Researchers identify possible catalyst for converting methane to methanol at room temperature

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Scientists would very much like to find a way to convert methane (the primary component in natural gas) to methanol at room temperature. Doing so would offer a new source of liquid fuel that would be readily available due to the abundance of methane. Unfortunately, researchers have found it difficult going due to the unreactive nature of methane. In this new effort, the researchers report on progress they believe they have made in achieving that goal.As Labinger reports, that progress has come in two forms. The first was developing an aid for picking out the active site of a heterogeneous catalyst from a host of candidates. The second involved creating a design for converting methane to ethanol that would be both efficient and achievable at room temperature.To create their design, the team looked at an iron-containing structure generated via a zeolite (a type of mineral) that had been reported back in 1997. Since that time, researchers have used various techniques to ascertain that such structures contain another structure known as the α-Fe(ii) center, an important component in converting methane to methanol at room temperature. The new design involved proposing a means of describing a structure with an unusual monometallic iron center. They then conducted experiments using Mössbauer spectroscopy that indicated they were on the right track, which could lead eventually to finding the catalyst they are seeking.The finding by the team is good news, Labinger suggests, though he cautions that it is unlikely that the same approach could be used for solving other catalytic problems. Journal information: Nature Explore further 3-D printed polymer turns methane to methanol Citation: Researchers identify possible catalyst for converting methane to methanol at room temperature (2016, August 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-08-catalyst-methane-methanol-room-temperature.htmlcenter_img Ball and stick model of methane. Credit: Ben Mills/Public Domain © 2016 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from Belgium and the U.S. has identified the active site of an iron-containing catalyst that has raised hopes for designing a practically useful catalyst that might make converting methane to methanol a possibility. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the researchers describe their efforts, what they discovered and why they believe their findings may lead to a practical way to convert methane to a more efficient energy resource. Jay Labinger, with the California Institute of Technology offers a News & Views piece outlining the work done by the team in the same journal issue. More information: Benjamin E. R. Snyder et al. The active site of low-temperature methane hydroxylation in iron-containing zeolites, Nature (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nature19059AbstractAn efficient catalytic process for converting methane into methanol could have far-reaching economic implications. Iron-containing zeolites (microporous aluminosilicate minerals) are noteworthy in this regard, having an outstanding ability to hydroxylate methane rapidly at room temperature to form methanol. Reactivity occurs at an extra-lattice active site called α-Fe(II), which is activated by nitrous oxide to form the reactive intermediate α-O; however, despite nearly three decades of research, the nature of the active site and the factors determining its exceptional reactivity are unclear. The main difficulty is that the reactive species—α-Fe(II) and α-O—are challenging to probe spectroscopically: data from bulk techniques such as X-ray absorption spectroscopy and magnetic susceptibility are complicated by contributions from inactive ‘spectator’ iron. Here we show that a site-selective spectroscopic method regularly used in bioinorganic chemistry can overcome this problem. Magnetic circular dichroism reveals α-Fe(II) to be a mononuclear, high-spin, square planar Fe(II) site, while the reactive intermediate, α-O, is a mononuclear, high-spin Fe(IV)=O species, whose exceptional reactivity derives from a constrained coordination geometry enforced by the zeolite lattice. These findings illustrate the value of our approach to exploring active sites in heterogeneous systems. The results also suggest that using matrix constraints to activate metal sites for function—producing what is known in the context of metalloenzymes as an ‘entatic’ state—might be a useful way to tune the activity of heterogeneous catalysts.last_img read more

