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l’actualité chimique canadienne canadian chemical news ACCN

January | janvier • 2008 • Vol. 60, No./no 1

Economics and Business Management The Winning Formula

Power and Pitfalls

Responsible Care® Ethic

Industrial Chemistry at CSC 2008 CIC Economics and Business Management Division

Higher Ground CSChE 2007 Conference

NEW Industrial Briefs


january | janvier • 2008 • Vol. 60, No./no 1

A publication of the CIC | Une publication de l’ICC

Ta bl e o f C o n t e n t s | Ta bl e d e s m a t i è r e s

Guest Column Chroniqueur invité . . . . . . 2 Taking the Lead David W. Colcleugh, MCIC

Ar ticles


The Winning Formula


Higher Ground


United by Division


Across the Spectrum


Power and Pitfalls

letters lettres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

News Nouvelles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Industrial Briefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Asha Parekh, MCIC

Chemfusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Joe Schwarcz, MCIC

Recognition reconnaissance . . . . . . . .


careers carrières . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Events Événements . . . . . . . . . . . .


Sticking to a company’s traditional strengths could be the best strategy for operating a successful­ business. Lambros Antoniou and Ann McRae

Doing the right thing is gutsy and comes at a cost. Are those who practice the Responsible­ Care® ethic up to the challenge of reaching for even higher standards? Brian Wastle

Back by popular demand, the CIC economics and business management division experiences a revival, uniting scientists and engineers alike. Beatrice T. Ngatcha, MCIC

A prelude to the industrial chemistry symposium from the CSC 2008 conference co-chair. Gerard Tertzakian, FCIC

Patent guidelines to help companies protect their business operations and garner a competitive­ advantage in the biofuels market Jeremy Lawson, MCIC

Guest Column Chroniqueur invité

Taking the Lead David W. Colcleugh, MCIC


e have entered a new year! It’s a time for reflection and new beginnings—a time for leadership. What differentiates role model leaders from all of the rest of us has been a subject for many observers, practitioners, and academics. I have been very fortunate to know many exceptional leaders over the years. They have been in business organizations in the broadest sense—academia, profit, and non-profit—at all hierarchical levels. I have learned much from them, and I have developed my own version of the definition of a role model leader. Leaders are not born. Leadership is a learned set of skills, character attributes, and behaviours. The best leaders know that character trumps personality, which is not to say certain personality traits are not important, but I have known some great leaders whose personalities were challenging! I’ve also known some smooth personalities who had little vision and even less ability to inspire. Leaders who are most effective and admirable are those who differentiate themselves through their highly developed ethical values. This character attribute starts with beliefs they hold to be true and enduring. This set of beliefs becomes a philosophy of life and then a set of principles that guide every action they take. These core values focus on service, integrity, and concern for people. A learned trait that differentiates the leader from the rest of us is the ability to think broadly and completely at all levels of thought. This disciplined way of thinking begins at the highest levels of thought—belief, philosophy, and principle. When leaders live and work at this level, they can more effectively move to levels of thought that provide direction. They can then direct groups, teams, and complex organizations in a way we often call vision, mission, and strategy. Leaders who learn to think at these conceptual levels continually produce dreams, themes, and ideas for positive change.

  L’Actualité chimique canadienne janvier 2008

The leader is passionate about change at a personal or organizational level. “If it’s not broken, fix it anyway.” Leaders use frameworks, visual models and words to clarify and expand these ideas and to communicate ideas to others. Effective leaders communicate often, with energy and confidence. Leaders cannot hope to influence people to make change without ongoing, quality communication. Their messages are best delivered with empathy and with a shared purpose as the goal. The most important and challenging communication is between the agent of change and those who are (at least initially) skeptical. The leader learns to navigate the ambiguous territory of welcoming new ideas, while remaining confident in the direction he/she advocates. Surpassing the levels of values and direction is the level called “action.” There are those who say leaders are not accountable for seeking results and taking action, and that this is the clear role of managers. This is not true. Those who provide direction and leave action to others are not leaders. The roles of leadership and managership are different, but complementary. Leading is taking action and getting results through influence. Managing is using authority to get results. The role model leaders I have known differentiate themselves by their ability to learn to think effectively in a disciplined manner at all levels of thought. And to develop a set of complementary skills, character attributes, and behaviours. A role model leader’s behaviour is always purposefully directed at satisfying the needs of others—not at satisfying the ego or reactively imposing upon others. In this new year, early in the 21st century and in our state of unrest, the world needs more thoughtful and disciplined business people to take the lead. Why not you?

David W. Colcleugh, MCIC, is retired chair,

Managing Editor/directrice de la rédaction Heather Dana Munroe Graphic Designer/Infographiste Krista Leroux Editorial Board/Conseil de rédaction Joe Schwarcz, MCIC, chair/président Cathleen Crudden, MCIC John Margeson, MCIC Milena Sejnoha, MCIC Bernard West, MCIC Editorial Office/Bureau de la rédaction 130, rue Slater Street, Suite/bureau 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 613-232-6252 • Fax/Téléc. 613-232-5862 • Advertising/Publicité Subscription Rates/Tarifs d’abonnement Non CIC members/Non-membres de l’ICC : in/au Canada CAN$55; outside/à l’extérieur du Canada US$55. Single copy/Un exemplaire CAN$8 or US$8. L’Actualité chimique canadienne/Canadian Chemical News (ACCN) is published 10 times a year by the Chemical Institute of Canada / est publié 10 fois par année par l’Institut de chimie du Canada. Recommended by the Chemical Institute of Canada, the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, and the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology. Views expressed do not necessarily represent the official position of the Institute, or of the societies that recommend the magazine. Recommandé par l’Institut de chimie du Canada, la Société canadienne de chimie, la Société canadienne de génie chimique et la Société canadienne de technologie chimique. Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement la position officielle de l’Institut ou des sociétés qui soutiennent le magazine. Change of Address/Changement d’adresse Printed in Canada by Gilmore Printing Services Inc. and postage paid in Ottawa, ON./ Imprimé au Canada par Gilmore Printing Services Inc. et port payé à Ottawa, ON. Publications Mail Agreement Number/ No de convention de la Poste-publications : 40021620. (USPS# 0007-718) Indexed in the Canadian Business Index and available on-line in the Canadian Business and Current Affairs database. / Répertorié dans la Canadian Business Index et accessible en ligne dans la banque de données Canadian Business and Current Affairs. ISSN 0823-5228

president, and CEO of DuPont Canada Inc. He currently serves on a number of boards of directors and is professor of leadership development in the University of Toronto’s faculty of engineering.

News Nouvelles

letters lettres

What Tangled Webs We Weave I was heartened to see your editorial on Web references in the October 2007 issue of ACCN. I have had the fortune of employing summer students the past couple of years and have been extremely happy with their work. At the end of their terms with me, they write a report documenting their research. I have been disappointed to see that Wikipedia and other on-line sources have started to make up the bulk of the referenced material, despite the availability and applicability of information in the open literature. The more shocking occurrence is that when I bring this matter to the attention of the students, they do not appear to find this to be a problem. I can only assume that in spending years in academia and now in research I have had the importance of peer-review drilled into me—something that an undergraduate has not yet experienced. The Internet can be a valuable resource, with some thought and common sense. Thank you for bringing the issue of Web references to a larger audience. Hopefully people will think critically about the information they are receiving and evaluate the source before using it as a reference. Royale S. Underhill, MCIC

News Nouvelles

Rise in R&D Spending Statistics Canada has reported a rise in research and development spending. While there was no increase between 2005 and 2006, spending in 2007 rose 2.7 percent. A total of $15.8 billion was dedicated to industrial R&D spending compared to the $15.4 billion the previous year. Statistics Canada

Which element is which? Students from the West Humber Collegiate Institute­ are put to the test in the chemical forensics competition at the 18th Annual Engineering and Science Olympics­.

18th Annual Engineering and Science Olympics More than 1,000 students from 55 high s c h o o l s a c ro s s O n t a r i o t rave l l e d t o McMaster­ University to participate in the 18th Annual Engineering and Science­ Olympics. Students participated in a variety­ of competitions, some of which required advanced preparation including the Egg High Jump and Mechanical Transporter. A new event in chemical forensics was introduced. Three mini-competitions tested students’ knowledge of chemistry. Other popular competitions included the Physics Paper Triathlon, Software Engineering C h a l l e n g e, M e n t a l G y m n a s t i c s, a n d Engineering­ Jeopardy­. Competition winners shared $20,000 in McMaster tuition awards. Teachers also participated in a special bridge-building competition, and the winning teacher took home $7,000 in tuition fees for students. There were also opportunities during the Open House for students to experience engineering and science in a less competitive way. Campus tours and departmental displays and demonstrations were hosted by McMaster­’s

Let’s Talk Science partnership program, Engineering and Management, Engineering and Society, McMaster Engineering Society, and Engineers Without Borders, to name a few. Further information on the events and results can be found at www.eng.mcmaster. ca/engineering1/olympics/. McMaster University

Dalton Teams Up for RiboSwitch Technology Dalton Medicinal Chemistry and BioRelix, pioneers in the discovery and development of RiboSwitch-based therapeutic agents, have jointly announced a research collaboration to discover new therapeutics. Dalton Medicinal Chemistry will utilize their proprietary insights to design and synthesize several novel classes of compounds against selected RiboSwitch targets. BioRelix will advance these compounds using their cutting-edge battery of biological assays and thorough knowledge of RiboSwitch drug discovery and development. Dalton Pharma Services

january 2008 Canadian Chemical News  

News Nouvelles

Harmonizing Chemical DuPont Collaborates on Nanocrystalline Regulations— Hybrid Business-Friendly?

Biophage Fights Deadly MRSA Bacteria

A study released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says that a security and prosperity partnership (SPP) regulatory agreement signed at Montebello sets Canada on course toward a single North American regime for regulating industrial chemicals. The study concludes that this will almost certainly weaken the existing Canadian regulatory system and erode policy autonomy. The study, by the centre’s executive director, Bruce Campbell, reveals that a sub-agreement on chemicals regulation was signed at Montebello, but was not publicized after the Montebello summit and was not posted on the Canadian government Web site. The subagreement commits the three NAFTA countries to harmonizing chemicals regulation in testing, research, information gathering, assessment and risk management as much as possible by 2012. It also commits the three governments to work toward a single North American voice in international standard-setting bodies. Given existing power realities, that means an American voice, according to the study. The chemicals agreement follows the advice of the SPP business council, which complained that tougher Canadian regulations were preventing certain U.S. goods from being sold in Canada. Published statements by the federal government in response to the study deny there are any plans to harmonize the chemical regulatory process with the U.S. The government said it is cooperating on chemical regulations and insisted that harmonizing is a completely different concept. Ottawa said the agreement is mostly about information sharing and bestpractice sharing. “Signing this SPP chemicals harmonization agreement is further evidence that the Harper government is moving Canada deeper into the business-friendly U.S. camp and away from the much stronger European system, which takes a safety-first approach to regulation,” said Campbell.

