Dec 27, 2005

GM's Hybrid 60 mpg Crown Jewel - Over 360,000 production models tested!

GM's Astra diesel-electric hybrid. Over 360,000 production models tested!

Fuel Economy, Emissions, and Performance
GM's group vice president for powertrains, Tom Stephens, claims that the hybrid Astra gets better than 59 mpg, improving about 25% on comparable diesel models. It is equipped with a 125-horsepower, 1.7-liter, four-cylinder, 16-valve, dual overhead cam turbodiesel with maintenance-free particulate filters. A production Astra using the same CDTI diesel engine found in the hybrid goes from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 12.3 seconds; the hybrid is expected to reach 100 km/h in just under 8 seconds. That kind of acceleration puts the hybrid on par with the production-model Astra's top-of-the-line 2.0-liter, 200-horsepower ECOTEC gasoline engine.

GM Unveils Opel Antara Twin-Turbo Diesel Concept
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005/09/gm_unveils_opel.html

Not hype, not Hybrid... just a 93 MPG Volkswagen

The Lupo is the smallest car manufactured by Volkswagen. It was introduced in 1999 to fill a gap at the bottom of the VW model range caused by the increasing size and weight of the VW Polo.

The car is available with a variety of engine sizes and trim levels, from budget models through to the GTI variant. The 6-speed GTI has been labelled a true successor to the VW Golf Mk.1, the first true hot hatch. Rivals include the Ford Ka and the Fiat Panda.

Various special-edition and test models have set records in fuel economy. The lightweight nature of the car and advanced 3-cylinder diesel engine have resulted in a production model (the Lupo 3L) that can consume as little as 3 liters per 100 kilometers (78 miles per US gallon or 94 miles per Imperial gallon). It was rumoured that it was this model that encouraged Renault to produced the Clio V6, since they assumed 3L stood for a 3-litre engine.

The SEAT Arosa is a badge-engineered version of the Lupo.

Production of the Lupo will cease in 2005, with only the 3L and GTI models continuing production. It has already been replaced by the VW Fox.

Read more here:

'Wheels of Kindness' tuk-tuk for poor


The "Wheels of Kindness" Eua Ar-thorn tuk-tuk for the poor boasts energy savings while causing less air pollution, accordng to the vice minister. NGV is cheaper, he said, than diesel as it costs Bt8.50/kg while diesel costs Bt23.09 per litre.

"This is the only model of tuk-tuk the project produces. It has a 660cc engine using natural gas for vehicles (NGV) as fuel," he said, adding that each tuk-tuk costs Bt170,000 (US$4,250).

New EPA approved hazardous waste site to pump millions of gallons into ground

EPA grants plant to inject Hazardous waste into ground:
The Romulus, plant will inject the waste into a layer of spongelike rock about 4,500 feet below the surface. Set on 15 acres at Citrin Drive near Inkster Road and I-94, will treat up to 400,000 gallons of liquid waste per day from industrial sites throughout the United States and Canada.

How could they: The investment in the project includes at least $10 million by the Detroit Policemen and Firemen Retirement System.

Yeah right: "Our first choice would have been to adhere to the wishes of the communities of Romulus and Taylor," DEQ Director Steven Chester said in a statement released Monday, "but because of state and federal law and actions by previous administrations, the DEQ must issue an operating license."

Douglas Wicklund, president of Environmental Disposal Systems, could not be reached for comment Monday. Read more here

Dec 22, 2005

Build a Biodiesel plant for $3,000...

Build a Biodiesel plant for $3,000...
The entire setup costs $3,000 and consists of some tubes, valves, plastic containers and steel drums that easily fit in a household garage.

The converted fuel can be used in anything that operates on No. 2 diesel and costs just 70 cents per gallon to make, the Blomgrens say. An additive called Amsoil makes the fuel usable in all weather conditions.

Currently the businessmen have agreements with local Burger Kings, Taco Times and Old Town Station to receive free used vegetable oil for their customers. And the Blomgrens encourage other restaurants interested in donating used oil to call 930-9020.