Dozens of new ultradiffuse galaxies discovered in Abell 2744

first_img Citation: Dozens of new ultra-diffuse galaxies discovered in Abell 2744 (2017, January 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-01-dozens-ultra-diffuse-galaxies-abell.html © 2017 Phys.org UDGs are extremely-low-density galaxies. The largest UDGs have sizes similar the Milky Way but have only about one percent as many stars as our home galaxy. The mystery of UDGs is still baffling scientists as they try explain why these faint but large galaxies are not ripped apart by the tidal field of their host clusters. Furthermore, it is not clear what fraction of UDGs are “failed” giant luminous galaxies, “inflated dwarfs,” or some other phenomenon.Abell 2744 is a giant galaxy cluster located nearly 4 billion light years away in the Sculptor constellation. It is one of the most massive and most disturbed galaxy clusters known to date. Its intracluster light fraction is high and its stellar population consistent with the disruption of luminous galaxies, which makes it an excellent location to search for UDGs.That is why a team of researchers led by Steven Janssens of the University of Toronto, Canada, has investigated Abell 2744 using data obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Frontier Fields (FF) program. FF is known for producing the deepest images to date of galaxy clusters and gravitational lensing. The analysis of FF data allowed the astronomers to distinguish dozens of new UDGs in this giant galaxy cluster.”We report the discovery of a large population of ultra-diffuse galaxies in the massive galaxy cluster Abell 2744 (z= 0.308) as observed by the Hubble Frontier Fields program,” the researchers wrote in the paper.As a result, the team detected 76 new UDGs—41 in the cluster field and 35 in the parallel field. They also estimated the total number of UDGs that Abell 2744 contains. According to the paper, given the fact that the analyzed data from the observations samples only a small portion of the galaxy cluster, there should be approximately 2,100 ultra-diffuse galaxies in Abell 2744. The researchers noted that this is 10 times the number of UDGs that exist in a similar cluster known as Abell 1656 (or Coma Cluster).”Abell 2744 hosts an estimated 2133±613 UDGs, 10 times the number in Coma,” the paper reads.The research also allowed the scientists to estimate the number of ultra-compact dwarf (UCD) galaxies in Abell 2744. According to their calculations, there are about 385 UCDs in the galaxy cluster.The researchers concluded that some UCDs in Abell 2744 may have once been nuclei or satellites of infalling UDGs, noting that the latter are ultimately destroyed by tidal forces. “As UDGs fall in and dissolve (and, presumably, blend into the intra-cluster light), they leave behind a residue of unbound, but long-lived UCDs,” the team wrote. (Phys.org)—Astronomers have found a total of 76 new ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs) in the massive galaxy cluster designated Abell 2744 (also known as Pandora’s Cluster). The discovery updates the current census of galaxies in this cluster and could help better understand the nature of UDGs in general. The findings were presented in a paper published Dec. 30 on arXiv.org. Explore further More information: Ultra-diffuse and Ultra-compact Galaxies in the Frontier Fields Cluster Abell 2744, arXiv:1701.00011 [astro-ph.GA] arxiv.org/abs/1701.00011AbstractWe report the discovery of a large population of Ultra-diffuse Galaxies (UDGs) in the massive galaxy cluster Abell 2744 (z=0.308) as observed by the Hubble Frontier Fields program. Since this cluster is ~5 times more massive than Coma, our observations allow us to extend 0.7 dex beyond the high-mass end of the relationship between UDG abundance and cluster mass reported by van der Burg et al. 2016. Using the same selection criteria as van der Burg et al. 2016, A2744 hosts an estimated 2133 +/- 613 UDGs, ten times the number in Coma. As noted by Lee & Jang 2016, A2744 contains numerous unresolved compact objects, which those authors identified predominantly as globular clusters. However, these objects have luminosities that are more consistent with ultra-compact dwarf (UCD) galaxies. The abundances of both UCDs and UDGs scale with cluster mass as a power law with a similar exponent, although UDGs and UCDs have very different radial distributions within the cluster. The radial surface density distribution of UCDs rises sharply toward the cluster centre, while the surface density distribution of the UDG population is essentially flat. Together, these observations hint at a picture where some UCDs in A2744 may have once been associated with infalling UDGs. As UDGs fall in and dissolve, they leave behind a residue of unbound ultra-compact dwarfs. Hubble Frontier Fields view of Abell 2744. Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz, M. Mountain, A. Koekemoer, and the HFF Team (STScI). ‘Pandora’s Cluster’ seen by Spitzer This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Putting Sindh on capital stage