There are rapidly increasing occurrences of life-threatening Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) outbreaks in hospitals and schools across North America. MRSA infections are increasing at an alarming pace. The U.S. government estimates that MRSA sickens more than 90,000 people per year and is responsible for more deaths than AIDS. A review in the November 2007 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases reports that the number of infections increased over 7 percent each year from 1998 to 2003, while the economic burden to hospitals increased by nearly 12 percent annually (from $8.7 billion to $14.5 billion in 2003). Biophage Pharma is a Canadian biotechnology company focused on the development of innovative phage-based products and technologies for the detection, prevention, and control of bacterial infections. Working with its partners, in particular Hôpital Sacré-Coeur de Montréal and Hygie Canada, Biophage Pharma is currently evaluating phages against Staphylococcus, and particularly clinically active MRSA, to create a natural treatment to fight this harmful bacterial pathogen. These natural phages will be used in liquid or in aerosol form for the decontamination of hospital wards and instruments. Different techniques for the production and delivery of concentrated and purified phage preparations are under investigation. This environmentally friendly decontamination process will avoid or limit the use of harsh disinfectants and promise to revolutionize the current methods for cleaning and disinfecting hospital environments, schools, public restrooms, or any high traffic areas. “The combination of our phage treatment and bacterial detection devices will provide an integrated way to combat bacterial contamination allowing rapid detection and decontamination processes to avoid outbreaks. We look forward to 2008 to push forward these technologies and turn them into products for a healthier world,” commented Rosemonde Mandeville, Biophage Pharma president and CEO.

DuPont has announced an alliance with Toronto-based Morph Technologies, Integran Technologies, and PowerMetal Technologies to develop and commercialize a nanocrystalline metal/polymer hybrid. The technology will be used to manufacture extremely lightweight components with the strength and stiffness of metal and the design flexibility and lightweight benefits of highperformance thermoplastics. Morph is a company charged to commercialize Integran’s proprietary nanomaterial technology for automotive applications. Integran is involved in the development of nanomaterials, with business operations in Pittsburgh, PA ,and Toronto, ON. Initial developments will focus on selected applications in the automotive, consumer electronics, and sporting goods markets. Under the agreement, DuPont will lead application development for global customers to bring this innovative technology to market by utilizing its global development, R&D, and customer support centres. The new offering—MetaFuse™ nanometal/polymer hybrids—uses a proprietary process that precisely applies ultra highstrength nanometal to components made of DuPont engineering polymers. This creates lightweight components in myriad, complex shapes with the stiffness of magnesium or aluminum and higher strength. Patented technology in MetaFuse nanometal/polymer hybrids produces metals with grain size 1,000 times smaller than those of conventional metals, according to Gino Palumbo, president of Integran Technologies. This technology directly creates an integral metal cladding with a nanocrystalline grain structure­. “Nano-crystalline nickel or nickel-iron are high-performance metals that are twoto-three times stronger than normal steel and also are significantly harder, with better wear and friction performance,” Palumbo­ said. DuPont Engineering Polymers

Camford Chemical Report

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Biophage Pharma Inc.

News Nouvelles

Oil Sands Over Easy A record number of Members of Parliament turned their attention to Murray Gray, FCIC, on October 25, 2007. Gray lectured on the sustainablility of Alberta’s oil sands to the largest group assembled for the Bacon and Eggheads lecture series. Gray is director of the Imperial Oil-Alberta­ Ingenuity Centre for Oil Sands Innovation at the University of Alberta, where he also holds a Canada Research Chair and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Industrial Research Chair on Advanced Upgrading of Bitumen. He is vice-chair of the Chemical Insitute of Canada (CIC) and a past president of the Canadian­ Society for Chemical Engineering. NSERC’s fifth president, Suzanne Fortier­, FCIC, introduced Gray to an audience hungry­ for knowledge. Gray’s presentation examined the research challenges in developing extraction and upgrading technologies that are efficient, sustainable, and more environmentally friendly. Gray described recent­ discoveries about the molecular character of bitumen and prospects for water-free extraction technologies and for upgrading­

technologies­ that recover energy lost in waste byproducts. Although Canada’s oil sands reserves are huge, current extraction and upgrading technology may limit the potential of the oil sands to become a major source of petroleum for North America. Future plants will not be able to discount environmental costs, nor can they count on abundant water supplies, low natural gas prices, and the ready availability of substantial volumes of conventional crude for blending with oil sands products. The Bacon and Eggheads breakfast lectures­ are organized by the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE) to showcase outstanding Canadian research accomplishments. This prestigious forum represents a unique opportunity for experts in science and engineering to share important findings with some of Canada’s key decision-makers. Its purpose is to provide unbiased insight into topical scientific issues within a non-partisan forum. The series is open to members of the Senate, House of Commons, media, PAGSE, NSERC, government officials, and invited guests.

CERI’s Oil Sands Industry Update How much have costs of oil production escalated? What impact does greenhouse gas emissions legislation have on costs? What are the implications for production levels and timing? The Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) is pleased to announce that answers to these questions and many others are addressed by a new report in its oil sands research series, “Oil Sands Industry Update—Production Outlook and Supply Costs 2007–2027.” CERI has re-calibrated the supply costs for all development systems and compared the updated costs with previous study results. They’ve also added an examination of the greenhouse emissions costs incurred by producers­. To obtain a copy of the report, contact Roxanne Rees at Canadian Energy Research Institute

Chemical Institute of Canada

january 2008 Canadian Chemical News  

News Nouvelles “Our partnerships with innovative, leading scientific societies and sponsors such as ALA are a major reason that FIRST continues to thrive,” said Dean Kamen, FIRST founder and president of DEKA Research and Development Corporation. “Once again, through ALA, the global scientific community has come through for kids interested in science around the world.” According to ALA president Reinhold Schäfer, supporting FIRST simply reflects ALA’s mission to educate scientists and engineers of all ages across all geographical boundaries. ALA seeks to provide a greater understanding of the importance and value of automation technologies in laboratory settings, to advance science and promote education related to laboratory automation by encouraging the study, advancing the science and improving the practice of laboratory automation across industries such as drug discovery and development, clinical diagnostics, food and agriculture, forensics and securities, energy, commodity chemicals and polymers among others. Association for Laboratory Automation

FIRST was founded to inspire an appreciation of science­ and technology in youngsters.

ALA’s FIRST for Kids The Association for Laboratory Automation (ALA) is a worldwide organization representing leaders in all aspects of laboratory automation. It is pleased to announce a $100,000 donation to For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) to support young scientists and engineers around the world. FIRST was founded in 1989 by renowned inventor Dean Kamen. FIRST’s mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders. Combining the excitement of sport with science and technology, FIRST hosts robotics competitions that will reach more than 150,000 young scientists worldwide and engage more than 60,000 scientists, engineers, and other professionals as teachers, mentors, and judges in 2008.

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Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge BioTalent Canada, a national sponsor of the Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge (SABC) program, is pleased to announce the Government of Canada’s funding renewal of the program and the launch of the 2007–2008 challenge. “We are very excited about this,” says Colette Rivet, executive director of BioTalent Canada. “We will be able to reach more students, build on past program successes, and have all regional winners come to Ottawa for a face-to-face national competition in the spring.” The SABC provides high school students with a unique research experience because while working along side a mentor in an actual research facility, students acquire valuable communication skills—essential for success in today’s bio-economy. To date, through the SABC program, approximately 2,856 students have gained a deeper insight into the world of biotechnology, which

helped them form their career paths. “This success is due to the contributions of over 100 partners across the country,” says Mark Lievonen, president Sanofi Pasteur Limited. “This would not be possible without national partners such as HRSDC, the national coordinator, the Canadian Biotechnology Education Resource Centre (CBERC), regional coordinators, numerous local sponsors across the country, and the passion of the teachers and mentors who volunteer their time to give the students hands-on experience in the world of biotechnology.” Since 1994, these annual science competitions, now in 13 regions across the country, have raised awareness among students, educators and the public about biotechnology. Participating students experience real-life research first hand while working along side a mentor and gain valuable communication skills through the competition. For more information on the program visit Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge

Tembec Draws a Refiner Line Tembec announced the successful startup of the new tertiary refiner line at its high yield pulp mill in Chetwynd, BC. The installation of this equipment will increase production by 10,000 ADMT. The capital cost of the project was less than $1 million. “The increased capacity as a result of this startup will enable us to meet the growing demand for our product in the marketplace,” said Yvon Pelletier, executive vice-president and president of the Pulp Group. “As a global leader in the high yield market pulp sector, we are continually improving our operations to ensure our competitiveness and ability to meet market demands.” Tembec is a large, diversified, and integrated forest products company with operations principally located in North America and in France. It is one of the world’s leading market pulp producers. This optimization will raise the total capacity of the company to approximately two million tonnes. Tembec

News Nouvelles

IndustrialBriefs By Asha Parekh, MCIC

National Technology Benchmarks Arrive The new National Technology Benchmarks (NTB) were launched January­ 1, 2008. This initiative is a major step forward for the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT) and the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB) with ramifications for employers, provincial certification boards, and educational agencies across Canada. The goal was to create a series of outcome-based requirements against which private and public educational agencies are measured. In effect, an accredited program offered in Corner Brook will now be assessed against the same requirements as that program offered by an institution in Victoria. The NTB stem from an innovative partnership launched in October 2006 by CCTT and the National Council of Deans of Technology (NCDoT). These benchmarks have been developed through a collaboration involving industry, program advisory committees, and education professionals. The benchmarks were created by over 80 industry experts and their work was assessed by consultants who educate or engage technologists. The general thrust of the consultation was to determine whether the benchmarks adequately describe the skill sets and capabilities of graduate applied science and engineering technologists. Educational agencies will be able to use the NTB to develop programs and obtain invaluable feedback as to the significance of their curriculum. They will, in turn, be able to offer a better product to their students and gain a competitive edge in the post-secondary marketplace. The following is a list of projected milestones: January 2008 Documents posted to Work begins on the development of “technician level” requirements February 2008 Regional information/training sessions planned in colleges­ April 2008 First national accreditations scheduled in Ontario utilizing­ the NTB May 31, 2008 Approval by NCDoT/CCTT of technician level requirements­ This web-based series of technology standards will be available at this month.

Leading Canadian biotechnology company Performance Plants Inc. (PPI) and Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International (AHBFI) have joined forces. They’ve agreed to use drought tolerance biotechnology developed in Canada to help ensure sustainable food production in Africa. PPI chief operating officer Peter Matthewman and AHBFI CEO Florence Wambugu have signed an agreement enabling the foundation to use PPI’s breakthrough Yield Protection Technology (YPT™) in a multi-year project to develop and field test drought-tolerant white maize—an important staple food crop in Africa. YPT works by genetically enabling food plants at an early stage to protect themselves against drought. In standard North American crops, yield has been increased by anywhere from 15 to 26 percent via YPT. This is the first time that Canadian agricultural biotech intellectual property is being transferred to Africa for non-commercial purposes. Wambugu says, “Biotechnology, by putting African solutions into African seeds, enables us to grow more with what we have at a cost we can afford to pay.” Matthewman also noted that YPT provides researchers in Africa with multimillion dollar industry leading technology, which has taken many years to develop. Unlike previous drought tolerance enhancements, YPT does not result in lower seed yield under optimal growing conditions. The project will be jointly conducted with Africa Harvest and partner organizations to develop and field test YPT in countries with some of the harshest agricultural growing conditions on Earth and established bio-safety protocols. “I believe our work will significantly improve white corn yields in sub-Saharan Africa and will demonstrate the effectiveness of PPI’s YPT. This is not only good work, it’s good business,” says Wambugu.

