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.

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All headlines
  • Making renewable power more viable for the grid
  • Phone calls can be beamed right into your central nervous system
  • Physicists smash quantum light measurement limit
  • Male scientists share more - but only with other men
  • Smartphone lets you see round corners by light flicker on floor
  • Google's new earbuds act as two-way translators in your ear
  • Scientists create low-cost CO2 splitter
    Scientists have developed the first low-cost system for splitting carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbon monoxide (CO) and oxygen - a process that's crucial if we're going to ramp up renewable energy use in the future.

    This splitting process has long been identified as a promising way of turning renewables into fuel without increasing the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, but until now, no one had come up with a method that was cheap enough to be practical.

    The solution devised by a team from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland is based on an electrolysis technique using copper-oxide nanowires modified with tin oxide, which splits CO2 with an efficiency of 13.4% running on solar power.

    Once CO is released, it can be combined with hydrogen to produce synthetic carbon-based fuels, which means CO2 gets taken out of the atmosphere, and we get clean fuel at the other end - a win-win. Current methods for doing this are prohibitively expensive, and need more energy to break down the CO2 than they put out in return, which is why this new method is potentially so exciting.

    Science Alert / Nature Energy    June 07, 2017