first_imgDelhi is set to experience a cultural treat as Department of Art, Culture, and Languages, Government of Delhi along with Sindhi Academy is up with the four-day Sindhi Drama Festival 2014. In a bid to provide new direction to Sindhi Theatre, Vichhoo, a major production of The Impostures of Scapin by French playwright Moliere and Muhinji Zaat, a Sindhi translation of Jat Hi Puchho Sadhu Ki will be featured at the festival. Vichhoo is directed by the actor-director-critic Manohar Khushalani. The play in Sindhi, is translated by Mohini Hingorani, from Moliere’s Les Fourberies de Scapin (The Impostures of Scapin), enacted for the first time in 1671.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The story of Vichhoo revolves around two young men, Kanu and Mohan who take the advantage of their fathers’ absence and fall in love with unlikely and penniless beauties. Kanu has secretly married Khimya and Mohan has secretly fallen in love with Mira and both need money to help solve their dilemmas. But their fathers, Motumal and Hardasmal, return from a trip with their own marriage plans for their respective sons.Vadhu, after hearing many pleas for help, comes to the rescue of the young romantics. The final scene of the first act is a vaudeville/music hall version of Molière’s famous scene in which Vadhumal spins a yarn of kidnapping, foreigners and ransom. No one knows who Khimya and Mira really are.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThere is a final chase and dance among all the participants, which, inevitably, becomes the raucous, delightful curtain call. The other play Muhinji Zaat which is to be staged, is a comedy which specialises in churning out educated illiterates. The play is a Sindhi translation of famous Marathi playwright Vijay Tendulkars’s famous comedy Pahije Jatiche from Vasant Deo’s Hindi translation Jat Hi Puchho Sadhu Ki by Asha Bhatia.  It is perhaps the first Sindhi performance of Vijay Tendulkar in Delhi directed by Prakash Bhatia. The play is an attempt to bring before the audience a different kind of comedy which is seldom tried in Delhi’s Sindhi theatre circle.When: 17-20 AprilWhere: Sri Ram Center for Art and Culture Timing: 6:30 PM onwardslast_img read more

A win wouldve been nice Steve Smith

first_imgHe was aiming for a win but Australian cricket captain Steve Smith on Tuesday said he was not too disappointed with the draw against India in the third cricket Test as it proved just enough to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy. The hosts won back the trophy with their 2-0 lead going into the final Test in Sydney. Australia had finished their second innings at 318/9 at lunch and set India a target of 384 runs.The visitors finished at 174/6 with R Ashwin and Mahendra Singh Dhoni holding ground. The Indian skipper later announced his retirement from Test cricket. “It would have been nice to have won, that’s for sure. But it’s very satisfying to win the series and reclaim the trophy again. We had lost badly the last time but it was obviously in completely different conditions in India. We still have a lot of work to do in those conditions. We do play very well in our own backyard. It’s nice to have that trophy back now and hopefully the next time we go back to India, we can do a better job over there,” said Smith. Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for JadejaAustralia delayed their declaration in the morning, thanks to rain. It allowed Shaun Marsh to close on to a hundred but he couldn’t finish the job as he was run-out on 99. “It was obviously very disappointing for him. I ran out a message about 20 minutes earlier and said ‘you have got until lunch’. I think that’s when he started to go after the bowlers a little bit. I changed my mind a couple of times about the declaration. I wasn’t quite sure when to pull out. But I didn’t really want to give India a crack with the batsmen they had in the shed and how good that wicket was,” Smith added.When asked if the close Adelaide run-chase played on to the decision for delaying declaration, Smith said, “A little bit. I think the wicket out here was much better than Adelaide. At least that pitch broke up and spun a lot, which created opportunities there. We certainly didn’t have that out here. It was a very good wicket to bat on and we didn’t want to give them an opportunity.”last_img read more

