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

 
Africa bridging the digital divides: New policy note
Information and communication technology is developing rapidly in Africa – but there are worrying trends, such as a growing digital divide between men and women, and between urban and rural areas. These are the basic findings of a new policy note by Prof. Samia Nour, an affiliated researcher at UNU-MERIT.
See: https://www.merit.unu.edu/africa-bridging-the-digital-divides-new-policy-note/



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    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