I. J. LeBlond NTB Project Manager

january 2008 Canadian Chemical News  

Chemfusion Joe Schwarcz, MCIC


arth Smart Laundry CD works on the principles of quantum physics, not chemistry.” As you can imagine, that ad caught my eye. I had to have it. So I sent in my $60 and waited. A couple of weeks later, a translucent, plastic disk full of a blue liquid arrived. It was also full of promises. I would never have to use detergents again! All I had to do was drop the disk into the washing machine, and through the miracle of “structured water technology,” it would “activate the laundry water to mimic the cleaning effect of detergent.” There was no mention of what this technology was, exactly, or how it involved quantum physics. I was intrigued. After all, various companies had spent decades working on the chemistry of detergents, concluding that these molecules had to serve a dual purpose. First they had to alter the surface tension of the water, allowing it to flow more readily and penetrate fabrics with greater ease. Then the molecules had to form some sort of link between water and dirt, allowing the dirt to be rinsed away. This required long molecules with one water soluble end and the other end oil soluble. The specific molecular structure was important to ensure that detergents would be biodegradable. And there was the problem of minerals in the water interfering with the action of the detergent, which required the inclusion of “builders” to tie up these minerals. Phosphates were ideal for this job, but presented environmental problems, triggering a search for replacements.

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Ultimately, there is some pretty sophisticated chemistry going on in our washing machines. Could blue liquid sealed in a plastic disk do a better job than the products that had taken PhD chemists decades to develop? Since the pamphlet that accompanied the disk was not very informative, I decided to call the distributor to ask about the technology involved. I spoke to someone who gurgled something about altering the surface tension of the water. When I queried how a liquid sealed in plastic could do this, and what this had to do with quantum physics, he muttered something about the quantum energy stored in the liquid causing water molecule clusters to dissociate, allowing small water molecules to penetrate the fabric. I guess “quantum” is a baffling enough term to mean whatever you want it to mean. Silly stuff, of course. Still, as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So I took a few white t-shirts, rubbed in some backyard dirt, added a few grease stains, and headed for the washing machine. No contest. The disk did exactly what I thought it would do. Nothing. That little experiment failed, but it served at least one purpose. It tuned me in to the existence of similar laundry products and stimulated me to collect a few more of these marvels. One type featured magnets and offered the following curious explanation. “When water or any stream of atoms enters a powerful magnetic field, it physically changes in the same way atoms change when run through particle accelerators used by physicists. Negatively changed oxygen ions are stripped from stable water molecules and are freed to perform a number of tasks.” Gulp! When put to test, the magnetic disks proved to be unattractive. They performed in the same fashion as the blue liquid-filled ones. My next encounter was with GeoWash®, which consisted of three perforated, multi-coloured, plastic balls with some sort of ceramic squares inside. The “scientific” rationale was that “the kinetic energy of these special ceramics with electrical activity creates a process that assists water to clean clothes.” Well, it didn’t clean my clothes very well, but it did clean me out of $50. Next came the Magik Ball®, which was said to emit infrared rays that “partition the hydrogenous combinations of water molecules and reinforce the penetration into fabrics.” Mumbo-jumbo. It also “eliminates the water’s chloric component.” Absurd­. Like GeoWash, the Magik Ball contains bits of

ceramic, this time in the form of beads that “maintain the pH spectrum at the level of a normal chemical detergent.” Incongruous­ twaddle. But not all the claims are nonsense. I’ll buy that the Magik Ball leaves no soap residue and presents no risk of allergy. As far as cleaning goes, it did about as well as plain water. And plain water does a pretty good job, which is why these products can muster testimonials­. Heard enough folly? Well, hang on. The Miracle II Laundry Balls® are simply divine­. Literally. Clayton Tedeton, an American inventor­, claims to have put godliness into cleanliness. Why Miracle II? Because Miracle I was Tedeton being healed of his injuries suffered in an automobile accident by a teleevangelist. And apparently God had a reason for healing Tedeton. He was destined to become a disciple of cleanliness and save the world from toxic cleaning agents by replacing them with spiritually inspired safe ones. As Tedeton relates, one day the formulation for these wonder products was miraculously flashed on his bedroom wall. It seems that heavenly chemistry classes leave something to be desired. Part of the miraculous formula calls for “electrically engineered eloptic energized stabilized oxygenated water.” This, along with mysterious ingredients such as “ash of dedecyl solution” is to be used for impregnating the Miracle II Laundry Balls. Apparently these divinely inspired components can also neutralize cobra venom. Not having a cobra in the house, I couldn’t test that claim. But as far as cleaning goes, God must have more important issues to worry about than laundry products … like the frightening extent of scientific illiteracy. Witness the ABI Laundry Ball®. It claims to “manipulate the electric fields associated with hydrogen and oxygen atoms and form crystals in the shape of electrical keys. These keys fit into locks and bonds of other compounds to dissolve away dirt much like the action of enzymes in the human digestive system.” Gives me indigestion …

Popular science writer, Joe Schwarcz, MCIC, is the director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society. He hosts the Dr. Joe Show on Montréal’s radio station CJAD and Toronto’s CFRB. The broadcast is available on the Web at You can contact him at

Challe ng


orld W g n i g an fo r a C h

8th World Congress of Chemical Engineering Incorporating the 59th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference and the XXIV interamerican congress of chemical engineering

MontrÊal, Quebec, Canada • August 23-27,


The Winning Formula Sticking to a company’s traditional strengths could be the best strategy for operating a successful business.


he best companies always seem to be ahead of the game, and can quickly adapt to changing circumstances. But all too often there is a knee-jerk reaction, with major changes being implemented that are not in the best long-term interests of the company, and which can cause years of grief and even, in worst-case scenarios, the end of the company. Running a chemical company successfully is one of the most challenging problems in all of industry. One would think that a simple criterion would be for a company to stick at what it is traditionally good at. But how many times have we seen companies shedding their traditional businesses, where they have unparalleled expertise, in times of unsatisfactory performance? Efforts to re-engineer the company, diversify outside the traditional territory, cut costs, and restructure, are some of the ways that have

10  L’Actualité chimique canadienne janvier 2008

Lambros Antoniou and Ann McRae been tried with varying degrees of success. Mergers, joint ventures and/or acquisitions/divestments in particular have to be undertaken with great caution. The thinking behind mergers “big is beautiful but gigantic is simply gorgeous,” is fine up to a point, but some companies have grown and diversified to the point when they are unmanageable. Mergers rarely help ailing companies, and can make things worse. Mergers will usually deliver some cost-saving synergies, but these can easily be cancelled out by culture clashes, uncertainty as to the future direction and strategy, and even identity crises. Straight acquisitions are often more successful, where one company can impose its culture and values on another. As far as joint ventures are concerned, some companies are good at them and some are not. Dow and ExxonMobil are averse to joint ventures in their chemicals operations, and prefer wherever possible to go it alone—although ExxonMobil has,

Fashionable expansion Expanding into developing regions of the world in search of new markets and

increasing­ market share is another of those fashions that has been talked about constantly over the past 30 years. Many companies have been predicting that their sales will grow almost exponentially in regions such as Asia. The fact is that regional sales splits now are in most cases not much different than they were years ago (see Figure 1). Investments in developing regions of Asia have been plentiful but with a few exceptions, such as BASF and Shell, many have been small low risk investments. Whether this is due to failure to enter the regions in any big way, or whether it is caution making sure that deeds do not mirror words, is unclear. The risk attached to new regional growth allied with the three global


Globalization—is it really happening?


of necessity, successful joint ventures in the Middle East. Conversely, Shell and BASF like joint ventures, especially with each other, and are usually very successful with them. When companies perform less well than they think they should, one of the first solutions they quickly adopt is a change in strategic direction and portfolio. For some reason, management seem to believe that they can be more successful in a business they are unfamiliar with, rather than the one that they have been running for years. There have been numerous examples of this over the past three decades. In nearly every case the experiment has been unsuccessful, and has even led to the end of the company. To take the examples of the once all powerful “Big Three” in Germany: Hoechst re-invented itself almost out of existence. Bayer is even now in the process of splitting itself up into a number of smaller entities. Only BASF, which has stuck to doing what it knows and does best, is likely to be a long-term survivor. Case studies on Shell, ICI, Hoechst, Rhone Poulenc, Hüls, Quantum, Bayer, and DuPont show how household names in chemicals can shrink or even disappear thanks to a couple of years of strategic uncertainty and bad decisionmaking. Changes of company direction and strategy, meanwhile, can mean that one business may be starved of investment at the expense of another. This has happened countless times in recent years in the chemical industry, where a company may decide to concentrate on a particular area, such as specialty chemicals, but be hesitant about divesting the unwanted sectors, and thus let them deteriorate from lack of investment before selling them. There have also been instances in the oil sector where a company has sold certain refineries­, or even a whole refining business, without considering the effect on adjacent chemical activities. This happened when Texaco sold some of its refineries, when Chevron sold its Port Arthur refinery, and when BP hit Baglan Bay with the closure of Llandarcy. Shell also upset the balance of its U.S. business by selling some refineries that produced petrochemical feedstock, but has gone some way to redressing the balance by purchasing three refineries specifically for chemical feedstock.



Developing regions



Investment choices

1980 13% 2006



19% 100

many world-beating processes it can bring to new projects, especially in developing regions. However, it is very difficult to quantify the value of technology to a competitor, or to deduce how the money spent in R&D over the years is balanced by potential returns, even when licensing income is taken into account. Overall, the companies that seem to be most successful at accessing joint ventures in developing regions such as Asia are those that can bring a leading technology portfolio to the negotiations. What is not clear is whether that leading technology needs to be a proprietary one, or a leading process, which the company has licensed in from a third party. Operational reputation may be as or more important. The lack of a leading gas-phase polyethylene technology of their own did not prevent both Exxon and Mobil becoming the two foreign giants of the Saudi petrochemicals industry in the 1980s and 1990s.

150 200 Total Sales $bn




Sales: Companies included are Akzo Nobel, BASF, Bayer, Dow, DSM, DuPont, ICI, Rhodia/Rhone Poulenc, Shell Chemical, Solvay Assets: Companies included are Akzo Nobel, BASF, Dow, DuPont, Rhodia/Rhone Poulenc, Shell Chemical, Rohm & Haas

Caution is the key. Over the last 26 years, assets held outside North America/Europe have increased only slightly. Even sales to those regions have increased less than expected.

downturns since 1980, and the Asian market fluctuations have made most companies unwilling to buy a pig in a poke. For example, ExxonMobil has chosen to expand in Asia via Singapore where it feels comfortable, rather than committing itself to major investments in more risky countries. In China it has diluted future risk by taking only a 25 percent stake in its proposed petrochemical complex. Dow has avoided any major commitments in Asia (apart from those inherited with Carbide) and is playing it very cautiously where China is concerned. In spite of all the talk, the fact is that companies have not been rushing to build assets in developing regions. Most seem to be favouring a very slow “after you” approach. When a number of companies have very similar portfolios and global reach, the only thing which sets one apart from another is its competence in technology, and how

Picking the wrong place to invest is a key factor in company failure, and is one of the most difficult things to get right. Chemical companies face many choices when it comes to looking for the best returns: • Should they pursue niche regional markets or seek global scale? • Should they stick to products, which can be made from the relatively lower-cost feedstocks like gas, or seek a more balanced portfolio? • How should investment in the low feedstock areas be set against freight costs to the biggest markets? • Should customer loyalty be encouraged by producing the full set of products that the biggest customers want, as opposed to portfolio focusing?

