Canon invests in organic flat panel displays

$4.5 billion in R&D

By Nick Farrell: Wednesday 21 September 2005, 16:04
JAPANESE COMPANY Canon said that it will spend more than ¥500 billion (~£2.48 billion) researching new organic flat-panel display screens and rear-projection televisions.

Previously Canon announced it was going to spend ¥300 billion yen (£1.4 billion).

The main area of research will be electro-luminescent displays, which sandwiches a very thin layer of organic material between two plates. These , use less power and offer brighter images and wider viewing angles than liquid crystal display panels.

Canon wants to have a commercial launch of the new display panels by 2007 and sees demand of around 20 million units a year.

It is also looking at a joint development with Toshiba of surface-conduction electron-emitter display panels, which are due to hit the market in early 2006.

>>>BSI likes to think one is cautious in assuming the term 'organic' always conveys wholesome goodness. Think persistant organic pollutants. ;-)



Sen. Inhofe, the chairman of the Senate Environment and
Public Works Committee, introduces legislation that would
allow EPA to waive environmental laws and regulations for up
to 18 months if the agency determines that is necessary to
respond to Hurricane Katrina. The legislation (S. 1711)
comes as EPA says it may need additional legal authority to
facilitate cleanup and restoration, although environmental
advocates criticize the legislation as an "open invitation"
for business interests to pressure EPA into granting
waivers. The legislation would give EPA authority to waive
any law or regulation it administers for 120 days. The
agency would be able to extend that waiver for up to 18
months if the administrator deems it appropriate.
-GS note, I understand from NPR that USEPA officials are declining to comment on this one.. they like their jobs apparently. 


Nature may offer vital clues on rebuilding New Orleans

- Susan Fornoff, SF Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 14, 2005

When Katrina's winds flattened Gulf Coast homes and businesses, biologist Janine Benyus looked to the trees for clues on how to rebuild.

"Under a forest, you have as much biomass as you have on top -- there are root systems grafted to other root systems," Benyus said at San Francisco's Palace Hotel last week. "So when the wind blows, ... notice how many trees stood among buildings that fell. When we go back to build, we have to ask those trees: How are you still standing?"

It's all about "Biomimicry" for Benyus, who in 1997 wrote the so-titled book on the maverick science of appropriating the best ideas of nature to solve problems and improve conditions for humans.

Thursday, at the International Interior Design Association's Leader's Breakfast honoring architect Richard Hannum, Benyus connected some recent findings and current projects in her field to the design, architecture and building tasks of her listeners.

Bird feathers show a Georgia carpet tilemaker how to put together a seamless product low on adhesives so that health care facilities will want it. Trees combing moisture from fog prompt a scientist in England to find a way to extract potable water from humid air. A kingfisher's beak inspires engineers in Japan to construct a quieter bullet train.

"We're surrounded by genius," Benyus told them. "These other organisms are elders compared to us. We are a very young species. ... Three-point-eight billion years is a very long time to do R&D."

Benyus ventured that "our interiors will tell us when there are contaminants in the air." Canes with eco-location inspired by bats will guide the blind; jewel beetles, which "can smell and feel a fire 50 miles away," will lead us to new smoke detectors; the lobster's ability to sense chemical plumes in a molecule of water will translate into a way to make sure we're not drinking sludge.

Studies on how butterflies and peacocks display brilliant colors yet contain no pigment except brown are paving the way to chemical-free hues. Work by Jay Harman, with Pax Scientific in San Rafael, has answered the question "How would a nautilus make a better fan?" with spiral-based air handlers that save energy and are quieter than electric fans.

The "lotus effect," where rainwater does the cleaning, could revolutionize car paints, roofing and even our household cleaning products -- a prospect that Benyus said didn't go over too well when she shared it with an Amway convention.

The lotus effect also has led to the development of a formaldehyde-free plywood that, according to Benyus, is "very cheap" and is being tested by Columbia Forest.

Benyus urged listeners to create "designs that are conducive to life" and promised them free access to a database of natural design solutions that is being tested by the Biomimicry Guild at database.biomimicry.org.

More information about "biomimicry" is accessible online at www.biomimicry.net.



Revisions are made by EPA to the computer model for
calculating civil penalties, but the agency delays issuance
of guidance for determining a company's economic gain due to
an "illegal competitive advantage" from noncompliance. The
revised BEN model, the software used to determine a
violator's benefit from avoiding pollution control
expenditures, is more user-friendly and will allow more
precise calculations than the previous version. 
Some times you need a big stick!


Electronics industry officials tell the House Energy and
Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials
that federal involvement is needed to develop a national
policy on the recycling of waste electronics and to avert a
"patchwork" of state regulations, but they remain divided on
how to pay for it. Witnesses testifying before the
subcommittee propose a range of approaches, such as an
advance recycling fee added to the retail price of a product
or the addition of internal costs to be absorbed by
manufacturers. Lawmakers are now considering various
approaches to deal with the nation's growing stream of old,
discarded electronic products. They could wait to review the
results of differing laws in California, which mandates a
consumer-based advance recycling fee, and Maine, which
promotes manufacturer responsibility, according to Rep.
Gillmor, the subcommittee chairman.