Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

 
The Coming Storm: Helping Rural Communities Cope in Southeast Asia
Climate change is not only about the environment – it also has major financial and institutional implications. This was the backstory to a recent report on 'Risk Financing for Rural Climate Resilience in the Greater Mekong Subregion' co-authored by UNU-MERIT PhD fellow Ornsaran Pomme Manuamorn. The report was published in May 2017 by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
See: http://www.merit.unu.edu/the-coming-storm-helping-rural-communities-cope-in-southeast-asia/



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  • Scientists make synthetic photosynthesis possible
    Photosynthesis is one of nature's most efficient phenomena: aside from providing much of the oxygen human beings need to breathe, this naturally occurring process gives plants the food and energy they need to survive. It uses visible light to provide the 'fuel' they need.

    Researchers have been working on ways to artificially recreate this natural process in labs, in the hopes of producing fuel - specifically methane. Now, a team of chemists from the Brookhaven National Laboratory and Virginia Tech have designed two supramolecules, each made up of a number of light-harvesting ruthenium (Ru) metal ions attached to a single catalytic centre of rhodium (Rh) metal ions.

    While both could act as catalysts, the researchers set out to determine which of the two supramolecules they created did the job best. They found that the one with six Ru light absorbers could produce some 280 hydrogen molecules for every catalyst in a 10-hour period. Meanwhile, the supramolecule with only three Ru ions could produce 40 hydrogen molecules for 4 hours - at which point it stopped working.

    To promote catalysis, the Rh catalyst must be low enough in energy to accept the electrons from the Ru light absorbers when the absorbers are exposed to light. What that means is that the larger of the supramolecules was slightly more electron-deficient, which made it more receptive to electrons needed for synthetic photosynthesis.

    Moreover, synthetic photosynthesis can be used to remove pollutants in the air as well, because CO2 is a necessary component in the process.

    Science Alert / Journal of the American Chemical Society    June 09, 2017