In Brief Acquisitions tend to be more successful than mergers, while joint ventures seem to suit some companies but not others. Companies in trouble often employ a CEO who is new to the business or the company. This often benefits shareholders in the short term at the expense of the company’s longterm future.

january 2008 Canadian Chemical News  11

Developing Chinese companies, for example, are currently very worried about the buildup of ethane-fed crackers in the Middle East. China’s naphtha crackers will never be able to compete economically with these Middle East gas crackers for the ethylene chain products, although there will be no such problems for the higher olefins and aromatics. Yet the cracker to produce these other products produces predominantly ethylene and ethylene derivatives, which will have to compete even within China with the lower cost Middle East imports.

Successful strategy Companies constantly tell the outside world about their strategies, but how many actually implement these strategies successfully? The most successful companies are those that have a long-term strategy and stick to it, and which are very clear about their identity and don’t feel the need to change it periodically. At the other end of the scale are those companies that experience several years of below par performance, followed by an identity crisis and usually a complete strategy change, rather than honestly assessing weaknesses and trying to put them right. The winners over the long term are those companies with a clearly defined strategy based on their core strengths, areas of expertise and natural territory, and that do not allow themselves to be deflected from this strategy by short-term reversals. This article first appeared in Chemistry & Industry­ and was reprinted with permission.

Lambros Antoniou and Ann McRae are directors of industry profiler Chemical Company Profiles, based in London, U.K. For additional information, visit www.


View ACCN back issues at

12  L’Actualité chimique canadienne janvier 2008

Leading from the Top

Successful performers are almost always companies that have brought their senior management through the ranks. Experience shows that the most successful chief executive officers (CEOs) are those who are steeped in the culture of their company and know better than to try to run counter to it. When companies get into trouble, however, one solution is often to pick a CEO who is new to the business or to the company, someone with fresh ideas who will act as a new broom to sweep away old mistakes and put things right. Sometimes this is successful; more often than not it is disastrous. Any attempt to put instant solutions in place that run contrary to the culture and traditions of a long-standing company is doomed to failure, and massive changes cannot rapidly be taken on board. Paradoxically, the whole point of such “curative” moves is that they should produce instant results. The temptation for the new man is to diversify into businesses that are being touted by analysts as “the way forward,” but which are not within the company’s natural territory, nor where it has any track record or experience. The impact of a new CEO is often better for shareholders in the short term, at the expense of the company’s long-term future. In the 1980s, encouraged by consultants and financial institutions, it was fashionable to believe that specialty chemicals were more profitable (wrong) and less cyclical (correct) than the bulk chemical products, and many companies moved into specialties that should never have done so. Later, the consultants had to be called in again to help sort out the resulting mess that their advice had caused. It is difficult to think of a major shift in emphasis by any company in the chemical industry that has been fully successful.

january 2008 Canadian Chemical News  13

Higher Ground Doing the right thing is gutsy and comes at a cost. Are those who practice the Responsible Care® ethic up to the challenge of reaching for even higher standards? Brian Wastle


wenty-five years ago, when the leaders of the companies began their Responsible Care® journey, they saw as mission-critical the need for a radical shift in the ethic of our industry. Their “licence to operate” was in real danger of being revoked if they clung to a credo that continued to evoke public distrust and fear. Their lawyers were initially aghast at the leaders’ new commitment to this ethic of “do the right thing, and be seen to do the right thing,” guided by principles of openness, public accountability, precaution, lifecycle stewardship, exceeding requirements, and constructively engaging in public policy advancement with governments and our critics.

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Pretty revolutionary stuff for Canada in the 1980s. Unthinkable in many other countries. But amazingly, this ethic prevailed, and has spread to the chemical industry in 53 countries around the world. Some might say it has become the new norm. And this has the current leaders of the Canadian chemical industry wondering if the Responsible Care ethic needs to move to even higher ground. Is it up to the task of guiding our industry to adequately address society’s increasingly dominant concerns such as health, climate change, water supply, and globalization? Do we need to rethink how we can be, and be seen as, contributors to sustainability rather

than its enemies—providing solutions rather than compounding problems? The answer is, “yes.” The sustainability of our Canadian industry is also under threat. Investments have significantly shifted to the Middle East, India, and China. Chemical imports to Canada and the U.S. from these regions are growing at the expense of domestic production. Economies of scale can work against our generally smaller Canadian production facilities. Our previous feedstock and energy availability and cost advantages are eroding. Public policy does not always encourage investment here. Do we need to work together under Responsible Care to find innovative ways of meeting these challenges and turning them into opportunities? The answer is, “yes.” After several soul-searching meetings last fall involving the Canada’s Chemical Producers’ Association (CCPA) Board, membership, activist panel, and various committees, as well as sustainability experts, we have concluded that Responsible Care must indeed move to a higher level to better address both aspects of sustainability. We’re starting with the ethic and guiding principles. We agree that while guidance on how to address many of the public’s and the industry’s sustainability concerns is implied in our current statement of ethic and principles, there is a need to more explicitly state the principles that will guide us along new pathways. Subsequently, revisions and additions to the current Responsible Care policies, codes of practice, and our public-peer verification process will likely be needed, but these must flow from the ethic and principles. Our current statement of commitment to the ethic of Responsible Care is shown here. It is re-signed by every CCPA company CEO annually, along with the Codes of Practice and other commitments of Responsible Care. It has been agreed that any new principles, or rewording of existing ones, must drive changes in behaviour and lead to measurable outcomes. They should be inspiring and seen as leading-edge. Some aspects of sustainability have emerged as possible additions in a new version of this ethic statement. They include: • sustainable or green chemistry; • reduction in footprint of operations­ and products­;

The Current Responsible Care® Ethic We are committed to do the right thing and be seen to do the right thing. We are guided towards environmental, societal, and economic sustainability by the following principles: • We are stewards of our products and services during their life cycles in order to protect people and the environment. • We are accountable to the public, who have the right to understand the risks and benefits of what we do and to have their input heard. • We respect all people. • We work together to improve continuously­. • We work for effective laws and standards and will meet or exceed them in letter and spirit. • We inspire others to commit themselves to the principles of Responsible Care. • precautionary principle; • solutions to sustainability challenges; • security; • innovation; • economic contribution; • social responsibility; • proactive improvement of public policy. It has been agreed we will maintain the ethic statement “do the right thing and be seen to do the right thing,” as well as the essence of the current principles related to lifecycle stewardship, accountability, safety, respect, continuous improvement. The pioneers of Responsible Care in the 1980s drew heavily on the input from a broad cross-section of those within and outside our industry to ensure they were not “unclothed emperors.” The new generation of pioneers is also seeking critical feedback as they lead this next phase of Responsible Care.

CCPA thanks the ACCN for this golden opportunity to share our thoughts on the topic of Ethics and Responsibility¸ and to solicit feedback from its thousands of readers as we deliberate over this very timely and relevant topic. Please send me your thoughts on the need for Responsible Care guiding principles and ideas for their content. E-mail me at

Brian Wastle has been the vice-president of Responsible Care® with the Canada’s Chemical Producers’ Association since 1991. Before that, he committed all the sins of the pre-Responsible Care generation while serving in a range of management capacities over his 24 years with Dow Chemical Canada.

january 2008 Canadian Chemical News  15

United by Division

Back by popular demand, the CIC economics and business management division experiences a revival, uniting scientists and engineers alike. Beatrice T. Ngatcha, MCIC


he renewed division of Economics and Business Management (E & BM) is resuming its place and establishing a new role for itself within the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC). This “new life” of the E & BM division has been possible thanks to a group of dedicated members including Allan Gilbert, MCIC (past CSChE director of subject divisions); patent lawyer Jeremy Lawson, MCIC; Matthew Parthun, MCIC (secretary/treasurer); Bernard West (past chair of the CIC); Roland Andersson, MCIC (CIC executive director); and myself. We are proud of what the division has accomplished, however, we still have work ahead. The E & BM division was vibrant in the 1970s and 1980s, but many activities tapered off in the 1990s due in part to the general economic downturn. Today, the division includes about 221 members from various sectors in the chemical industry and the academy. Our current group remains in regular contact and we are working on creating a Web site to generate ideas and enhance discussions on future activities. The E & BM division is open to chemists and chemical engineers in Canada, and it constitutes a powerful means for creating an interactive, national forum. The division can be used to create programs of interest to all as well as to provide platforms for network opportunities. With the general boom in the economy and in particular in the chemical industry, the E & BM division will rise to claim its place as a leading organization that brings together chemists and chemical engineers for business-related discussions. The division is keen to organize activities covering a wide range of topics including business development, marketing, intellectual property, consulting in the chemical industry as well as alternative careers in chemistry and chemical engineering. Ever since we embarked on this journey to give a “new life” to the E & BM division, there have been talks about finding a new and more meaningful name that better reflects the purpose of the division. “Economics and Business

Management” may sound perfectly fine to you or it may not have any meaning at all … Whatever your situation, the division would like to hear from you. The division has consistently had an active presence at both CSC and CSChE national meetings during the past few years and intends to continue to do so in the years to come. The intellectual property workshop at the 90th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition in Winnipeg, MB, was, as in previous years, a great success. The reception organized by the division was well attended and generated interesting discussions among participants. At the 57th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference in Edmonton, AB, the division organized a well attended session on the economics of bio-processes in Canada with prominent speakers in the field. The division will be co-sponsoring­ the symposia on industrial chemistry co-chaired by Gerard­ Tertzakian, FCIC, and Wendy Lam, MCIC, at the 91st Canadian­ Chemistry Conference and Exhibition in Edmonton, AB, in addition to the now traditional intellectual property workshop. Stay tuned for very exciting activities the division is planning for the 58th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference in Ottawa, ON. We hope to see you at these events! And we invite you to join this active division in this new year. Please contact me at bngatcha@

Beatrice T. Ngatcha, MCIC, is the chair of the CIC Economics and Business Management division and a patent agent at Ridout & Maybee LLP. Her practice is directed towards the drafting and prosecution of patent applications, with an emphasis on chemical and biotechnology patent work. She received her PhD in physiology-endocrinology (organic/medicinal chemistry) and also has experience in classical and solid phase organic syntheses and enzyme-catalysed reactions.

