Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

-- IT IS painted bright red with big black spots and looks like a cross between a lady bug and a toy car. It is the ultra-mini Haishen or the "car for the masses" that is about to hit the gigantic domestic automobile car market in China. This tiny vehicle has been designed by North Haishen Automobiles, based in Changchun city. The manufacturers say that the working-class need not worry about buying a Haishen, because, besides being priced as low as $2,900 -- about 1/10th the cost of other Chinese-made cars -- it is also remarkably fuel-efficient. A Haishen requires only 4.51 litres of petrol to cover 100 km at 80 km per hour. "Even ordinary families can afford a Haishen if they are thrifty," assures He Chengwei, a designer engineer working with the firm.

"TWO years ago if you mentioned industrial crops you were considered a bit of a crank, but since then we have seen a huge demand from farmers and industrial customers to get to grips with non-food crops," says Anne Gutteridge, an oilseed trader at Cargill, one of the world's largest privately-owned agriculture and commodities companies. In a bid to cash in on the trend, Cargill has decided to join United Oilseeds Marketing, a cooperative, in a project to produce 100,00 tonnes of biodiesel a year from oilseed rape. While biodiesel is being manufactured at a fairly large scale in France for the past 3 years, it is still unknown in the UK, as the government is yet to be convinced of its viability. Now Cargill is determined to use its own funds to show that biodiesel can be made viable on the island too.

SKYSCRAPERS in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, will now have robots cleaning their ventilation systems. Key Chemicals and Engineering Company, a manufacturer of chemicals for food industries, has invested $14.58 million in this robo-clean project. The Key system uses remote-controlled robotic technology to clean ventilation systems in households, and commercial and industrial buildings. The company is also investing in a new plant to produce cleaning chemicals and products.

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.