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l’actualité chimique canadienne canadian chemical news ACCN

JULY/aUGUST | juiLLET/aOUT • 2008 • Vol. 60, No./no 7

David T. Fung


on Canada’s World View

CCTT President

Stephen Gould





of the

Chemical Enterprise

Maxxam Analytics­

A Canadian Success­ Story


JULY/aUGUST | juiLLET/aOUT • 2008 • Vol. 60, No./no 7

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 Sarnia is Sizzling Bernard West, MCIC

Ar ticles


Transform to Compete


Sarnia’s Resurgence


CCTT Keeping Pace with Change


Maxxamizing Success

Letters Lettres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Industry leader David T. Fung, MCIC, says Canada’s world view must shift to focus on global niche opportunities. Owen Roberts

News Nouvelles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Regulatory News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Industrial Briefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Chemfusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Joe Schwarcz, MCIC

Recognition Reconnaissance . . . . . . . .


Employment wanted demandes d’emploi . . 38

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


Canada’s Chemical Valley on the road to sustainability Tokunbo Ojo

CCTT’s president addresses the challenges brought by technological change. Stephen Gould, MCIC, with Gale Thirlwall

Pierre Beaumier, MCIC, with Anne Campbell, MCIC

Guest Column Chroniqueur invité

Managing Editor/Directrice de la rédaction Heather Dana Munroe Graphic Designer/Infographiste Krista Leroux

Sarnia is Sizzling


anada’s Chemical Valley, Sarnia, ON— is sizzling. The chemistry-based business in the Sarnia-Lambton area is bustling. Amidst shutdowns, there continue to be expansions and new investments.­ This is a good sign. Without it, Sarnia’s destiny could follow in the unfortunate footsteps­ of the chemical industry further along the St. Lawrence River in Montréal East. Once the site of several refineries and chemical plants, Montréal East has only two refineries today and very little chemical activity. The change was driven by the industry’s lack of competitiveness. Feedstock in particular­ became much too expensive, and the chemical plants were outdated and small. The only economic option for many company owners was to close their operations. The key to Sarnia’s future will be access to competitively priced raw materials in addition to intellectual property development, which can be commercialized in the area. The most likely new materials will be biomass and possibly coal along with the existing petrochemical/gas feedstocks. The long-term future will be built around converting these ingredients via green or sustainable new processes into valuable green, new specialized products. The intellectual property commercialization­ will be facilitated by the Bioindustrial Innovation­ Centre, guided by the newly formed Hybrid Chemistry Council. The University of Western Ontario Research and Development Park has received $10 million in funding from the Government­ of Ontario, ensuring that it will soon be possible to develop an idea at the bench and then stage it through to a full-scale demonstration­ or semi-commercial­ unit. The federal government’s­ $15 million for the Bioindustrial Innovation Centre includes money for the Hybrid Chemistry­ Council that has replaced the Ontario Chemistry Value Chain Initiative (OCVCI). The Hybrid

Bernard West, MCIC

Chemistry Council will manage a $5 million commercialization­ fund that will accept proposals for the commercialization­ (as opposed to basic research) of products or processes. The Hybrid Chemistry Council will be a focused organization with an executive­ director and will retain the network links in southwestern Ontario. Its goal is to create a sustainable industry with a higher contribution­ to GDP and a significantly lower environmental­ footprint. The Bioindustrial Innovation Centre is a resource for the whole of Canada. It’s built on the back of Sarnia’s major chemical industry infrastructure—plants, pipelines, road and water transport, training and education facilities­, and skilled people as well as a highly supportive local authority and Ontario and federal support. The Sarnia-Lambton Environmental Association has been active for many years. Most of the participating companies follow the principles of the Responsible Care® process—a Canadian invention that has been adopted by the chemical industry worldwide. As a result of these contributing factors, the Sarnia region has all the essential requirements to regain its pre-eminent position as a sciencebased­ industry cluster primed for the future. A special thanks to those who have met as the OCVCI since the 2001 release of the Ontario government report on the chemical industry. Without their patience and support, we would not have achieved our current success. Bernard West, MCIC, has over 40 years’ experience in the chemical industry. He

