India Report

[via Paul Bradley] Lowy Institute for International Policy has just published a report (1.1 MB, PDF) on “India: the next economic giant.”

It “assesses the emergence of India as a major new player in today’s global economy. It provides an overview of India’s sustained progress with economic reform to date, examines the degree of the economy’s re-engagement with the rest of the world, and describes some of the challenges that still lie ahead. The Paper also analyses the implications of the rise of this new economic giant for the international economy and for Australia.”

Methanol Fuel Cells

The New York Times writes:

“The battery has become the laggard in new technology,” said William P. Acker, president and chief executive of MTI Micro Fuel Cells, a miniature-fuel-cell developer based in Albany.

Unlike the fuel cells that are being touted as a way to power cars and trucks, the smaller versions do not use hydrogen gas as a fuel. Hydrogen is explosive, and using it with small devices would pose storage and safety problems. If nothing else, security concerns would probably make it impossible for airline passengers to carry, say, an MP3 player with even a small cylinder of hydrogen attached.

Instead, the fuel of choice in small fuel cells is methanol, an alcohol that is most commonly produced from natural gas, although it can be produced using coal or even the foul-smelling gas from landfills. Inside the cell, the methanol combines with water to make carbon dioxide, hydrogen ions and electrons.