Over on Wired‘s car blog Autopia, John Gartner reports:

Some of the heavyweights of chemical research are bonding together to use computer modeling to develop new automotive fuels. The nucleus of the group includes L’Institut Francais du Petrole, Dow Chemical, Chevron, and Reaction Design, plus auto companies Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroen, and Toyota.

The group will use simulations to explore new chemical combinations that could lead to cleaner and higher performance fuels. This sounds like a worthwhile venture, but why did it take so long? It’s not like computer modeling is new, but I guess the inevitably of petroleum scarcity is finally prompting cooperation.

Why? Maybe greed, power and short-sightedness? Or could it be …

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Coincidentally, Booz Allen Hamilton (which is a consulting firm and not a drunkard founding father) just issued a report saying that chemical companies who spend less on R&D actually grow faster than their competitors. Talking about snuffing out a spark…

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