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$50. Single copy/Un exemplaire CAN$8 or US$7. 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

is involved in an extensive network of organizations including Canada’s Chemical Producers’ Association, the Ontario Chemistry

  L’Actualité chimique canadienne Juillet/aoÛt 2008

Value Chain Initiative, and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

letters lettres

Profession of Chemistry—Power to the Provinces Dear Editor, This is in response to the letter “Chemist By Any Other Name” by T. E. Peel, MCIC, in the April issue of ACCN. The practice of chemistry­ as I understand would be the same across our country and elsewhere in the world. However, I am not fully aware of what Peel’s objections were for establishing the designation­ “Professional Chemist in BC.” Is this new professional chemist designation­ mandatory under the British Columbia provincial legislation­? In Alberta, the provincial government­ legislation requires mandatory professional registration with the Association of Professional­ Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists­ of Alberta (APEGGA) for anyone to practice engineering, geology, or geophysics. Similar situations exist in other provinces. Registration is transferable­ between provinces subject to meeting some local requirements. All the provincial­ associations are members of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE). Peel’s objections may be justified if the new professional designation does not also come with professional responsibilities to the society, etc., similar to those of the engineering, legal, and medical professions. I do not object to any professional designation­ provided its significance is understood and that a professional designation includes the necessary educational qualification (diploma and degree), experience, and above all, accountability.

Dear Editor, Re g a rd i n g T. E . Pe e l ’s l e t t e r lamenting the creation of a professional body for chemists in BC, in this era of global trade and transnational organizations, it does seem a bit 19th century to have up to 13 Canadian bodies regulating some facet of society—especially one like chemistry that is global. However, our constitution is a 19th century document, and it specifically gives the power of licensing to the provinces. Until the constitution is updated—meaning until the provinces are prepared to cede more authority to the federal government—that’s the way it will be. That said, the provinces have been known to band together to cooperate. At such times, they create a common, provincially funded body to set standards or otherwise supervise an activity they all do … The Common Drug Review is a case study. It conducts objective, rigorous reviews of the clinical and cost effectiveness of drugs and provides formulary-listing recommendations to the publicly funded drug plans in Canada (except QC, which accepts federal clinical reviews and essentially does not base listings on cost effectiveness). The result—two rather than 13 bodies to deal with.

Dear Editor, I have always admired the British system of government—one central government, not 14 as we have in Canada. However we must live within the system we have. We have individual provincial (and I presume territorial) medical, law, engineering, etc. societies that Professionalize the particular profession. Such must be the case with chemist societies. This cannot change without an amendment to the British North America Act. Until this change is made, societies such as those I have mentioned are provincial responsibilities, not federal. However, of much more serious concern to chemists is the move by Ontario, and now more recently by British Columbia, to designate professions which can sign off environmental activities, mainly remediation work. Much of this is chemistry related and, I suggest, within the competency of many chemists, and these chemists are excluded, to all intents and purposes, from practicing their profession professionally by these legislative fiats. A re t h e s e m ove s by B r i t i s h Columbia and Ontario just the thin end of the wedge?

Paul Larocque, MCIC

G. Boyce, MCIC

What Do You Think?

Varagur S. V. Rajan, MCIC

Clarification In the June 2008 issue of ACCN, A. K. Sumner, MCIC’s name was misspelled. We apologize to his family and close colleagues.

July/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  

News Nouvelles

Unipex’s Acquisition Unipex Group has announced the successful completion of its acquisition of the Active Ingredients and Specialty Chemicals Division­ of Atrium Innovations Inc., with the new group being held by its management team and the AXA Private Equity investment fund. Unipex Group’s operational headquarters will remain in Québec, QC, with the current team under the leadership of Charles Boulanger, president and CEO. Unipex Group is a global firm specializing in the manufacture and distribution of active ingredients, specialty and base chemicals for the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, specialty and industrial chemical and nutrition industries. It is currently present in over 50 countries and recognized as a leader in its main areas of activity. In 2007, the firm achieved sales of over US$220 million, maintaining sustained growth in Europe, North America and Asia. Unipex Group

The Consortium Winds Up Have a Coke and a Mile. Coca-Cola Bottling Company president Kevin Warren is joined by Toronto mayor David Miller, Jack Robinson, COO of the CN Tower (left), and Kevin Flynn, parliamentary assistant to the Minister­ of the Environment (right).

