The Department of Wood and Paper Technology is one of the pioneer departments in Federal College of Forestry, Ibadan. The department was created and granted initial approval in 1996 to carry out training and research at National Diploma (ND) level in Wood and Paper Technology. The programme has since been re-accredited by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), the official accrediting institution, with approval given for Higher National Diploma (HND) education. The academic programme is run on full-time and part-time basis.
While the full-time programme for regular students at each level runs for two years, the part-time programme covers a period of three years. The academic programme of the department is designed to produce middle-level technical manpower (technicians/technologists), capable of producing and analyzing chemically, physically and biologically processed wood-based products such as sawn and seasoned timbers, plywood, furniture items, pulp and paper, particle board and fibre board, amongst others. In addition, graduates of the department are equipped with knowledge and skills to preserve wood and prevent its deterioration before utilisation and in service. They are also trained to assist in forest regeneration.
Currently, a review of the departmental programme is being undertaken, with a view to re-branding the department and widening the scope of courses taught to cover bio-material science, bio-energy and bio-fuel processing. Consequently, a new departmental programme will be fashioned out to broadly focus on forest bio-material science and technology. In this way, students will be trained to acquire knowledge and skills in discovering, processing and developing unique and quality bio-products for a better society.
Admission into the department entails candidates fulfilling the following requirements:
For National Diploma (ND) in Wood and Paper Technology, the minimum requirement is five credit passes in the West African School Certificate, Senior Secondary School Certificate or General Certificate of Education (GCE), obtained at not more than two sittings. The five (5) subjects must include Chemistry and Mathematics and any three (3) of the following: English Language, Physics, Agricultural Science/Biology, Woodwork, Metalwork and Technical Drawing. At least, passes in Physics, Agricultural Science/ Biology and a credit pass in English Language are compulsory. Candidates must also sit and pass the JAMB UTME at the required cut-off mark for the National Diploma programme.
For Higher National Diploma (HND) programme, the entry requirements include:
(a) all the requirements for the ND programme as stated above
(b) a minimum of lower credit pass (CGPA 2.50) and above in the cognate ND examination,
(c) a minimum of one year cognate work experience
Manpower and Facilities
The department is well-staffed, and has qualified, relevant and experienced academic and non-academic personnel for efficient and adequate training of students. Also available, are well-equipped wood and metal workshops, pulp and paper laboratory, forest industry as well as wood protection and modification facilities for the enhancement of research activities and acquisition of practical knowledge and skills in Wood and Paper Technology.
The current Head of Department (HOD) of Wood and Paper Technology is Akpan S. Noah, a Chemical Engineer, an experienced Papermaker and a seasoned Research Scientist. Mr. Noah holds a Master of Science Degree in Engineering, with speciality in Pulp and Paper Production. He is an alumnus of the Leningrad Academy of Forest Industries and Technology, Leningrad, former U.S.S.R (the present-day Saint Petersburg State Forest Technical University, Saint Petersburg, Russia), where between 1986 and 1991 on a Federal Government Scholarship, studied Chemical Technology of Pulp and Paper Production. His tertiary education began at the then Polytechnic, Calabar (presently Cross Rivers State University of Technology, Calabar), where he studied Wood and Paper Technology between 1980 and 1982. In July 1982, he graduated with a National Diploma (ND) in Wood and Paper Technology at Distinction level.
For his secondary education, he attended the Etinan Institute, Etinan, Akwa-Ibom State from 1973 to 1977, and on completion, was awarded the West African School Certificate in First Division. Mr. Noah had his primary education at the Salvation Army Primary School, Ikot Ibok/Ikot Nte, Etinan Local Government Area of Akwa-Ibom State between 1967 and 1972. He obtained his First School Leaving Certificate at Distinction level in December 1972.
Akpan S. Noah has over 10 years of cognate practical experience in operation and management of pulp and paper mills. He has worked as Production Supervisor, Process Engineer, Production Coordinator, Head, Production Department, Mill Coordinator and Millsite Engineer at various times between May 1995 and June 2007 at Iwopin Pulp and Paper Company, Iwopin, Ogun State, Nigeria.