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A prelude to the industrial chemistry symposium from the CSC 2008 conference co-chair. 20  L’Actualité chimique canadienne janvier 2008

Gerard Tertzakian, FCIC


hich came first—chemical research or industrial chemistry? It takes but a moment of thought to affirm that the latter was far and away earlier, indeed dating back from prehistoric times. The making of beer and wine, smelting of metals, manufacture of lime to name but very few, were large scale, economically and socially very important industrial chemical processes. I happen to own a French Dictonnaire de Chymie dated 1778. In it there are many descriptions, some of them quite cryptic, of what today we would call industrial processes. But the element oxygen isn’t even mentioned in the book since Lavoisier had not yet declared his seminal discovery. Industrial chemists of the day were successfully producing materials in quantity, but without knowing the fundamentals of what they were doing. Slowly, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, research revealed the reasons why these processes worked. As a result, existing processes were refined to produce products of better quality and yield and many new angles of attack became possible. Today, industrial chemical production and research in the laboratory go hand in hand. This formula now applies equally to products made in large volumes in major manufacturing facilities such as refineries and major pharmaceutical plants, as well as to smaller outputs from the many specialty chemical synthesis laboratories around the world. Chemical industry constitutes a significant portion of Canada’s economy and exports. In Canada there are approximately 1,400 chemical plant establishments. This sector’s ratio of graduate employees is the highest among all industries at around 27 percent according to Canada’s Chemical Producers’ Association’s “Alberta’s Chemical Industry.” The spectrum of Canadian chemical facilities spans from one extreme to other. On the gargantuan end we have, for example, the production of massive amounts of synthetic oil and bitumen from the Alberta oil sands or the electrochemical smelting of metallic aluminum. On the more modest scale, we have a number of pharmaceutical companies manufacturing bulk drugs. And on the miniature side we have many very small research-oriented companies making small molecules and customizing processes for their scaled-up production of these. All chemical enterprises conduct very serious laboratory scale research towards optimizing their processes.

This momentum of innovation and expansion can only be maintained by involvement of various other business, industrial, and academic sectors. Most projects can not be conceived without adequate financing. They all need supplies and services from construction materials to specialized hardware and the trades people that assemble and operate the facilities. Professionals such as accountants and lawyers are an integral part of running these businesses. And of paramount importance are the advanced technical services that can only come from freethinking, research-oriented academia. Such an all-encompassing infrastructure is essential for progress and therefore, competition. A two-day symposium on industrial chemistry is being organized for the 91st Canadian­ Chemistry Conference and Exhibition in Edmonton­, AB. There is a concurrent but separate one-day short course covering aspects of oilfield and oil sands chemistry being organized by the Association of the Chemical Profession of Alberta and the CIC Edmonton Local Section. Topics such as water chemistry and scaling, corrosion and corrosion inhibitors, enhanced oil recovery, and the chemistry of demulsification­ will be considered in depth. The symposium comprises a set of serious presentations covering topics related to the businesses of chemistry. What if a university researcher makes a discovery that has industrial significance? Would it serve the author better if published immediately in an academic journal or if a patent is applied for first and then the disclosed information is published? What is the arrangement between universities and professors regarding patent policy? These early decisions will affect the value of the discovery and its potential for becoming a useful item in the industrial chemistry portfolio. Pursuing this line of thought, the next decision could be whether to commercialize this process or product and if so, how. Should the idea get licensed to a corporation or should a new company be founded by the inventor specifically to license this invention and develop it through to a commercial process? If the latter is preferable, should it be produced by the new company or be licensed out at this later, more value-added stage? When a new company is formed, new requirements arise. First and foremost is financing. In any enterprise, cash is king. Therefore, it is essential to get good advice on how to raise money, whether through a private placement or public offering, and on how to manage­

cash effectively­. Legal and accounting advice­ is needed on matters such as intellectual property­ protection and scientific research and experimental development (SR&ED) claims. Of course, good scientists who are results oriented must join the team. Bearing all this in mind, it is necessary to have managers, boards, professionals, and other advisors who are experienced in running a small business. Thus, the business of chemistry brings together a variety of disciplines like no other venture does. All these needs will be addressed by experts at the CSC 2008. Chemical industry is not just a mercenary pursuit—as is often thought of within the walls of academia and among those who claim that the best interests of a pristine world are forsaken by industrial chemists and corporations. Indeed, chemists are among the most environmentally responsible groups, simply because they understand the basic causes, effects, and remedies involved in ecological interference. Similarly, the vast majority of chemical enterprises are extremely responsible corporate citizens. Today, industrial chemistry spans an extraordinarily broad range of endeavours, from mining and nuclear energy, through agricultural necessities and household aids, to miraculous medications based on complex molecular biology. Without the world’s industrial chemical output and without the university researchers who feed their insatiable need for novel ideas, processes and products, our lifestyle would be compromised significantly. CSC 2008 will highlight a lot of what has been said above. Aside from the industrial chemistry symposia and short course, many more research-oriented presentations will address topics closely related to the basics of industrial­ chemistry. After all, one should never forget the phrase coined many years ago by the American Chemical Society, “What on earth isn’t chemistry?”

Gerard Tertzakian, FCIC, is an organic chemist with experience in businesses related to specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology. He was co-owner and president of Raylo Chemicals Inc (now Gilead Sciences, Inc.) until his retirement in 1994. He was involved in the founding of a number of science and technology-based companies including Innovotech Inc. Through his company Hannibal Ventures Inc, he remains involved in these businesses. He serves on a number of industrial, academic, and civic boards.

january 2008 Canadian Chemical News  21

… intellectual property is a cornerstone to technologybased businesses …

Power and Pitfalls

Patent guidelines to help companies protect their business operations and garner a competitive advantage Jeremy Lawson, MCIC in the biofuels market


iofuels are gathering steam. The technologies that make them and the regulations and economic factors that encourage them have also gained momentum. The Canadian biofuel industry has developed in the past decade, but still has a way to go before bio-derived alcohol, hydrogen, or biodiesel blends are commonly found at the pumps. It is widely agreed that efficient, competitive, and sustainable technologies are pivotal for the continued development and staying ability of the biofuel economy. Accordingly, patents are of crucial significance in this field where R&D is in full bloom.

Patents in the modern economy Intellectual property (IP) is a cornerstone to any business in an emerging technology field. A patent is one type of IP, and it confers an exclusive monopoly right for an invention in a given territory. As such, it enables the patent owner to exclude others from making, using, selling, and constructing the invention for a maximum of 20 years from the patent application filing date. To be patentable, however, the invention must satisfy three basic criteria—novelty, non-obviousness and utility.1 A patentable invention is more than just a desired result, but must include the technical elements of how the result is achieved. In exchange for the patent rights, the inventor has to disclose the elements

22  L’Actualité chimique canadienne janvier 2008

and characteristics of the invention that enable it to function, so that after the expiry of the patent, the general public can freely use and benefit from the technology.

Patentable types of biofuel technologies Biofuel technology is extremely rich in terms of the many different types of inventions that may be protected by a patent. From feedstock to combusted fuel, biofuel production cycles have many steps and bottlenecks where improvements are sorely needed. Primary materials such as plant varieties that have a faster growing cycle, higher sugar, starch, or triglyceride content, or better pest resistance, could enable higher yields per acre. For instance, several soybeanrelated patents have been obtained in the U.S. for new cultivars and varieties that can be used as a more appealing biodiesel feedstock. Superior processing techniques could also help tip the profitability scales of biofuel production. Processes can be improved at many different stages—pre-treatment of feedstocks, reaction steps such as microbeassisted fermentation or transesterification, and separation methods to isolate the biofuel from unwanted by-products. Such improvements could come in the form of effective cellulose-converting enzymes, upscalable methods for producing ethanol or oils from algae or membraneaided separation.

Novel fuel compositions that result in better mileage or fewer emissions are also in demand along with economical analytical techniques and devices for ensuring quality control. As most biofuels combust differently than gasoline and diesel, new combustion engines and related apparatuses could also help high biocontent blends burn safely and efficiently.

Strategies for biofuel companies Given that intellectual property is a cornerstone to technology-based businesses, how should biofuel companies use patents? Though strategies should ultimately be determined on a case-by-case basis, there are some general guidelines and notions to help companies protect their business operations and garner a competitive advantage in the market.

Patent landscape awareness On the one hand, companies involved in producing, blending, distributing, or researching biofuel should be aware of what is patent protected in their field and where development is available. It is often useful to see whether patent applications are being filed at a prolific rate, in what countries they are being filed, and who is seeking protection. Biodiesel technology, for instance, has seen a sharp spike in patent application filings in Canada over the past decade.2 On the other hand, companies not traditionally engaged in the biofuel industry should evaluate whether they own any patented technology that is being used in this field. Patents covering technologies such as transgenic microbes, catalyst structures, separation techniques, chemical additives or analytical methods, for example, that were developed for other applications may be profitably exploited through licensing in the biofuel industry. Other countries including Germany and the U.S. have more mature industry infrastructures. Canada’s relatively late emergence into the realm of biofuels may imply certain disadvantages, but it is not without its benefits. One up-side is that many technological developments have been made and patented abroad while protection was not sought in Canada. Patents are published documents that are enforceable on a country-by-country basis. By conducting patent landscape studies in the U.S. and Germany, Canadian players can obtain information about biofuel technology without

the R&D investment­. It is nevertheless important to make sure that corresponding patents do not exist in Canada before exploiting such technologies. If, however, there is no Canadian counterpart patent, then producers may be free to use those inventions in Canada—or at least build off them to conjure up improvements.

Patents as competitive assets Patents not only have the ability to protect core technologies from copy-cats, they also can be bought, sold, and licensed like tangible property. In burgeoning markets, competition can come from many fronts and a one-dimensional R&D approach may not be the most secure way of protecting technology or operations. Given the many steps from plant or animal to the pump, protecting one’s research and operations at many levels can provide a more solid IP position. Iogen Corporation of Ottawa, ON, has done this by filing for patents for enhanced expression of proteins in genetically modified (GM) fungi, GM microbes for better production of certain enzymes, upstream pretreatment processes for feedstocks, and downstream methods of processing lignocellulosic feedstock to produce ethanol. To be sure, companies holding core technologies in the production of biofuels can solidify­ their position by reinforcing their core patents by patenting complementary technologies. Building a strong patent portfolio can be accomplished­ by internal R&D, but also by acquiring patents from other entities such as universities and firms wishing to divest themselves of a given business unit. Companies with patented technology in neighbouring industries may also want a piece of the pie. PerkinElmer, a leader in analytical tools and a prolific patent filer, claims to have plans to move into the biofuel business, which has experienced quality control issues at times.3 Agricultural giants like Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland have also taken notice and are developing their IP portfolios accordingly. And, of course, traditional players in the petroleum industry will need to evolve by moving toward renewable fuels and patent penetration is a potential tactic for IP-savvy firms. Such companies may expand into the biofuel field with beachhead patents based on adjacent, practical technologies. Whatever the business posturing in the biofuel business, if cellulosic ethanol production

can be perfected or algae can be harnessed to its potential, the patents on such technology may as well be alchemic as far as turning R&D into profits.

Canadian biofuel Canadian companies should be aware of the power and pitfalls of patenting. Biofuel R&D is in full swing and significant patent activity is being observed in Canada as well as in foreign jurisdictions such as Europe and the U.S. In Canada, R&D and patenting efforts should be especially geared to native biomass to solidify Canadian ownership and expertise with regard to Canadian resources. Wider-reaching, core technologies developed in Canada should be patented in jurisdictions where the biofuel will be produced or sold, rather than limiting protection to North America. Collaboration with foreign owners of key, complementary technologies could also accelerate Canadian proficiency and establish future international relationships. Patents are a key component to the modern-day economic machinery, especially in technology-keen industries. Companies in the biofuel industry should assess their intellectual property strategy as the science and economics of biofuels continue to motor along.