But beyond the environmental and economic benefits — and celebrity endorsements — "It gives people real independence from the big oil companies," Glen Blomgren says.

Read more here:

1996 Combidrive - A 568 mpg vehicle.

The Combidrive Mouse was created in the mid 1990's in Wales (UK) by the Combidrive company. Powered by a 265cc diesal engine and having a plastic body the mouse was capable of up to 255.9 mpg. In 1996 the vehicle set the World record for the lowest petrol consumption at the Shell Milage Marathon in Northants. (UK). The single seater vehicle set a record of 568 mpg. (201.1km/litre)"

Read more about Combidrive

General Motors (GM) 200 mpg car


The GM Lean Machine was developed by Frank Winchell of General Motors (USA) in the early 1980's as a concept car. The single seater vehicle is a 'lean' machine in the true sense of the word as it leans into corners like a motorcycle whilst keeping the stability of a normal car. The Lean Machine was able to reach 60 mph in just 6.8 seconds with a fuel economy of over 200 mpg.

For the futuristic 1993 movie 'Demolition Man' starring Sylvestor Stalone and Wesley Snipes the GM Lean Machine was one of seventeen concept cars produced by General Motors to be featured in the film with an insurance value of $69 million."

1983 Litestar capable of 100 miles per gallon


The Litestar was built in California (USA) in 1983 by Tomorrow Corporation. Designed by James. R. Bede (a world renown aeronautical engineer) the vehicle had an extremely low air drag factor of 0.92 and so along with a weight of 820lbs was capable of 100 miles per gallon at 55 mph and 73 miles per gallon at 100 mph. (Top speed 140mph) Powered by a 700cc V twin liquid cooled shaft drive motorcycle engine the Litestar has a tubular steel frame with double roll bars.

Entrance to the vehicle was by means of a canopy which rolled back to allow access from the top. It could seat two people with the passenger sitting behind the driver. The vehicle could be driven with the canopy in the retracted position for 'convertible operation'."

Wired News: Now, for Your PC: Mac OS X

A Hawaiian company specializing in streaming video claims to have developed a $50 software emulator that allows a Windows PC to run Apple Computer's Mac OS X.

Maui X-Stream on Tuesday announced CherryOS, a virtual PC that mimics the hardware of a G4 Mac.

"On a fast system, it's just as fast as running on a Mac," he said.

http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,65323,00.html

Dec 21, 2005

The CEM Engine is being developed by E.P. Industries.


The CEM Engine is being developed by E.P. Industries. The CEM Engine will be an efficient method of converting fuel energy into electrical energy.

The CEM Engine will be capable of delivering substantially greater performance with greatly reduced manufacturing cost. A novel concept for significantly increasing the efficiency of the four-stroke cycle internal combustion engine, the Department of Defense in 1997 awarded the engine concept an SBIR. The super-charged CEM Engine has the potential to become one of the first self-lubricating, air-cooled, multi-fuel, four-stroke cycle engines to deliver two horsepower/pound.

Read more here

Brazil 70% share in the distribution of ethanol to the Japanese market.

Brazil, the world's largest sugar and ethanol producer, makes ethanol from sugar cane.

In Brazil, 25% of ethanol is already blended into regular gasoline, while an increasing number of cars runs on any mixture of gasoline or ethanol, which is available in almost all gas stations in the country.

Japan has authorized the addition of 3% ethanol to gasoline to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from cars to meet Kyoto protocol targets.

Brazilian ethanol exports could double or triple with ethanol shipping to Japan from last year's level of about 2.5 billion liters, Petrobras' Downstream Director Roberto Costa said in October.

"Think of the environment as a battery, with the tree as the positive pole and the grounding rod as the negative."

Ultimately, it should prove to be more practical than solar energy or wind power, and certainly more affordable than fuel cells, he added.

Basically, the existing system includes a metal rod embedded in the tree, a grounding rod driven into the ground, and the connecting circuitry, which filters and boosts the power output sufficient to charge a battery. In its current experimental configuration, the demonstration system produces 2.1 volts, enough to continuously maintain a full charge in a nickel cadmium battery attached to an LED light.

