Size Matters

24 03 2009

The latest car from India’s Tata Motors is worth every penny. In fact, it’s the cheapest car in the world with some models selling at $2,200 a car. The pint-sized Tata Nano also gets outstanding gas mileage, averaging 50 miles per gallon, making it the most fuel efficient car in India.

Tata's Nano

Tata Nano

However, despite the obvious benefit of conserving gasoline, some criticize how easily it can be mass produced and worry that Nanos will only add to India’s traffic problem, even going as far as predicting a “disproportionate impact on greenhouse gas emissions.” Also the vehicle “has minimal exhaust filters and an engine that can burn kerosene, which is even dirtier than gas.”





Making Biofuels More Practical

24 03 2009
Switchgrass

Switchgrass

The basic argument against biofuels is that food sources like corn and wheat should not be used to make fuel. The substitutes for these crops are plants such as switchgrass and miscanthus, but these grasses take longer to break down than corn kernals, making the fuel production process more costly.

Miscanthus

Miscanthus

BUT, researchers at Cal Tech have synthesized several new enzymes that will break down cellulose plants quicker than the current method, ultimately making the process cheaper.

This is also good news for the Obama administration, which continues to advocate funding for alternative energy policies and research.

At the White House on Monday Obama said, “Speaking to entrepreneurs in the fields of energy…Your country will support you. Your president will support you.’ The administration’s $787 billion stimulus package includes $39 billion for the Department of Energy and $20 billion in tax incentives for clean energy.”

He plans to speak more about the stimulus package in a televised address Tuesday night.