References 1. In Canada, the Patent Act and Patent Rules prescribe patent criteria, procedures and formalities. 2. Lawson, Jeremy et al, “The Biodiesel Patent Landscape in Canada,” Biofuel Canada Magazine, Vol. 1, October/November 2007. 3. Ebert, Jessica, “A 60 Year Service,” Chemistry World, September 2007, 4, 5, pp. 64–67.

Jeremy Lawson, MCIC, is an associate at ROBIC, a multidisciplinary intellectual property and business law firm based in Montréal, QC. He is specialized in the drafting and prosecution of patent applications and in providing IP-related opinions in the fields of chemical and process engineering. He is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, the CIC Economics and Business Management Division, and the Conseil Québécois du Biodiésel (CQB). He also presides over the meetings of the Life Science Group of the firm.

january 2008 Canadian Chemical News  23

24  L’Actualité chimique canadienne janvier 2008

The 57th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference


record 1,393 delegates from 20 countries flooded the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, AB, this past October 28 to 31. Conference chair David T. Lynch, FCIC, and vice-chair Fraser Forbes, MCIC, staged a world-class event. The second Oil Sands Conference ran alongside the CSChE 2007, which bolstered the industrial participation. Technical Program co-chairs Murray Gray, FCIC, of the University of Alberta, and Bill Pick, MCIC, of Dow Chemicals Canada organized edifying sessions. Topics focused on research from Canada’s leading experts—bioengineering, fuel cell systems, oil sands, greenhouse gas control technologies, and thermodynamics to name a few. Plenary lecturers shared their visions of Canada’s not-so-distant future with large audiences. James E. Carter, past-CEO of Syncrude Canada, led the series with his presentation, “Oil Sands—Past, Present, Future.” He detailed the rapidity of the development of Canadian oil sands projects and the promise of new, large-scale bitumen extraction technologies hold. The University of British Columbia (UBC)’s Paul Watkinson, FCIC, spoke on “Asphaltene, Gums and Coke—Deposition onto Surfaces During Processing of Hydrocarbons. He elaborated on the role hydrocarbons play in heat exchanger fouling. In “Water—Our Next Big Economic and Social Challenge,” P. Kim Sturgess from Alberta WaterSMART addressed the current demand for water drawn from Alberta’s rivers. Industry and local communities are partnering with environmental scientists to manage the vital resource. She emphasized that changes in the legislative process are necessary to take action in time. Equally energetic presentations were made at the CIC’s Chair’s Event, “Make Canada’s Future Bright.” CSChE director of subject divisions Allan Gilbert, MCIC, introduced the panel speakers—each key players in the newly formed CIC Energy Division. John Grace, FCIC,

from UBC; AECL’s Alistair Miller, FCIC; École Polytechnique’s Total Professor of Process Technology Philippe Tanguy, MCIC, chair of the 8th World Congress of Chemical Engineering (WCCE8); and Terry McIntyre, MCIC, from Environment Canada posed distinct solutions to fill Canada’s energy needs. The Student Program began with an inspiring keynote lecture by NSERC Industrial Chair for Oil Sands Jacob Masliyah, FCIC. He shared his considerable insight on the subject of growth through self-motivated learning. Students presented papers at the SNC-Lavalin Plant Design Competition, the Robert G. Auld Technical Paper Competition, and the Reg Friesen Student Oral Paper Competition. Students networked with potential employers at the Corporate/Student Interface, and five chemical engineering professionals discussed various career paths at the Career Forum. Industrial Plant tours were arranged with local facilities such as Shell Canada, AT Plastics, and the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant. Ten corporations showcased their work and met with prospective employees at the two-day Career Fair. The Exhibition boasted 13 companies and set a corporate backdrop to the well attended poster session. The CSChE celebrated its new partnership with Wiley-Blackwell who will begin publishing The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering (CJChE) in print and on-line in 2008. Wiley editor Golda Thomas and publisher Jon Glover were both on deck to promote the transition. The journal’s new cover, designed by the CIC’s Krista Leroux, was proudly displayed. Wiley will provide on-line access to select articles in advance of print publication via its Early View service. They are preparing an extensive back file initiative to digitize journal content. CJChE continues to accept manuscripts in the areas of chemical engineering, biochemical engineering, environmental process engineering, and applied chemistry. The engineering community’s commitment to positive change will carry over into the new year at the 58th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference—Partnerships for a Sustainable Society. Major symposia will include Industrial Biotechnology Partnerships: Policy and Research at the Crossroads, Clean Water–Clean Air–Clean Earth, Energy for a Sustainable Society, and Materials for a Sustainable Society. Canada’s capital city will host CSChE 2008 October­ 19 to 22, 2008. Watch for updates at csche2008. Heather Dana Munroe

january 2008 Canadian Chemical News  25



All eyes on Edmonton


1. Université de Sherbrooke students pose with their Student Chapter Merit award. 2. CSChE incoming president Milena Sejnoha, MCIC 3. The choices are endless in the conference­ program book. 4. Conference chair David Lynch, FCIC; technical program co-chair Murray Gray, FCIC; conference vice-chair Fraser Forbes, MCIC; and CSChE president David T. Fung, MCIC, gather for a plenary lecture with speaker James E. Carter of Syncrude Canada (centre).


5. Marc Dubé, MCIC, and Asha Parekh, MCIC, talk shop at the CIC booth. 6. CIC chair Christian Detellier, FCIC. 7. A youthful group of Shell employees greets visitors at their booth. 8. Lively discussions erupt at the poster sessions. 9. CSC president Russel Boyd, FCIC; CIC past-chair Bernard West, MCIC; and CIC executive director Roland Andersson, MCIC, at the president­’s reception. 10. John Wiley’s Brian Will promotes the CJChE transition. 11. McMaster students in full regalia. Three cheers for the engineers! Photos by Curtis Comeau and CIC staff 26  L’Actualité chimique canadienne janvier 2008


4. 6.


9. 8.




january 2008 Canadian Chemical News  27

Recognition reconnaissance The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, announced the appointment of 17 members to the new Science, Technology and Innovation Council. the appointment of Howard Alper, HFCIC, O.C.’s as council chair was announced on June 15, 2007. His first task as chair was to work with representatives of the federal government to make recommendations on membership to the Minister. “A wide range of science, technology, and innovation issues—from information and communications technologies to health, to energy, and to sustainable growth—are central to Canada’s future,” said Alper. “As our future turns on innovation based on science, the new Science, Technology, and Innovation Council is well-positioned to provide excellent and unbiased science and technology advice on issues identified by the Government of Canada.” Among those appointed to the council is Molly Shoichet, MCIC, Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering and professor in the department of chemical engineering and applied chemistry at the University of Toronto.

The Canadian section of the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) has announced its 2008 award winners. SCI will confer four awards in recognition of major achievement in service, industry, and leadership at the 2008 SCI Canada Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner on March 4, 2008, in Toronto, ON. Recipients are usually key industry managers or owners or Canadian academics with a clear industry connection, who have had strategic influence on the Canadian chemical industry, or those who through their leadership have strengthened key institutions relied upon by Canadian industry. David Boocock, FCIC, has been selected for the LeSueur Memorial Award, given for the development of technical excellence of benefit to Canada, in either a university, industrial setting or a research institution in Canada, in the field of chemistry. Boocock, past chair of chemical engineering and applied technology at the University of Toronto, was instrumental in developing the process technology for transforming a variety of feedstocks, including vegetable, agricultural seed, waste animal fats, greases, and recycled cooking oils into ASTM D6751 biodiesel at a cost competitive with petroleum diesel. The process was

28  L’Actualité chimique canadienne janvier 2008

licensed by Biox, which is completing the process of scaling up the plant from one million litres per year to 60 million litres per year, with four more plants planned. Paul Clark, MCIC, has been selected for the Purvis Memorial Award, given for major contributions to development and implementation of strategies that have resulted in the strengthening of Canadian industry or academic or research institutions in the field of chemistry. Clark recently retired as vice-president of research and technology of NOVA Chemicals Corporation, and president of NOVA Research and Technology Corporation. He led NOVA Chemicals R&D for the olefins and polyolefins businesses during the development of unique and proprietary single site catalysts for polyethylene and a new technology for making high performance polymers— Advanced SCLAIRTEC™. Both technologies have been commercialized in world-scale manufacturing plants in Joffre, AB. Leslie Lewis Dan, O.C., has been selected for the International Award. Dan was a refugee who, through science and entrepreneurial drive, used a Canadian springboard to build an international reputation. After graduation in 1954 and working as a retail pharmacist, he established his own business sending North American medical supplies to Europe. In 1965, he launched his pharmaceutical manufacturing business, Novopharm Ltd, based initially on a single product—generic tetracycline. This business was very successful and grew to have a significant product range. In 2000 it was sold to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries of Israel. Dan continues to retain control of Viventia Biotech Inc, a Canadian anti-cancer medication research company. Howard Goodfellow has been selected for the Canada Medal. After 16 years as an associate with Hatch Associates, he founded Goodfellow Consultants in 1986 and added the Goodfellow Technologies Inc. business in 1996. It was this business that developed the expert furnace system optimization process known now as Goodfellow EFSOP™ technology. It was acquired by Stantec Global Technologies in 1998 with Goodfellow responsible for the development and marketing of the EFSOP™ process control technology. The Techint Group of Milan, Italy, acquired this

business in 2004 and offers the technology via its Tenova division. Goodfellow is president of Tenova Goodfellow Inc, which has become the Centre of Excellence for this world leading, process control technology within Tenova.

David T. Fung, MCIC David T. Fung, MCIC, has been elected chair of the national board of directors of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME). Fung is also chair and CEO of the ACDEG Group of companies. He has investment partnerships in forest products, biomass energy, chemicals, electrical power cogeneration, agric-foods, OEM parts manufacturing and packaging wastes recycling in North America, Europe, and Asia. He obtained his BSc, MSc and Doctorate degrees in chemical engineering from McGill University and completed the senior business executive program at Queen’s University. Fung was recently appointed chair of the board committee of Insternational Science & Technology Partnership (ISTP). He is a member of the Ministerial Strategic Advisory Group of the Canadian Minister of International Trade and a member of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. He is also a member of the national board of directors of the Canada China Business Council, the Chemical Institute of Canada, Canadian Green Science & Technology Network, International Science and Technology Partnership Canada, and the Western Canadian Transportation System Strategy Group. He is past president of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering.

Bryan Jones, FCIC (University professor emeritus, University of Toronto) received an honorary fellowship from Cardiff University, Wales. Jones is a pioneer and world-leader in the application of enzymes as practical catalysts for organic synthesis. Jones’ research changed the way organic chemists approach the synthesis of important molecules. The

Recognition reconnaissance

Bryan Jones, FCIC

Jean-François Masson. MCIC

methods Jones developed are now in widespread use in academic research and in industrial processes in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology areas. In further recognition of the first of its chemistry alumni to receive the University’s highest distinction, the Cardiff School of Chemistry organized a symposium on “ Enzymes in Synthesis” in his honour.