It is enough power to charge batteries for any type of vehicle, including hybrids and electric cars, or to use with an AC converter to produce household power, he added. The LED industry is a prime example of a potential user of this power source.

Read more here

Dec 20, 2005

Partly cloudy on emissions - 2004-07-19

Bob Heitzer of Slinger & FET Chair
Partly cloudy on emissions - 2004-07-19: "For example, facilities that previously didn't need an air permit to operate may now need one, said Bob Heitzer of Slinger, a citizen member of the DNR-appointed Toxic Advisory Committee, which reviewed the rule. He also serves as program chair for the Southeast Wisconsin Chapter of the Federation of Environmental Technologists.

The new rule also requires an in-depth review of a company's raw materials used in manufacturing processes to determine which newly regulated substances are being used, he said. The expanded rule also could cause companies to spend more on capital improvements, including increasing smokestack heights.

Since the revised rule covers far more substances than federal regulations governing air emissions, it also could affect the state's ability to maintain existing manufacturing companies or attract new ones, Heitzer said."

Dec 16, 2005

Google, Microsoft to Fund New Internet Lab

SAN FRANCISCO -- Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are setting aside their bitter animosity to back a new Internet research laboratory aimed at helping entrepreneurs introduce more groundbreaking ideas to a mass audience.

Sun Microsystems Inc. also is joining the $7.5 million project at the University of California, Berkeley. The Reliable, Adaptive and Distributed Systems, or RAD, lab was scheduled to open Thursday and will dole out $1.5 million annually over five years, with each company contributing equally.

Full article here

Dec 14, 2005

Feds say high energy prices here to stay

Feds rescind prediction of oil price drop: "report, issued Monday by the department's Energy Information Administration, now projects oil will cost an average $54 a barrel in 2025 and $57 a barrel in 2030 before inflation. Currently, crude oil prices have been hovering around $60 a barrel, briefly soaring as high as $70 earlier this year."

More animal testing labs being outsourced to Asia

It has been estimated that 10-15 per cent of the costs of drug discovery in the US and Britain goes towards animal testing — the total cost of bringing a new drug to the market can be more than $US1 billion ($A1.3 billion). Harassment of animal testing laboratories, the scientists associated with them and the businesses that breed animals for research has significantly added to costs. How to get around this problem? Increasingly, outsourcing to Asia will be the answer. Asia's authoritarian governments that clamp down on troublesome pressure groups and muzzle inquisitive media, and Asia's cost competitiveness, will all prove a big attraction.

Read full story here

Dec 13, 2005

Earth Batteries - ( OSEN ) Open Source Energy Network

Earth Batteries - ( OSEN ) Open Source Energy Network: "Earth Batteries
Earth Batteries - Let's see who can get the most power out of these earth batteries. We know they work to some degree, but what if we fine tuned them? "

Internet Child's Play - Learn about Science and Engineering

Don't dumb it down... Kids want to know more.

“Most materials professionals don’t realize that materials are an excellent way of getting kids interested in science because kids use materials all the time,”

“Science has to do with understanding how things work, and they intrinsically know a lot about the properties of materials, just because they play with them all the time.”

Read more

Map Sex Offenders - Free US Sex Offender Registry Mapping System

It is the law and an important service - please share the care.
Map Sex Offenders - Free US Sex Offender Registry Mapping System: "Since Megan's death, the Kanka family has fought to get laws approve"

Dec 12, 2005

A little Wikipedia prank | CNET News.com

It started as a joke and ended up as a shot heard round the Internet, with the joker losing his job and Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, suffering a blow to its credibility.

anti-Wikipedia Web site

Acetone as a Fuel Additive - PESWiki

* Acetone In Fuel Said to Increase Mileage (http://pesn.com/2005/03/17/6900069_Acetone/) - Acetone said to improve the fuel's ability to vaporize completely by eliminating the surface tension that causes an increase in particulate vaporization temperature. (PESN; March 18, 2005)

A growing number of people are reporting their results, as tabulated here. Most have noted modest increased mileage (e.g. 2-10%), more power, more stable idle, faster start-up, cleaner emmissions. Part of that improvement is likely to be from the cleaning of the engine that the acetone accomplishes. A few have not seen an increase in mileage at the concentration of acetone they tried. Too much acetone decreases mileage. Alcohol in the fuel tends to negate the positive effects of acetone. No one has yet reported damage to their engine from acetone being added to the fuel. Several have soaked fuel components in pure acetone for extended periods and have not seen substantial effect other than some minor swelling.">Directory:Acetone as a Fuel Additive - PESWiki: "Acetone as an Additive

AddAcetone.com


This project page was created as an adjunct to the following article by Louis LaPointe, which we recommend as an introduction to the subject.

* Acetone In Fuel Said to Increase Mileage (http://pesn.com/2005/03/17/6900069_Acetone/) - Acetone said to improve the fuel's ability to vaporize completely by eliminating the surface tension that causes an increase in particulate vaporization temperature. (PESN; March 18, 2005)

A growing number of people are reporting their results, as tabulated here. Most have noted modest increased mileage (e.g. 2-10%), more power, more stable idle, faster start-up, cleaner emmissions. Part of that improvement is likely to be from the cleaning of the engine that the acetone accomplishes. A few have not seen an increase in mileage at the concentration of acetone they tried. Too much acetone decreases mileage. Alcohol in the fuel tends to negate the positive effects of acetone. No one has yet reported damage to their engine from acetone being added to the fuel. Several have soaked fuel components in pure acetone for extended periods and have not seen substantial effect other than some minor swelling."

Oil Doesn't Want Focus on Big Profit

The most conspicuously non-oil oil ads come from the former British Petroleum, which removed the oil from its name and became BP. Now, the company advertises itself as "Beyond Petroleum." The company's logo resembles a sun with leaves.

Stumble onto a BP television ad and it is easy to assume it is a commercial for a company that makes solar panels. Or that BP is an environmental organization of some sort.

"Solar is but a tiny, tiny, tiny part of their business," Brinker said. "They make 99.9 percent of their money in the oil business."

But oil companies may have nowhere to hide as their third-quarter earnings roll in this week.

"They should be record earnings," said Jacques Rousseau, an oil analyst at Friedman Billings Ramsey Group Inc. in Arlington.

Oil Doesn't Want Focus on Big Profit: "Oil Doesn't Want Focus on Big Profit"

Oil companies report record profit- International Herald Tribune

Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, reported on Thursday that profit rose 75 percent from a earlier, to $9.92 billion. Revenue rose 31.9 percent, to $100.7 billion.

Royal Dutch Shell said third-quarter profit rose 68 percent, to $9.03 billion. Revenue rose 6 percent, to $94.7 billion.

Marathon Oil reported third-quarter net income of $770 million, up from $222 million. Revenue jumped 40 percent, to $17.2 billion.

Oil companies report surging quarterly profit - Business - International Herald Tribune: "Oil companies report surging quarterly profit"

Study Attributes Stronger Storms to Warmer Seas - New York Times

The higher fuel prices pose a severe threat to low-income households from the Midwest to the Northeast, said Mark Wolfe, executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors' Association. "A few years ago, you could heat a home for $500. Now it takes $1,500," said Wolfe, whose association represents state residential heating assistance programs. "Energy has become a lot less affordable for low-income families," and they will face painful spending choices this winter, he said.

"We are in trouble," Wolfe said. "The program is not designed to deal with these kinds of price increases."

Source:http://www.washingtonpost.com

Truth About Trade & Technology - The New Prize: Alternative Fuels

This so-called cellulose ethanol has much greater potential than current ethanol, said Michael Wang, a researcher at the Center for Transportation Research at the Argonne National Laboratory, but, he added, "the technology has not arrived."

David Friedman, a senior analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental group, said, "ethanol has great potential to help the U.S. kick our oil habit, but that's 20 or 30 years away."

"Corn ethanol can help in the short term, but it has serious limitations, and none of this is going to work if we don't dramatically improve the efficiency of our cars and trucks."

Certainly, ethanol has its friends, like corn growers, and its enemies. In July, Corn Cob Bob, an ethanol industry mascot, was banished from Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa. Shell, a sponsor of the festivities, had expressed discomfort at the mascot's participation.

Read more here

Oil: Caveat empty | thebulletin.org

Oil: Caveat empty | thebulletin.org: "Conventional petroleum production will soon--perhaps in five years, ten at best--no longer be able to satisfy demand. "

Attorney General: Clean Air Act Cases and Challenges

Attorney General: Clean Air Act Cases and Challenges: "United States v. American Electric Power – Connecticut, the United States, seven other States, and citizen groups have sued American Electric Power for illegally modifying eleven plants in Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, and Virginia without obtaining required permits that would have necessitated the defendant’s installing air pollution controls. Trial is expected to begin in late 2005."

ENVIRONMENT: In Shift, US Agrees to Future Climate Talks

"Countries bent over backwards to accommodate the U.S. but they just spit in their faces," said Steve Sawyer, climate policy adviser for Greenpeace International.

On Friday, the final day of negotiations, countries were resolved to proceed without the U.S., Sawyer told IPS.

A surprise speech by former President Bill Clinton (1993-2001) in Montreal on Friday may have played a role in the U.S. turnabout.

Fossil Fuels Set to Become Relics, Says Research Group

Fossil Fuels Set to Become Relics, Says Research Group: "Wind turbines that produce electricity spin at a wind farm in Daban, in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region."

Dec 9, 2005

1981 Cadillac V8-6-4 engine wasn't the first to have on "displacement on demand"

"1981 Cadillac V8-6-4 engine wasn't the first that could have the number of its cylinders regulated? If so, get ready for another surprise. Neither was the 1917 Enger. The distinction belongs to the Sturtevant 38- to 45-hp six-cylinder engine of 1905. Three of its cylinders could be shut down.


Read more here:

http://www.motorera.com/history/hist03.htm


 


 "Summit Point Raceway, WV—Resurrecting a 20-year-old idea, GM plans to boost fuel efficiency in its large trucks and SUVs with an engine that can run on just four of its eight cylinders when it doesn't need the power.

This "displacement on demand" system can deliver a 6 to 12% improvement in fuel efficiency, and GM claims a 25% improvement in certain conditions.

The engine starts with all eight cylinders, then runs with just four cylinders under normal driving conditions, only adding the others to carry heavy loads, pass other cars, or climb steep hills.

GM first tried the idea 20 years ago, in the 1981 Cadillac's six-liter engine, which could switch from four to six to eight cylinders, according to driving conditions. But a "natural vibration" in six-cylinder operation made the car unpopular with drivers, so the company dropped the concept.

Now two recent technology advances have allowed GM to try again. First, that old cable-activated throttle has evolved into modern electronic throttle control, capable of adjusting the gas so smoothly that it's tough to tell when the extra cylinders kick in. Second, the new engine has processing power to burn—today's engine computers are 32-bit, compared to the '81 Cadillac's 8-bit; and have roughly 100 times the memory and 25 times the clock speed.

"You won't know if you're in eight cylinder or four cylinder mode," says Tom Stevens, GM's VP of engineering. "The only thing you know is you'll go farther on a tank of gasoline."

Indeed, in a test drive here, I accelerated and braked the truck in a series of tight turns, and never felt the engine switch modes. Glancing at his telemetry laptop, the GM technician in the passenger seat said it had happened six times in just a half-mile.

When driving loads are light, the engine closes both the intake and exhaust valves for every other cylinder in the firing order, thus cutting off their air and fuel supply.
Read full story here:
http://www.designnews.com/article/CA159991.html


 




"What the heck is "displacement on demand" -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Displacement_on_demand




 




 

Dec 8, 2005

Air Quality Health Advisory for Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties

http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.national

Madison, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is issuing an air quality health advisory for Milwaukee and Waukesha counties effective immediately today, Thursday, December 8, 2005 until noon on Friday, December 9, 2005. The advisory is being issued because of persistent elevated levels of fine particles in the air. These fine particles come primarily from combustion sources, such as power plants, factories and other industrial sources, vehicle exhaust, and outdoor fires. Current weather conditions leading to this advisory are light winds and warmer air aloft, trapping the particle pollution near the ground. Air quality is expected to gradually improve for the affected area beginning tomorrow morning.

The Air Quality Index is currently in the orange level, which is considered unhealthy for people in sensitive groups and others, including people who are not in sensitive groups but who are engaged in strenuous activities or exposed for prolonged periods of time. People in those sensitive groups include those with heart or lung disease, asthma, older adults and children. When an air quality health advisory is issued, people in those groups are advised to reschedule or cut back on strenuous activities.

People with lung diseases such as asthma and bronchitis and heart disease should pay attention to cardiac symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath or respiratory symptoms like coughing, wheezing and discomfort when taking a breath, and consult with their physician if they have concerns or are experiencing symptoms. To receive air quality health advisories by e-mail, visit http://dnr.wi.gov/org/aw/air/health/listse"


Contacts: Larry Bruss, DNR (608)267-7543
Henry Anderson, DHFS (608) 266-1253

Can't catch a break .... is Biodiesel "most destructive crop on earth"???











Environment:
Biodiesel "most destructive crop on earth"





















Bio Fuel



Crops grown for biodiesel are potentially destructive






Crops grown to provide raw material for biodiesel fuel are potentially hugely destructive, according to environmentalist George Monbiot, and "no solution to the energy crisis."



Monbiot writes in The Guardian today: "The biodiesel industry has accidentally invented the world's most carbon-intensive fuel."




He is not against the reuse of waste oils such as cooking oils, but argues that besides requiring vast areas of land which would otherwise be used for food production - especially in developing nations - an industry is being established for large-scale industrial plantations that have a hugely negative impact in their local areas.








Biodiesel producers are looking for crops that grow quickly and can easily and cheaply be synthesised into oil. Palm oil has already proved successful. Monbiot quotes research by Friends of the Earth claiming that between 1985 and 2000, the establishment of oil-palm plantations led to 85% of deforestation in Malaysia. In Sumatra and Borneo, around 4m hectares of forest has been cleared to make way for palm plantations, with a further 6m hectares scheduled for clearance in Malaysia and 16.5m in Indonesia.



Four new biodiesel refineries are also being built in Malaysia, with another in Sarawak: foreign consortia are also building plants in Singapore, all to synthesise palm oil to make fuel, mostly for export to the west.







"The entire region is being turned into a gigantic vegetable oil field", says Monbiot. "The orangutan is likely to become extinct in the wild. Sumatran rhinos, tigers, gibbons, tapirs, proboscis monkeys and thousands of other species could go the same way. Thousands of indigenous people have been evicted from their lands and some 500 Indonesians have been tortured when they tried to resist."



Monbiot concludes by commenting on the UK government's policy: "For the widening of the M1 alone, the government will pay £3.6bn - more than it is spending on its entire climate change programme. Instead of trying to reduce demand (for fuel) it is trying to alter supply."


 



Read full article here:





http://www.channel4.com/4car/news/news-story.jsp?news_id=13543


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Dec 7, 2005

OSHA awards millions in Susan Harwood Grants - 10/28/05

OSHA has awarded more than $10.3 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants to labor unions, community colleges and other nonprofit organizations for safety and health training and educational programs. The grant announcement includes $5 million for Disaster Response and Recovery Training Grants to provide critical health and safety training for workers who are engaged in disaster response, clean-up and rebuilding activities in the hurricane-impacted Gulf States region.

OSHA awarded additional grants in three categories: OSHA Training Materials Development Grants support the development, evaluation and validation of training materials for construction, work-related transportation hazards and other safety and health areas of interest; Targeted Topic Training Grants support training for construction and general industry hazards; and Institutional Competency Building Grants help nonprofit organizations expand their safety and health training, education and outreach to assist workers on an ongoing basis."

In state economic heft, bioscience beats beer

In the past two years, Wisconsin's growing bioscience industry surpassed beer as an economic force in the state, according to a report to be released Wednesday in Madison.

The state's bioscience industry - 338 companies strong - generates $6.38 billion in revenue and pulls in $582 million of research funding from out-of-state sources. That adds up to a direct economic impact of more than $6.9 billion, says a Bioscience Wisconsin 2006 report that will be issued Wednesday by the Wisconsin Association for Biomedical Research and Education.

The Kyoto Municipal Government is collecting 1.5 million liters of used cooking oil annually from households and hotels. The bio-diesel fuel produced

The use of so-called bio-diesel fuel is also spreading nationwide. The Kyoto Municipal Government is collecting 1.5 million liters of used cooking oil annually from households and hotels. The bio-diesel fuel produced powers 220 garbage trucks and 95 city buses.

In Shiga and Chiba prefectures, projects are under way to plant rape when converting rice paddies to other crops. The rapeseed oil produced is used in households and schools, and the used oil is collected and turned into soap and bio-diesel.

However, the Biomass Industrial Society Network, a nonprofit group, warns against unbridled bio-fuel development.

"It is not a good thing to only focus on increasing biomass fuel production," said Miyuki Tomari, a representative of the network. "There are still many hurdles (to its growth) including transportation and supply systems, and the need for tax breaks to promote use of bio-fuels.

"Disorderly imports also cause problems," she said.

The Japan Times: Nov. 2, 2005

Dec 6, 2005

Bill Gates is funding with $450 million to come to

"I've been applying my imagination to the synergies of this," he said. "We could have sorghum that cures latent tuberculosis. We could have mosquitoes that spread vitamin A. And most important, we could have bananas that never need to be kept cold."

They laughed. Perhaps that was to be expected when the world's richest man, who had just promised them $450 million, was delivering a punchline. But it was also germane, because they were gathered to celebrate some of the oddest-sounding projects in the history of science.

Their deadly serious proposals - answers to the Grand Challenges in Global Health that Mr. Gates posed in a 2003 speech in Davos, Switzerland - sounded much like his spoofs: laboratories around the world, some of them led by Nobel Prize winners, proposing to invent bananas and sorghum that make their own vitamin A; chemicals that render mosquitoes unable to smell humans; drugs that hunt down tuberculosis germs in people who do not even know they are infected; and vaccines that are mixed into spores or plastics or sugars and can be delivered in glasses of orange juice or modified goose calls.

What Mr. Gates had outlined at Davos were the greatest obstacles facing doctors in the tropics: Laboratories are few and far between. Vaccines spoil without refrigeration and require syringes, which can transmit AIDS. Mosquitoes develop resistance to all insecticides. Crops that survive in the jungle or desert often have little nutritive value. Infections outwit powerful drugs by lying dormant.

Dec 5, 2005

First Wisconsin biodiesel plant

Green Bay-based Anamax Corp. plans to start construction on the 12,300-square-foot plant next to its existing restaurant-grease recovery plant in DeForest on Monday. State Department of Agriculture Rod Nilsestuen and U.S. Rep. Mark Green, a Republican from Green Bay, are scheduled to attend.

DeForest village president Jeff Miller said the project could cost anywhere from $10 million to $15 million and create 10 to 15 new jobs. The plant is expected to produce about 20 million gallons of biodiesel annually, according to the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board.

"It's a big deal," Miller said. "We'll be the first community in Wisconsin to have a biodiesel facility."">JS Online: News:: "MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A recycling company is poised to break ground on Wisconsin's first biodiesel plant.

Green Bay-based Anamax Corp. plans to start construction on the 12,300-square-foot plant next to its existing restaurant-grease recovery plant in DeForest on Monday. State Department of Agriculture Rod Nilsestuen and U.S. Rep. Mark Green, a Republican from Green Bay, are scheduled to attend.

DeForest village president Jeff Miller said the project could cost anywhere from $10 million to $15 million and create 10 to 15 new jobs. The plant is expected to produce about 20 million gallons of biodiesel annually, according to the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board.

'It's a big deal,' Miller said. 'We'll be the first community in Wisconsin to have a biodiesel facility.'"