Published: Thursday 15 July 1999

neem-based pesticide: To encourage the use of eco-friendly and biodegradable pesticides, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has approved the ISI mark for Mukumbi Manufacturing Company of Belgaum in Karnataka for its neem-based pesticide. It is the first company to revive the ISI mark for the pesticide which is a natural plant product extracted from neem seeds or kernels. Due to the abundance of neem trees in India, the pesticide will be commercially viable in India. It is extremely effective for crops like cotton, paddy and pulses.

green batteries: Eveready industries India will soon be introducing "green batteries" free of cadmium and mercury. Although batteries with cadmium and mercury are not much in use in Europe, the high temperature conditions in India make it impossible to do away with these toxic elements. The Indian market generates maximum demand for carbon-zinc batteries and the more recent cost effective zinc chloride super heavy-duty batteries used in high drainage equipment like tape recorders, toys and cameras.

water purifying system: An online water purification system, that removes bacteria from water in 10 minutes and also toxic metals, has been patented by the Industrial Toxicology Research Centre (ITRC) in Lucknow. The low cost system that uses an electronic device "Bacto-kill" for disinfection was recently developed by the ITRC, according to K K Gupta, the Centre's liaison officer. Unlike the prototype that looks like an ordinary filter and delivers about 50 litres of water in an hour, the online system can purify about 450 litres of water per hour.

volvo on cng: Volvo, the automobile giant, is planning to introduce vehicles with engines that run on compressed natural gas (CNG). However, Volvo India managing director Ravi Uppal said CNG could replace diesel completely only when there is required infrastructure to support the former. He said at the moment it can be utilised for public transport in major cities where buses do not run over 150 km. The Supreme Court judgement had a few months back directed the usage of CNG in all commercial vehicles.

new livfit: Dabur Pharmaceuticals have invented a new drug New Livfit to fight hepatitis A, B and E. Dabur expects to corner a large share of the domestic market by introducing this drug. The market for drugs related to liver diseases is presently estimated at Rs 150 crore. "Dabur with its multiherbal invention is the first to hit the market and we would take advantage of the edge," said company's general manager Suresh Pathak. New Livfit will be available on prescription. Dabur has already secured patents for the drug in Europe, while patents in the US and other countries are expected shortly.

lighter cars: Major aluminium producers, General Motors and Ford Motors plan to jointly research and develop ways to reduce the weight of cars and trucks. The automakers and aluminium companies announced the formation of the Auto Aluminium Alliance. New uses of light weight metals are seen as a key to reaching that goal, which in turn will help increase fuel mileage and lower emissions. The Alliance is also studying plastics and composites as well as thinner and lighter weight products.

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