Death anniversary of Shyama Prasad Mookerjee observed

first_imgKolkata: For the first time, the Mamata Banerjee government has decided to observe the death anniversary of Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee on Saturday. Ministers Firhad Hakim and Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay would attend the programme before Mookerjee’s bust at South Kolkata’s Keoratala crematorium, according to the formal invite issued by the Information and Cultural Affairs Department. Chattopadhyay said Mookerjee would never have approved the BJP’s communal agenda for the sake of getting political mileage. “The way BJP is bringing religion into the political arena, and indulging in the politics of polarisation to create an atmosphere of hatred, and gain political mileage, I don’t think Shyama Prasad would have approved all this,” he said.last_img read more

15yearold boy found murdered in vacant plot

first_imgA 15-year-old boy was found murdered in a vacant plot of land in North-east Delhi’s Harsh Vihar area on Monday evening.According to the police, the deceased boy has been identified as Raza. The incident came to light on Sunday evening when he went missing after he went to walk outside his house after dinner in the I block of the Sunder Nagri colony. His family started searching for him frantically and informed the nearby police station. On Monday at around 4.30pm, a relative spotted Raza’s body in a vacant plot of land near the Jail Road and informed his parents. Also Read – Man arrested for making hoax call at IGI airportRaza’s father, Bhura, is a wholesale fruit seller. Raza is survived by his parents and four brothers and three sisters and was the eldest amongst them. Raza used to study in class IV of a local private school. Raza’s father said that he studied in a government school upto class V but was later shifted to the private school near their house. “I wanted my son to study in an English medium school so I shifted Raza to the private school near our house. However, the school authorities denied him admission in class VI because of bad academic background so he was made to start his studies from class I in this school,” said Bhura.He added that Raza’s neck was tied with a rope and his face was completely smashed. After his body was found by their relative, Raza’s family informed the police which took his body to a nearby hospital.last_img read more

Remove thick bituminous overlay from all bridges PWD

first_imgKolkata: State Principal Secretary, Public Works Department (PWD), Arnab Roy has directed executive engineers of all divisions to remove thick bituminous overlay if any from the bridges and flyovers and submit an action taken report within 10 days.Directions have further been issued to the engineers to clear all vegetation from the bridges and its undersides including tree roots.”After inspection, we have stumbled upon thick bituminous overlay on a number of bridges which is more than the design parameter. This may result in subsidence of the portion where this overlay has been found. So we Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifehave directed engineers of all divisions to make sure that the bridges conform to thedesign parameters,” a senior official of the state PWD said.The executive engineers of all divisions will remove the super-imposed dead load on these bridges and flyovers. According to the directions issued by Arnab Roy, Principal Secretary of PWD, thework of removing the bituminous overlay as well as the vegetation in the bridges including tree roots should be done with immediacy and a report in this regard should be sent to the joint secretary (Roads) within 10 days. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt may be mentioned that the state PWD department has already undertaken repair works of as many as 15 bridges that have been labeled as severely distressed after a thorough inspection that had followed after the cave-in of a portion of the Majerhat bridge on September 4.It may be mentioned that the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) has already constituted an Advisory Committee for monitoring the health of the bridges in the city.It has prepared a list of 15 bridges that need structural health audit on a priority basis. The list includes Dhakuria Bridge connecting Golpark with Dhakuria, Bijon Setu connecting Gariahat with Kasba, Aurobindo Setu connecting Gouribari with Ultadanga, Chetla Bridge connecting Kalighat with Chetla, Kalighat Bridge connecting Kalighat with Gopalnagar, Durgapur Bridge connecting New Alipore with Chetla, Ultadanga Flyover connecting EM Bypass with VIP Road, Sukanta Setu connecting Jadavpur with Santoshpur, Bankim Setuconnecting Howrah Maidan with Howrah Station, Chingrighata flyover connecting EM Bypass with Salt Lake, Sealdah flyover, Bridge Number 4 on Park Circus rail line, Jibanananda Setu near Jadavpur police station and the arch type bridge at Karunamoyee in Tollygunge.State Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim has himself visited more than 10 of these bridges.last_img read more

