No. 95

June 2014

Headline News Innovation and Development

Applied Technology

Basic Science


Bioscience Exchanges with Hong Kong Brief News Geoscience Activities of CAS Leaders
Headline News

TWAS Officer's Meeting Held in Beijing
Strategies for Future Five Years Discussed

Officer's Meeting for the World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS) was held in Beijing on April 15. Prof. Bai Chunli, President of CAS and TWAS chaired the meeting. TWAS Treasurer Prof. Mohammed Hassan, TWAS Secretary General Prof. Ajay Sood and TWAS Executive Director Prof. Romain Murenzi participated in the meeting. 14 items on the meeting agenda were discussed, including the program for 2014 TWAS General Meeting, TWAS prizes, TWAS funding and TWAS Development Strategies for the next 5 years. With regard to the selection of TWAS Members, Bai urged attention to applicants from developing countries where the number of TWAS members is limited. Bai also emphasized sound management of the funding and stressed the importance of increasing income and decreasing expenditure. 

GRC Annual Meeting 2014 Held

The 3rd Annual Meeting of the Global Research Council (GRC) was held 26 – 28 May in Beijing. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was present at the meeting and addressed the opening ceremony. He said in a time of strategic opportunities, China needs to deepen the system reform, activate innovation, boost creativity and encourage entrepreneurship. Li said that only by expanding an open platform can everyone enjoy the benefits of science and technology . All countries should promote the sharing and communication of science in different ways to maximize the value of science for the wellbeing of mankind. Before the meeting, the Premier met with attendants: Prof. Peter Strohschneider, Chair of GRC Governing Board and President of German Research Foundation, Ms Janet Walden, Chief Operating Officer of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Dr. France Córdova, Director of National Science Foundation of the United States of America. During the Meeting, the participants endorsed a high-level Statement of Principles and Actions – Shaping the Future: Supporting the Next Generation of Researchers – appealing to global science community for supporting young scientists to promote the healthy development of scientific research and international scientific cooperation. Prof. Bai Chunli, President of CAS, was elected Chair of the governing board of GRC.

Great Step Forward in Activation and Conversion of Methane

The efficient conversion of methane, which is the main component of natural gas, requires a process wherein the first C-H bond of methane is activated, and the methane is selectively converted to useful chemicals while minimizing CO2 emisson and coke deposits. Many methods have been developed for the activation and conversion of methane with varying degrees of success, but so far, none has been viable as industrial-scale processes. The efficient activation and conversion of methane at the industrial-scale thus remains an important challenge in energy research. A team at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics led by Prof. Bao Xinhe has recently developed a promising new catalyst that gives a high conversion rate of methane to ethylene, aromatics (benzene and naphthalene), and hydrogen under non-oxidative conditions. The results of their work were presented in the May 9th issue of Science. With this catalyst, which consists of lattice-confined single iron sites embedded within a silica or silicon carbide matrix, methane is converted to methyl radicals. Then, methyl radicals undergo a series of gas-phase reactions to produce products. A single pass conversion of methane reaches 48.1%, and the total selectivity to ethylene and aromatics exceeds 99%, with the selectivity to ethylene of 48.4%. This method developed by Bao et al. avoids the energy-intensive syngas generation of conventional natural gas utilization processes. Moreover, the method leads to very few or none-emission of CO2 and coke. The research effort by Bao et al. described in the most recent issue of Science involved a series of in-situ experiments at the Shanghai Synchrontron Radiation Facilities, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and density functional theory (DFT) simulations, which allowed for the elucidation of the catalyst structure and insights into the underlying reaction mechanism.

Other Issues
Ninety-forth Issue (April 2014)
Ninety-third Issue (February 2014)
Ninety-second Issue (December 2013)
Ninety-first Issue (October 2013)
Ninetieth Issue (August 2013)
Eighty-ninth Issue (June 2013)
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Eighty-sixth Issue (February 2013)
Eighty-fifth Issue (December 2012)
Eighty-forth Issue (October 2012)
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Eighty-first Issue (April 2012)
Eightieth Issue (February 2012)
Seventy-ninth Issue (December 2011)
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Sixty-seventh Issue (December 2010)

Sixty-sixth Issue (October 2009)
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Fifty-sixth Issue (February 2008)

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