Biodiesel as an alternative fuel for diesel engines has been developed for some three decades now. While it is gaining wide acceptance in Europe, USA and some parts of Asia, the same cannot be said of Africa. With more than 35 countries in the continent depending on imported crude oil, it is necessary to look for alternative fuels which can be produced from resources available locally within any country. Hence this study presents performance of single cylinder diesel engine using blends of shea butter biodiesel. Shea butter was transformed into biodiesel by transesterification process. Tests are conducted to compare the biodiesel with baseline diesel fuel in terms of engine performance and exhaust emission characteristics. The results obtained showed that the addition of biodiesel to diesel fuel decreases the brake thermal efficiency (BTE) and increases the brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC). These results are expected due to the lower energy content of biodiesel fuel. On the other hand while the NOx emissions increased with increase in biodiesel content in the fuel blends, the emissions of carbon monoxide (CO), un-burnt hydrocarbon (UHC) and smoke opacity decreased. The engine performance which indicates that the biodiesel has properties and characteristics similar to diesel fuel and the reductions in exhaust emissions make shea butter biodiesel a viable additive or substitute to diesel fuel.
To avoid battery assisted tags with limited lifetime batteries, it is proposed here to replace them by energy harvesting systems, able to feed from local environment. This would allow total independence to RFID systems, very interesting for applications where tag removal from its location is not possible. Example is here described for luggage safety in airports, and is easily extendable to similar situation in terms of operation constraints. The idea is to fix RFID tag with energy harvesting system not only to identify luggage but also to supply an embedded microcontroller with a sensor delivering luggage weight making it impossible to add or to remove anything from the luggage during transit phases. The aim is to optimize the harvested energy for such RFID applications, and to study in which limits these applications are theoretically possible. Proposed energy harvester is based on two energy sources: piezoelectricity and electromagnetic waves, so that when the luggage is moving on ground transportation to airline counters, the piezo module supplies the tag and its microcontroller, while the RF module operates during luggage transit thanks to readers located along the way. Tag location on the luggage is analyzed to get best vibrations, as well as harvester better choice for optimizing the energy supply depending on applications and the amount of energy harvested during a period of time. Effects of system parameters (RFID UHF frequencies, limit distance between the tag and the antenna necessary to harvest energy, produced voltage and voltage threshold) are discussed and working conditions for such system are delimited.