Tanzania Journal of Science

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Use of hot air engine to generate electricity from biogas: a critique for rural development in Tanzania

LLN Mkiramweni, P Msaki, IB Mshoro


Rural electrification has high national priority because of several reasons. First, more than 90 per cent of the populations in Tanzania have no access to grid electricity and about 80% of this population lives in rural areas. Second, the poverty alleviation projects demand the incorporation of use of electricity in different economic projects. Third, a combination of high prices of fuel and environmental degradation and deforestation demand use of alternative renewable energy sources. The aim of this paper is to give a critical review and selected a suitable renewable energy by considering its ability to provide affordable, reliable and adequate electricity to household, energy-intensive agriculture and small businesses. Hot air engine designed to convert chemical energy of biogas to electricity was considered to be the most suitable technology for this purpose. In view of this, the paper has also described the technical constraints that prevent this technology from being adopted for this purpose and the alternative solutions that can be used to overcome them. It was concluded that it is possible to modify and produce a hot air engine that uses biogas, which produces sufficient and affordable electricity in rural communities in Tanzania.

Tanzania Journal of Science Vol. 31 (2) 2005: pp. 53-62
AJOL African Journals Online