Published: Saturday 15 April 1995

Diesel engines will be spewing less nitric oxide fumes, promise KMH, a Doncaster-based business house, and Leeds University in the UK. They have jointly developed a steam-based anti-pollution device, which they claim is cheaper and requires less maintenance than catalytic converters. The De-NOX device, as it has been named, works by feeding steam into the inspirator unit, which lowers the burning temperature, reducing nitric oxide gases. It slows down the burn rate, providing more efficient usage of the fuel.

Tapping energy from Mother Earth is what the Tokyo Electric Co, the major Japanese utility company, is planning to do. It is all set to build its first generator driven by geothermal energy. The 3,000 kilowatt generator will be located on the island of Hachijojima, which is about 280 km southwest of the metropolitan center of Tokyo city. But it is still within the municipality of the Japanese capital, and is served by Tokyo Electric.

When Marks & Spencer, the leading UK chain store, says it is hot on the trail of shoplifters, it really means business. It is pushing hard for a technology, developed in the US, reputed to be a surefire trap for even the craftiest thief. It consists of video cameras which scan every shopper entering a store, comparing the pictures of a database of images of known shoplifters, fraudsters and other criminals. This system is capable of searching out a single face among even thousands in a stadium with 90 per cent accuracy. M & S, however, is not ready to divulge any further details in this regard as it fears that this might compromise security.

Motorola Inc is coming up with a new brand of chips -- Microcontrollers -- that can be programmed by the customers themselves. This latest product will handle simple computing functions in consumer and office products. The new versions of 68 HC05 chip family produced by Motorola include models priced as low as 95 cents each in volumes of 50,000 units or more. Previously, a comparable chip had cost US $2.50 to US $3, says Tom Marischen a marketing manager with Motorola.

Boeing, the US aircraft manufacturer, has struck a deal worth US $15 million with the Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd to manufacture over-wing exit doors for the Boeing 757 aircraft. According to Dinesh Kesker, the international sales director of Boeing, "The delivery would begin early next year." The deal also includes pacakages like commissioning out research programmes relating to the technology to various Indian institutes.

With time running out for the utilisation of Karnataka's share of 736 trillion cubic metre feet of Krishna river waters by AD 2000, the Karnataka government has decided to mobilise at least Rs 500 crore annually by floating debentures and approaching commercial banks through the newly-incorporated Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Ltd.

M C Nanaiah, law and information minister of Karnataka, said, "The upper Krishna Project would require a total amount of Rs 9,000 crore. From an initial yearly target of Rs 500 we hope to increase the annual mobilisation in subequent years to atleast Rs 800 crore."

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.