L’Université de Montréal est fière d’annoncer la venue au Département de chimie, en qualité de professeur adjoint, de Jean-François­ Masson, MCIC, qui a reçu son PhD en chimie analytique de l’Arizona State University sous la direction de Karl S. Booksh, puis a effectué des études post-doctorales au Georgia Institute of Technology sous la direction de Boris Mizaikoff. Ses intérêts en recherche portent sur la chimie analytique appliquée aux problèmes biomédicaux. Plus précisément, il s’intéresse au développement de biosenseurs sensibles et hautements sélectifs; ses projets impliquent le développement de nouveaux instruments pour la détermination rapide des marqueurs biologiques à des fins de diagnostic­.

Cyril Max Kay was appointed to the Order of Canada at its 100th investiture ceremony. The Order of Canada is the country’s highest civilian honour. A pre-eminent biochemist, Kay is an internationally acknowledged specialist in the structure and function of proteins. He has strengthened this area of research in his role as chair of the International Research Advisory Committee of the Protein Engineering Network of Centres of Excellence (PENCE). He is currently vice-president of research for the Alberta Cancer Board where he is developing a new comprehensive cancer research institute. George Liebermann, MCIC, senior engineering fellow at Xerox Research Centre of Canada is the recipient of the prestigious 2007 Ontario Society of Professional Engineers’ (OSPE) Engineering Medal in the Engineering Excellence category. This award recognizes overall excellence in the practice of engineering and service to the profession, society, and the community. A Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Liebermann was the founding chair of the process development group (division) and the chair of the Executive Board of Programming Committee (EBPC). He is the 2008 chair of the Chemical Engineering Technology Operating Council (CTOC).

SemBioSys Genetics Inc., a biotechnology company developing a portfolio of therapeutic proteins for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, announced that its founder and chief scientific officer, Maurice Moloney, received the ASTech Award for Innovation in Agricultural Science, sponsored by AVAC Ltd. and Dow AgroSciences Canada Ltd. Moloney is truly one of the great plant molecular biologists of our generation,” said Ross Bricker, president and CEO, AVAC Ltd. “The innovative plant seed oilbody technology that [Moloney] developed has the potential to fundamentally transform the economics and manufacturing of pharmaceutical proteins like insulin and Apo AI. His foresight to build a broad patent portfolio around their oilbody technology positions SemBioSys as a leader in the development of plant-made pharmaceuticals.” Moloney founded SemBioSys in 1994 and has been the company’s chief scientific officer since July 2001.

Philip Pacey has retired from the Dalhousie­ University department of chemistry­. He is well known in Halifax, NS, thanks to his public persona as a spokesperson for local and provincial heritage. Chemistry students named him Professor of the Year in 2006. Despite the Pacey’s Group’s small size, results from the laboratory are published in more than 100 publications. The topics are both experimental and theoretical, with an emphasis on the kinetics­ of combustion and the nature of the reaction­ products.

Eco-Tec Inc. is proud to announce that it’s biogas­ purification system has been awarded the Canadian­ Innovation Award for Environmental Technology by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME). “Given our current economic times, there perhaps has never been a greater time and a greater need for Canadian business to be more innovative,” said Jayson Myers, CME president. “With an increasingly global economy, Canadian business must rise to the challenge to compete on the world’s stage.” Eco-Tec is a globally recognized manufacturer of water purification, gas processing and chemical recovery systems for industrial operations. Biogas is a mixture of methane, carbon dioxide, and water, and is usually contaminated with highly corrosive levels of hydrogen sulfide. Eco-Tec’s patented technology absorbs hydrogen sulfide from methane in a simple, economical package. The resulting gas is purified for use in power generation, cogeneration, and heating applications. This biogas technology joined EcoTec’s product lines after being developed by the University­ of Toronto’s department of chemical engineering and applied chemistry. James Smith, FCIC, invented the patented process and joins Eco-Tec in bringing economical and effective biogas purification to the global market. This unique technology can be used across a wide variety of industries including pulp and paper mills, landfill gas, industrial processing, wastewater treatment plants, food and beverage processing, and meat rendering plants. The biogas purification system reduces greenhouse gases, creates minimal waste, and increases energy recovery.

january 2008 Canadian Chemical News  29

CSC Board of Directors Nominations (2008–2009) Nominations pour le Conseil de direction de l’SCC (2008–2009) The Nominating Committee appointed under the terms of CSC By-law Ar ticle X Nominations and Elections has proposed the candidates listed below for election to the Board of Directors in 2008–2009. Members are reminded of the provision of By-law Article X, Section 3 (e) which states: “Fur ther nominations for any officer position may be made in writing by any ten or more Voting Members of the corporation. Each nomination must be accompanied by the candidate’s written agreement to serve if elected, a curriculum vitae and a recent photograph. The deadline for receipt of additional nominations is Monday, February 18, 2008. If any elections are required, ballots will be mailed in February. Those elected, whether by ballot or acclamation, will take office immediately following the annual general meeting of the Society on Monday, May 26, 2008, in Edmonton, AB. Le Comité des candidatures, nommé en vertu des dispositions du règlement 14(i) de la Société canadienne de chimie (SCC), propose la candidature des personnes listées ci-dessous aux postes de membres du conseil pour 2008-2009. Il est rappelé aux membres que le règlement 15(f) précise ce qui suit : « Des candidatures additionnelles pour les postes d’administrateurs peuvent être soumises par écrit par au moins dix membres votants de la Société. » Chaque candidature doit être accompagnée du consentement écrit et signé par le candidat, qui s’engage à remplir la charge s’il est élu, d’un curriculum vitae, ainsi que d’une photographie récente. Les membres auront jusqu’au lundi 18 février 2008 pour faire parvenir de nouvelles candidatures. Advenant qu’un scrutin soit nécessaire,

30  L’Actualité chimique canadienne janvier 2008

les bulletins seront postés en février. Les personnes­ élues par scrutin ou par acclamation entreront en fonction immédiatement après l’assemblée générale annuelle de la Société qui aura lieu le lundi 26 mai 2008, à Edmonton, Alberta.

Bruce Lennox, MCIC Vice-President 2008–2009 Department of Chemistry Chair McGill University

Pierre Beaumier, MCIC President 2008–2009 President Maxxam Analytics, Inc. Beaumier has over 33 years of analytical chemistry experience in environmental, forensic, and food analyses at Maxxam Analytics Inc. He has served on the board of Maxxam for over 20 years. He received his BSc from Loyola College in Montréal, QC, and his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Windsor. Beaumier is the president of Maxxam Analytics Inc., one of North America’s largest private analytical testing laboratories, employing over 900 scientists. Beaumier has served as president of the Association of the Chemical Profession of Ontario (ACPO), as well as the International Association of Official Racing Chemists. He is also a frequent guest speaker to associations and other organizations. He is active in the community and serves on the boards of Peel Partners for a Drug Free Community and Hospitals in Common Laboratories.

Lennox is a physical organic chemist whose research activities focus on nanomaterials, sensors, and interfacial chemistry. He obtained his BSc, MSc, and PhD degrees from the University of Toronto. He began his academic career at McGill in 1987 after a PDF stint at Imperial College in London, UK. In additional to traditional courses, he has also been involved in the development of new courses that cut across the traditional sub-disciplines of chemistry. Courses in advanced materials, nanoscience, and biological chemistry have resulted from this “horizontal”perspective of presenting advances and adventures in chemistry. His teaching emphasizes the importance of integration of the sub-disciplines of chemistry. His ongoing research applies physical organic methodologies to the study of nanoparticles and ultrathin organic films. This research has led to a number of successful collaborations with physicists, engineers, pharmacologists, and neuroscientists. He was appointed to the Tomlinson Chair of Chemistry in 2004. Lennox is very active in university and research administration, having served as department chair and on university research management committees within McGill. He has also served on NSERC and NRC grant

Lennox photo by Owen Egan

Recognition reconnaissance selection­ committees, and the scientific advisory boards of Nano-Quebec and the NSERC Nano-Innovation Platform. His interest in interfacing chemistry to other scientific disciplines has translated into considerable research work performed within NCEs and Quebec-based research centres. Most recently he has worked with colleagues to create research clusters in both green chemistry and nanochemistry.

Statement of Policy The CSC/CIC Vision Statement, Towards 2015, and its accompanying Mission Statement provide clear statements of purpose for the society, its membership , and its leadership. These statements outline the role that chemists can have in guiding Canada and the global community to sustainable prosperity in the coming decade and beyond. The underlying premise of the Vision Statement is that chemistry has a key leadership role to play in managing the intertwined challenges of environment, economic viability, energy, and health. The catch is that the forum for discussing these challenges is now much more diverse than has been the case for the last 50 years or more. These discussions are now being held almost everywhere—not only in high level government offices, university classrooms, and corporate boardrooms, but also the mainstream media, school classrooms, NGO newsletters, and even personal blogs. The CSC has the opportunity to be both the spokesperson for chemistry in Canada, and the interface between chemistry and Canadians. As CSC vice-president, I will work to promote the CSC efforts in outreach and education (in their many forms), career development­, and recognition of the chemical profession across Canada. Each of these activities has an important component of interfacing Canadians to chemistry. I am particularly interested in the CSC taking on strategic initiatives—like its recent support of green chemistry. Chemical professionals and the public both need to know that the CSC is leading important national initiatives like this, and not just following them. Although chemists across Canada share a common educational background, their professional activities are very diverse. The CSC must create opportunities for academic, industrial, and government chemists to discuss

common interests and problems, and partner in creating solutions. The local sections are an obvious place to start these discussions. I will support innovative initiatives at the local section level that make them more inclusive. Finally, I have observed that organizations such as the CSC are very much about relationships—between colleagues, between related organizations at the local, national, and international levels, and between the profession and the community. As vice-president I look forward to sustaining the relationships already in place, and to forming new ones that increase the effectiveness of the CSC.

as chair of the Canadian National Committee for IUPAC. She is currently an associate editor for Photochemistry and Photobiology and has served on NSERC’s Grant Selection Committee. Other activities include a term as president of the Inter-American Photochemical Society (1998 to 2000) and chairing the Photochemistry Gordon Research Conference for 2007. Johnston is the author of 115 publications and 8 book contributions.

