Taipei to hold noodle event
This year’s Taipei International Beef Noodle Festival is to take place on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 at the entryway of Taipei Expo Park’s Yuanshan Park Area. The event is aimed at promoting one of the city’s best-loved dishes and is now in its ninth year. The festival features beef noodle competitions and an area where vendors can offer visitors their award-winning noodles for NT$50 (US$1.70), the Taipei City Government said. The highlight of this year’s edition will be an international competition that is being held for the first time and will see nine foreign contestants showcase their beef noodle cooking skills. In addition, three local winners from previous festivals are to compete with chefs from countries including the US, India and Singapore. Taipei officials said they hope to boost business for local vendors, adding that beef noodles generated more than NT$1.1 billion in revenue last year, compared with NT$780 million in 2008.
New tech makes waste fuel
Taiwan has developed a hydrolysis technique that can turn agricultural waste into biofuel, Academia Sinica researcher David Ho (賀端華) said. Taiwan produces more than 2 million tonnes of agricultural waste a year, consisting of 1.5 million tonnes of rice straws, 350,000 tonnes of sugarcane waste and 220,000 tonnes of woodchips, Ho said. Burning this type of waste pollutes the air and burying it produces methane, which is considered a greenhouse gas. By contrast, the locally developed technique converts waste into bioethanol or biowood, Ho said. However, he said the process still needs to be refined before it is commercially viable, since the cost of bioethanol it produces is about NT$55 (US$1.86) per liter, compared with NT$35 per liter on average for gasoline.