Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Stronger Bioplastic Developed: Kenaf + Polylactic Acid (PLA)


A stronger bioplastic has been created by NEC.

It was achieved by reinforcing polylactic acid with kenaf fiber.

Kenaf is an extremely fast growing plant which absorbs more CO2 than other other crop.

The bioplastic would be beneficial to the ecosystem during its manufacture and when it is discarded and biodegrades.


The superior stength and heat resistance of this bioplastic allows use in products such as walkmans, computer cases and other electronics. NEC expects to make use of the new material in 2005-2006.

More Information: NEC Press Release on new Bioplastic


Friday, July 30, 2004

(Bio)Diesel Vehicles

Diesel vehicles are meta-efficient when run with Biodiesel fuel.

Some cars are listed as "TDIs", meaning they have a Turbo-Charge
Direct Injection Engine — these cars can also be run on Biodiesel.

Diesel engines are fuel-efficient, for example VW
Jetta TDIs
get around 47 mpg. Earlier diesel cars, produced in the
1960s and 1970s were noisy and produced noxious emissions. However, new
models are much less noisy, and when run on biodiesel, produce less toxic emission that regular, gasoline-powered cars.

Diesel vehicles currently available in the U.S. are:


  • Volkswagen Golf, Jetta, Jetta Wagon, New Beetle, Passat (2004)
  • Mercedes
    E-320 Sedan (2004)


  • Chrysler Jeep Liberty (2004)
  • Volkswagen Touareg SUV (2004) [Note: fuel
    economy not the best though]


  • Chevy Silverado
  • GMC Sierra
  • Dodge Ram
  • Ford E-series, F-series

Here is a list of Used diesel car models.
A very detailed
list of models
is also available.