4yearold boy falls from pool car remains unhurt

first_imgKolkata: Two traffic sergeants rescued a 4-year-old boy who fell from a pool car while travelling home from school on Darga Road on Friday.Police said traffic sergeants — Raj Vijay Banerjee and Suman Mukherjee — were on duty in the area. They went to the spot as soon as the matter came to their notice and rescued the boy. The incident took place on Darga Road at Beniapukur. The boy, who is a nursery student, was travelling in a Maruti Omni car. Its sliding door somehow opened when the driver applied a sudden brake and the boy fell down from the car. The boy, however, remained unhurt. He was later handed over to his parents, who didn’t lodge any complaint against the pool car. The car has been intercepted by the police.last_img

Some instigated farmers to cultivate wheat in Murshidabad

first_imgKolkata: Asish Banerjee, the state Agriculture minister, in the state Assembly said there are some who have instigated farmers to cultivate wheat in Murshidabad, where it is restricted due to wheat blast disease.The minister attacked CPI(M) MLA from Domkal, Anisur Rahman alleging that the latter ‘instigated farmers’. In reply to a question of Rahman, Banerjee said necessary steps have been taken to support farmers where wheat cultivation is not possible for two years. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that cultivation of wheat is not possible in Nadia and Murshidabad for two years due to wheat blast. The Agriculture minister further said: “In such a situation Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken necessary steps to support the farmers. Seeds for alternate farming were distributed among them free of cost so that they can cultivate mustard, pulses etc when wheat cultivation is not possible.” He added that there was restriction on wheat cultivation for 2017-18 and 2018-19 agriculture period — ‘krishi barsha’. Now, the experts will assess the situation and inform us from when wheat cultivation can be resumed. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIn reply to another question by MLA Samir Kumar Jana, the Agriculture minister said: “The cultivation of food grains has increased in the state. While it was 1.82 crore tonne in 2017-18 ‘krishi barsha’, the figure stood at 1.75 crore tonne in 2016-17.” He maintained that the cultivable land has also been increased in Bengal with the various steps taken by the state government. Citing an example, the minister said around 1,000 bigha of land has been made suitable for cultivation only in Balurghat. The state government has ensured proper irrigation facilities and made other necessary arrangements to increase cultivable land in the state. The minister informed the Assembly that the state government also provides with the farmer’s share of crop insurance. In reply to a question related to crop insurance for farmers in North Bengal, Banerjee said the same has been given for farmers in Darjeeling, Kalimong, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, Cooch Behar, Malda, North and South Dinajpur.last_img read more

WBSEDCL receives Central Board of Irrigation and Power award

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) has received the Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) Award for ‘Best Performing Power Distribution Utility’ during the celebration of CBIP Day on January 4.Rajesh Pandey, CMD, WBSEDCL received the award from RK Singh, minister of state, Independent Charge Power and New & Renewable Energy at a programme held in New Delhi. The award has been conferred on WBSEDCL in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the nation by providing reliable and cost-effective electricity to its customers for industrial and overall economic development through optimisation of available resources in the distribution sector. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalA press statement issued by the CPRO WBSEDCL, Biswarup Mukherjee said: “This is yet another jewel in WBSEDCL’s crown, an appreciation of endeavour to reach quality power and better service to consumers across the state. It may be mentioned that WBSEDCL earlier in December last year received an award for ‘one of the best innovations’ for ‘Energy storage through Hydro’ at IPPAI Power Awards, organised by the Independent Power Producers Association of India (IPPAI) at Belgaum in Karnataka. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe award was conferred on WBSEDCL for it’s innovation and sustainability at the 900 MW Purulia Pumped Storage Project (PPSP) and its futuristic approach for the upcoming 1,000MW Turga Pumped Storage Project and proposed 900MW Bandu Pumped Storage Project. Both Turga and Bandu projects are coming up in Purulia, adjacent to the site of the pumped storage project. WBSEDCL also bagged the prestigious SKOCH Award Energy Silver in December last year for Purulia Pumped Storage Hydel Project. The awards are in recognition of the pioneering projects undertaken by WSEDCL to provide 24×7 quality and uninterrupted power supply to over 1.85 crore valued consumers. This is yet another achievement of West Bengal power sector.last_img read more