polluting gases in the atmosphere, worsening the greenhouse effect and its negative effects on the entire planet.
Ayi however suggested remedies for the problem and said that all significant contemporary pollutants need global action, noting that such action may work in conjunction with other global environmental policy initiatives.
According to him, the best method to stop pollution is to switch quickly from all fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.
He noted that in order to transition from an energy economy based on fossil fuels to one that is sustainable and clean, renewable energy sources like solar panels, Li-ion rechargeable batteries, and hydrogen fuel cells must be adopted.
He urged the Federal Government to swiftly design a roadmap for the hydrogen economy in order to establish an ecosystem of hydrogen industry for energy production, storage, and transportation as well as provide adequate funding to the Research and Development Unit so that it could devise materials and frameworks for the storage of hydrogen gas at room temperature.
Story was adapted from Enviro News.