Autoblog Green has this piece about a Texas company called Terrabon that is using a process developed by Texas A&M University to convert non food biomass into a gasoline fuel: http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/07/13/green-gasoline-coming-soon-to-a-pump-near-you/ The company has a trial going on to sell this "green gasoline" and it has been used in cars with no conversion required to the engines. The sources from which Autoblog Green got this article are the Houston Chronicle, whose original article on the subject is at: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/energy/6522394.html and there is a comment on Green Car Advisor at: http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2009/07/texas-firm-developing-green-gasoline-derived-from-most-organic-materials.html
Yesterday, the Tamilnadu government announced that Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin would be visiting San Antonio TX to check on their river dredging system - quite pompously, this was referred to as the "San Antonio Model" by the Indian media. My question is simple - San Antonio and Houston are both in Texas. Why on earth isn't whoever is advising Mr Stalin to visit San Antonio to find out how sewage in the COoum could be gotten rid of by being pushed into the sea, arranging for him to meet this company and figure out how to cash in on a huge resource that is available in Chennai? No one expects the Deputy CM to be a technical man who keeps abreast of the latest in technologies all over the world, but surely, the IAS officers and engineering college professors in India who claim to be turning out the best students in that part of the world ought to know better? And what about the Indian media? Don't they have science and technology writers?
Somehow, I am amazed at the sheer lack of knowledge that is almost always exhibited by the Indian bureaucracy, and even more, by the technical educators in that part of the world. Sometimes, like in the case of the now curiously silent N N Sachitanand of DNA India, the "expert" comments on new technology that come out seem to be idiotic to put it mildly. And then, when the question of converting waste into a very valuable resource comes up, again, the Indian bureaucracy can be expected to not do its homework. What a tragedy! Is it any wonder that despite having so many resources, India is still a backward, third-world nation?
Terrabon LLC's website is: http://terrabon.com/