A multiple national innovation award winner from the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife is now ranked among the best innovators in Africa. The Royal Academy of Engineering, UK has shortlisted Dr. Dele Sanni as one of the 16 innovators from the African continent who stand a chance to win the prestigious Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation (APEI) for the year 2019.
The 3-D-3-P rotary dryer is a unique drying technology developed by Dr. Sanni and his team in 2005/2006 as a response to a National call by the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Abuja – which challenged Nigerian Engineers to design equipment and plants for the production of high quality cassava flour. Dr. Sanni’s design of the dryer won the 2nd National Competition on Design of Process Equipment and Plant in 2008. With further funding support from RMRDC, and continuous R&D work, the dryer has been scaled up into an original made-in-Nigeria drying technology that provides a cheaper option for farmers and processors to dry a variety of agricultural and non-agricultural products. In terms of design, operational efficiency and energy utilization, the 3-D-3-P conductive rotary dryer is better than most imported dryers.
The “3-D-3-P Rotary Dryer” as popularly known has a Nigerian patent (No. NG/PT/NC/2018/2851) and Dr. Sanni was among the five Patentees/Inventors in Obafemi Awolowo University presented with a Patent Certificate No. 011493, by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede on 5th February 2019 at Floor ‘O’.
To prove the dryer’s commercial readiness, Dr. Sanni secured a partnership with a private company, PERICOM Nigeria Ltd. in 2017 and today two units of the dryer are installed in Sapele, Delta State and Agbowa, Lagos State.
Dr. Dele Sanni and three other innovators from Nigeria are among the 16 Africans currently being trained by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK on moving their innovations to higher business grounds. The 2019 APEI has attracted more partnerships from investors, industrialists and other International Organizations.