At present, he is in the employ of the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan as Senior Lecturer at the Federal College of Forestry, Jericho, Ibadan, a collegial institution of FRIN. He teaches pulp and paper related courses at National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) levels.
Mr. Noah belongs to a number of professional bodies. He is a Corporate Member of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers (MNSChE), Member, Polymer Institute of Nigeria (MPIN) and Full Member, Forestry Association of Nigeria (MFAN). He is also the author of Fundamentals of Pulp and Paper Manufacture, and has published a number of peer-reviewed articles in local, national and several international journals. He is widely travelled and is happily married with children.
Research and Innovative Breakthroughs of the Department
The department has intensified efforts in research activities over the years in wood utilisation and related fields. Many laudable projects have been embarked upon by a number of seasoned research scientists, engineers, technologists and project students, leading to innovative breakthroughs in the uniqueness of wood and its diverse utility. These research activities are geared towards meeting the objectives of the department and mandates of the College, for the overall benefits of the society.
Departmental Research Focus
The major research focus of the department centres on the following areas:
- Wood Chemistry
- Wood Physics and Mechanics
- Wood Anatomy/Fibre Characterisation
- Wood Preservation & Modification
- Pulp and Paper Processing
- Wood Energy (Bio-fuel & Bio-Energy)
- Wood Residue & Waste Paper Utilization (Panel/Board & Briquette Production)
Specific Research Breakthroughs
Wood Residue & Waste Paper Utilization: A waste to wealth initiative was undertaken in which wood wastes generated from wood processing activities as well as industrial, office and home waste papers were converted to utilisable products through innovative techniques.
Such breakthroughs came from the following investigations:
a) Utilization of wood residues such as off- cuts, slabs, edges and trimmings in the production of parquet for floor tiling
b) Production of interlocking floor tiles (Pavers) from sawdust
c) Production of bricks from wood sawdust for building and construction purposes
d) Production of particle board, using sawdust and Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) such as Sida acuta and Elaeis guineensis fronds.
e) Production of wood plastic composites from sawdust and recycled pure water sachets
f) Production of decorative cement bonded ceiling board from waste paper, reinforced with natural/synthetic fibres.
In this wise, apart from tangible physical products being made, employment opportunities are created in new frontiers. Also, the environmental hazards posed by these wastes are efficiently managed and greatly reduced to the barest minimum. Consequently, over-exploitation of forest reserves comes under serious management checks.
Wood Preservation: This process technique is aimed at improving the service life of wood and wood products through the effective utilisation of more eco-friendly preservatives. Bio-materials were investigated to explore their potentials as viable alternatives to chemical-based preservatives against wood bio-deteriorating agents such as termite, fungi, etc. Cutting cost on chemical procurement and reducing toxicity of chemical-based preservatives on humans and the environment have become imperatives in wood treatment. Such breakthroughs in the formulation of bio-preservatives for treatment of wood came through the following investigations:
a) Extraction of oil from Gliricidia sepium heartwood
b) Extraction of oil from Tridax procumbens
c) Extraction of oil from Azadiracta indica leaves
d) Extraction of Citrus spp seed oil.
e) Extraction of oil from bitter leaves and Aloe vera leaves
Utilization Potentials of Selected Wood Species: In order to reduce the pressure on some of the commonly exploited but threatened indigenous and exotic wood species such as Milicia excelsa, Khaya ivorensis, Nauclea diderrichii, Terminalia superba, Mansonia altissima, Afzelia africana, etc., research focus was also directed towards exploring the utilisation potentials of selected lesser used or lesser known species.
In addition to the above wood products, decorative souvenirs such as dishes, wall clocks, lamp holders and trinkets boxes were laminated out of wood off-cuts.
Bio-Energy& Bio- Fuel Processing: Research efforts were also geared towards optimising the potential of extracting oil from wood residues for bio fuel and bio-energy.
The following research breakthroughs were made:
Students’ Practical Works
The Department is well-equipped with Wood workshop/Metal workshop, Wood and Paper Technology Laboratory and Forest Industry, where students undertake practical works to produce a number of wood and metal-based household/office items. Some of the products by the students include: