MONEYMAKERS

 
Published: Saturday 15 May 1999

HYBRID VEHICLE: Nissan Motor Company Limited of Tokyo said that it aimed to start sales of gasoline-electric hybrid cars in Japan at the beginning of the year 2000. The company's first hybrid vehicle is based on its Tino wagon, which was introduced in the Japanese market December of 1998. It emits about one-half the amount of carbon dioxide that other vehicles of the same class emit, the statement said. The hybrid vehicle also cuts emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide to about one-tenth of the levels required by Japan's exhaust emission standards, it said.

NEUROMED CD ROM: For the first time in India, a CD ROM has been developed which has over 3,000 articles on mental health, spanning over 16,000 pages and 15 years. Titled NeuroMed, it has been developed by Bangalore-based research organisation Nimhans. The CD ROM was released by R Venkateshan, head of the Bangalore unit of the National Informatics Centre, collaborators on the project, along with the designers of the CD ROM, Informatics India Private Limited. NeuroMed database will be available in the international market.

BIOTECH JOINT VENTURE: Four major paper companies in New York, USA, said they intend to spend US $60 million over next five years to form a biotech joint venture to improve forestry, health and productivity. The companies, Fletcher Challenge Forests, International Paper, Monsanto and Westvaco, said the joint venture will produce and market tree seedlings, focusing on a majority of those now planted by the forest industry. The companies said as international demand for wood and fibre increases, there will be significant business opportunities for additional breakthroughs in forestry science.

3GT POLYESTER: Chemical giant DuPont will make a silky, stretchable polyester that could be less expensive to produce compared to microfibres. The fabric, 3GT (3-carbon glycol terephthalate), is made from excretions of a genetically engineered bacteria. The product could boost the US polyester business, whose sales are expected to slow amid a glut of low-cost imports. DuPont biologists combined genetic codes of two micro organisms and created a new kind of E coli bacteria. The bacteria eat corn and excrete a milky-looking liquid known as 3G. Adding terephthalic acid forms a resin, 3GT, that can be spun into fabric for dresses and skirts.

ALTERNATIVE FUEL: Kerala-based scientist G Venugopal has developed an alternative to fossil fuel. This was stated by John Milton, chairperson of the Kochi-based Citra Fuels Limited. He said Venugopal has transferred the national rights of the fuel to his company. A biotech fuel producing plant, with a capacity of two million litres per day will be set up in Nagaland, said Milton. The plant will be constructed with the support of the government of Nagaland at an estimated cost of Rs 1,600 crore, added Milton.

GREEN POWER: The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) will conduct a unique experiment by adopting a cyclic system of development called Chakriya Vikas Pranali (CVP) to generate green power. The aim of the CVP is to provide employment to the people displaced by the NTPC projects, said the chairperson of the Corporation Rajendra Singh. The project aims at regenerating barren land at the project site and villages in the vicinity.

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