Robert H. Lipson, MCIC Director of Conferences 2008–2011 Professor of Chemistry University of Western Ontario Linda Johnston, MCIC Treasurer 2008–2011 Principal Research Officer National Research Council Canada Johnston, a PEI native, obtained a BSc in chemistry from Acadia University in 1978 and a PhD in chemistry from the University of Western Ontario (Western) in 1983, working with Paul de Mayo, FCIC, on surface photochemistry. She then spent one year as an NSERC post-doctoral fellow in Keith Ingold, FCIC’s group at the National Research Council­ Canada (NRC), followed by two years as a research associate in Tito Scaiano, FCIC’s group. She is currently principal research officer and group leader of the Biomolecular Sensing and Imaging Group of the Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences. Johnston is also an adjunct professor at Queen’s University and Western. Her research interests include electron transfer/radical ion chemistry, membrane biophysics, and applications of high resolution imaging methods to studies of membrane organization. Johnston’s service to the CSC includes a term on the Organic Division Executive, membership on the IUPAC Congress Committee in 2003, and membership and service

Lipson received his PhD in physics in 1985 from the University of Toronto and did postdoctoral work in the spectroscopy group at the National Research Council Canada. He joined the department of chemistry at the University of Western Ontario (Western) as an assistant professor/NSERC University Research Fellow in 1986. He is presently professor of chemistry. Lipson has published extensively in the fields of laser spectroscopy, photonics materials and applications related to interference lithography, and analytical technique development for MALDI mass spectrometry. He served as chair of the chemistry department at Western from 2000– 2005, and was a former member and chair of the NSERC Grant Selection Committee 026. He is currently senior editor of the Canadian Journal of Chemistry, director of the Western Institute for Nanomaterials Science (WINS), and lead Western PI for the Ontario Photonics Consortium. He is also a member of the Technical Advisory Board of the Ontario Centres of Excellence in Photonics. He currently serves on the CSC Accreditation Committee and was conference chair of the 87th Canadian Conference and Exhibition held in London, ON in 2004.

january 2008 Canadian Chemical News  31

Recognition reconnais sance

Student Chapter Merit Awards Prix du mérite des chapitres étudiants Anita L. Arduini, MCIC Director of Industrial Liaison 2008–2011 Executive Director, Research Schulich School of Engineering University of Calgary Arduini received her BSc in chemistry from The University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1973 and her PhD in inorganic chemistry from the University of Alberta in 1978. She held post-doctoral fellowships from the Institut de Chimie Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France, and the UBC department of chemistry. She has held numerous industry positions over the past 25 years, including technology business development manager at NOVA Chemicals Corporation. Since April 2007 she has been the executive director, research at the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary. She is a past-member of the advisory board of the National Research Council Canada’s Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology. She is also a member of the Alberta Ingenuity Fund Industrial Associateship Program review committee. Arduini served as a member on the Canadian Society for Chemistry’s board of directors from 1993 to 1996, and she is an active member of the CIC local section in Calgary, AB.

Terms of Reference


The Student Chapter Merit Awards are offered as a means of recognizing and encouraging initiative and originality in Student Chapter programming in the areas of chemistry, chemical technology, and chemical engineering.

Les prix du mérite des chapitres étudiants sont offerts pour reconnaître et encourager l’esprit d’initiative et la créativité des chapitres étudiants, que ce soit dans les domaines de la chimie, du génie chimique ou de la technologie chimique.

Deadlines • April 2 for Canadian Society for Chemistry • April 2 for Canadian Society for Chemical­ Technology • June 1 for Canadian Society for Chemical­ Engineering

Awards The awards consist of an engraved plaque to be retained by the winning Chapter and lapel pins for executive members of the Chapter. Also, where appropriate, Honourable Mentions may be given to other Student Chapters by the Selection Committees.

Nomination The Chapter should prepare its own nomination and provide an electronic report that includes: • indication of both scientific and social events over the entire 12-month period; • elaboration on what are considered the most important activities; • chapter statistics, including the total number of active members; • level of participation and interest in each activity; • photos or other material may be included­. Submit nominations electronically to the CIC awards and local sections manager at

32  L’Actualité chimique canadienne janvier 2008

Dates d’échéance • Le 2 avril pour la Société canadienne de chimie • Le 2 avril pour la Société canadienne de technologie chimique • Le 1er juin pour la Société canadienne de génie chimique

Les prix Les prix seront constitués d’une plaque que le chapitre gagnant conservera et d’épinglettes pour les membres de la direction du chapitre étudiant. De plus, les comités de sélection décerneront, s’il y a lieu, des mentions honorables aux autres chapitres étudiants.

Mise en candidature Le chapitre étudiant devrait présenter sa propre candidature et fournir un rapport électronique comprenant les éléments suivants : • les événements à caractère scientifique et social qui se sont tenus au cours de la période de 12 mois ; • présenter de façon détaillée les événements considérés les plus importants ; • les données statistiques du chapitre, y compris le nombre de membres actifs ; • le niveau d’intérêt et de participation pour chaque activité ; • photos ou tout autre matériel jugé utile. Envoyez votre mise en candidature à la directrice des prix et des sections locales de l’ICC à

New with YOU? What’s

2008 SCI Canada Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner The Canadian section of the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) will confer four awards in recognition of major achievement­ in service, industry, and leadership at the 2008 SCI Canada Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner. “These awards acknowledge outstanding contributions to development and implementation of strategies that have resulted in the strengthening­ of Canadian industry, academic­, or research institutions in the field of chemistry.” Graham Knowles SCI Awards Chair GKCI President The event will be held on Tuesday, March 4, 2008, at the Sheraton Centre­ Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto­, ON. To register, please visit For more information, please contact or call Michelle­ Moulton at 613-232-6252 ext. 229.

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january 2008 Canadian Chemical News  33

C o n t i n u i n g   E d u c a t i o n   f o r   C h e m i c a l   P r o f e s s i o n a l s 

Laboratory Safety 2008 Schedule May 26–27 Edmonton June 16–17 Toronto


Day 1

the knowledge and working experience of chemical

• Safety management

he Chemical Institute of Canada and the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology are

presenting a two-day course designed to enhance technologists and chemists. All course participants receive the CIC’s Laboratory Health and Safety

• Safety policies • Training

Guidelines, 4th edition.

• Safety audit

This course is intended for those whose

• Flammable solvents

responsibilities include improving the operational safety of chemical laboratories, managing

October 21–22 Ottawa

• Introduction

• Labelling • Corrosive chemicals • Toxic chemicals

laboratories, chemical plants or research facilities,

• Reactive chemicals

conducting safety audits of laboratories and chemical plants. During the course, participants are

Day 2

provided with an integrated overview of current best

• Insidious hazards

practices in laboratory safety.

• Compressed gases • Cryogenic liquids

Registration fees $550 CIC members $750 non-members $75 students

• Fire safety • Storage • Waste disposal • Personal protective equipment • Electrical hazards • Fume hoods

For more information about the course and locations, and to access the registration form, visit: profdev

• Radiation hazards

Instructor Eric Mead, FCIC, a former instructor with the chemical technology program at SIAST, has taught and practised laboratory workplace safety for more than 30 years. A former chair of The Chemical Institute of Canada, Mead has been commended for his work on behalf of the chemical industry.

“The chemical field and profession are built on a foundation­ of trust with society­. An integral part of that trust is the safe operation­ of facilities­ including­ laboratories­, whether industrial­, academic­ or government. The education­ of engineers­, scientists and technologists­ must reflect that level of trust. We all share in the responsibility­ for safe and ethical research­, chemical processing and analysis.­" —Eric Mead

The Chemical Institute of Canada

Canadian Society for Chemical Technology

careers carrières

FACULTY POSITIONS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING McGILL UNIVERSITY The Department of Chemical Engineering at McGill University invites applications for two tenure-track positions at the level of Full, Associate or Assistant Professor. We are looking for applicants with a chemical engineering background conducting research in the area of advanced materials or energy; however any excellent candidate with a background in chemical engineering will be considered. McGill University is a research intensive university with a distinguished history in Medicine, Science and Engineering. In addition to developing a successful research program, the successful candidate will be expected to participate in teaching chemical engineering at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Short Course in Industrial Oilfield Chemistry Held in conjunction with the 91st Canadian Chemistry­ Conference­ and Exhibition (CSC 2008) Monday, May 26, 2008 Westin Hotel, Edmonton, AB Early bird registration: $350 CIC and ACPA­ members­, $400 non-members After April 15, 2008: $400 CIC and ACPA members, $450 non-members­ Organized by ACPA, CIC Edmonton, and CSC 2008 For more information and registration, visit the CSC 2008 web site at www.csc2008.

Applicants must have a doctoral degree and must be a member or eligible for membership with a Canadian professional engineering licensing body. They should demonstrate evidence of outstanding potential for teaching and research. The successful candidate will join a high-profile, dynamic department of 15 tenured or tenure track staff, which includes eight recently hired Assistant Professors. The Department has a B.Eng. program with 380 undergraduate students and about 90 graduate students are completing M.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees. We have excellent infrastructure for both teaching and research. Information about the Department, including its current research activities, can be found at McGill University is committed to equity in employment and diversity­. It welcomes applications from indigenous peoples, visible minorities, ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, women, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities and others who may contribute to further diversification. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian­ citizens and permanent residents of Canada. Applications will be reviewed starting on January 1, 2008 and will continue until the positions are filled. Send a resume, the names of three references and a brief research and teaching plan to: Professor J-L. Meunier, Chair, Search Committee Department of Chemical Engineering 3610 University Street Montreal, QC Canada H3A 2B2 (or by email to:

january 2008 Canadian Chemical News  37

Events Événements


U.S. and Overseas


January 26–30, 2008. LabAutomation2008, Palm Springs, CA,

February 4–8, 2008. Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada 94th Annual Meeting­ and EXFOR’s 50th Anniversary, during­ PaperWeek International, Montréal, QC, May 24–28, 2008. 91st Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition­, Edmonton, AB, May 26, 2008. Short Course in Industrial Oilfield Chemistry at the 9ist Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, Edmonton­, AB, May 29–31, 2008. Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science­, Trades and Technology (CCWESTT) Conference, Guelph, ON, June 2–5, 2008. International Pulp Bleaching Conference, Québec, QC, June 16–18, 2008. Control Systems/Pan Pacific Conference, Vancouver­, BC, July 14–18, 2008. IUPAC International Conference on Biodiversity and Natural Products—ICOB-6 and ISCNP-26, Charlottetown, PE, September 6–10, 2008. 6th International Symposium on Radiohalogens­, Whistler, BC, October 19–22, 2008. 58th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference­, Ottawa, ON, August 23–27, 2009. 8th World Congress of Chemical Engineering incorporating the 59th Canadian Chemical­ Engineering Conference­ and XXIV Interamerican congress of Chemical Engineering, Montréal­, QC,

April 14–17, 2008. Hazards XX: Harnessing Knowledge—Challenging­ Complacency, Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), Manchester­, UK, April 27–30, 2008. Fifth Annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology­ and Bioprocessing. Chicago, IL, worldcongress2008 June 15–19, 2008. World Hydrogen Energy Conference, South Brisbane­, Australia, August 3–8, 2008. Chemistry in the ICT Age—the 20th International Conference on Chemical Education (ICCE 2008), Reduit, Mauritius, August 4–6, 2008. 12th Asia-Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineering­ Meeting—the Chemical Engineering Exhibition­, Dalian, China, August 17–22, 2008. 24th Meeting of the International Society of Chemical Ecology, State College, PA,­/ meetings.htm August 24–28 2008. 18th International Congress­ of Chemical and Process Engineering­, Praha, Czech Republic, September 16–20, 2008. 2nd European Chemistry Congress–Chemistry: the Global Science, Torino, Italy, October 20–22, 2008. LABTECH Conference & Exhibition 2008, Manama­, Bahrain, November 16–21, 2008. 2008 AIChE Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, December 12–15, 2008. 10th European Meeting on Supercritical Fluids­, Strasbourg, France,

ACCN 2008

February Careers in the Chemical Professions March Students and the Public Understanding of Chemistry April Chemistry in Art May Research­ June Sports July/August The Changing Face of the Chemical­ Enterprise September Geochemistry­ October Climate Change November­/December­ Genetics Submit your ideas to

january 2008 Canadian Chemical News  39


Jan 2008: ACCN, the Canadian Chemical News  

Canada’s leading magazine for the chemical sciences and engineering.