Coke’s Hybrid Trucks Pour Into Toronto Coca-Cola Bottling Company announced that it will introduce ten heavy-duty hybridelectric­ delivery trucks to its fleet in Toronto, ON. The model GVW 33000 trucks are the largest hybrid-electric delivery vehicles in North America. They improve fuel consumption by 37 percent, reduce emissions by 32 percent, and create less noise and emissions when stopped in traffic. Coca-Cola Bottling Company, a whollyowned­ operating division of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE), operates in all ten provinces and employs 5,500 people across Canada. CCE conducted an intensive, fiveyear­ research and design program with its supplier to develop, test, and produce the

first heavy-duty­ hybrid-electric truck in North America. A motor/generator, working with the transmission­ and a 340-volt battery allows the trucks to source electrical power instead of gas when travelling at speeds below 30 MPH—substantially reducing emissions in slow traffic. The trucks are being manufactured by the Kenworth division of Paccar in Sainte-Thérèse, QC. Coca-Cola Bottling Company will welcome a total of 22 heavy-duty hybrid delivery vehicles­ to its operations across Canada. CCE will add 120 of these vehicles to its fleet this year, bringing its total to 142 and creating the largest fleet of heavyduty hybrid-electric distribution vehicles in North America.

  L’Actualité chimique canadienne Juillet/aoÛt 2008

Coca-Cola Bottling Company

Boralex Inc. and Gaz Métro Limited (the Consortium) have won two wind power projects totalling an installed capacity of 272 megawatts, following a call for tenders by Hydro-Québec. The Consortium has teamed up with Enercon, a leading manufacturer in the wind power sector. Enercon plans on opening a wind power components factory in the near future. More than half of Boralex’s wind power installations­ operate with Enercon’s­ technology­. The two wind farms, located 60 km northeast­ of Québec, QC, on the private property of Séminaire de Beaupré, will be operational­ by the end of 2013. The site provides the wind projects distinct advantages including exceptional­ wind fields. The project will share existing roads built by the forestry operations already on the site. The Consortium has already completed and filed its environmental impact study with the Ministère du Développement­ durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs, and it will soon be made public at www.seigneuriedebeaupré.com. Gaz Métro

Photo by CNW Group

News Nouvelles

Les « nanofils » de demain Des scientifiques du Conseil National de Recherches du Canada (CNRC) et de l’Université de l’Alberta ont abattu un obstacle de taille sur le chemin de la révolution­ nanotechnologique en fabriquant des fils à l’échelle « nano » sur une puce de silicium. Le coup d’éclat – rapporté dans le numéro d’août 2007 de Nature Nanotechnology – apporte « la solution au problème qui consiste à intégrer la technologie actuelle des puces à celle des futures nanopièces électroniques », affirme Jillian Buriak, chef du Groupe de chimie interfaciale et des matériaux à l’Institut national de nanotechnologie (INN) du CNRC. Cette réalisation pave la voie à la création de nanocapteurs qui trouveront une utilité médicale et environnementale.­ En recourant à des techniques ordinaires comme la lithographie par bombardement de faisceaux d’électrons, « il est facile d’apporter de minuscules modifications, de moins de 40 nanomètres de largeur, au silicium et à d’autres matériaux », poursuit la chercheuse. « Le processus est néanmoins beaucoup trop laborieux et onéreux pour que les fabricants y recourent. Nous voulions voir si des molécules s’assemblant automatiquement pourraient faire le travail à notre place. » L’équipe de l’INN a choisi un groupe de molécules appelées « copolymères bloc ». Avec ses collègues, la chimiste s’est servie de quelques copolymères bloc formant naturellement­ des lignes horizontales en surface. « Quand on grave des rainures d’environ 30 nanomètres de profondeur dans le silicium puis qu’on y glisse les copolymères­ bloc, les molécules s’alignent pour tracer une ligne ou un cercle selon la forme de la rainure », reprend-elle. De là, l’équipe de l’INN a imaginé un moyen qui transforme les molécules ainsi alignées en fils métalliques­ continus et qui mesure la conductivité électrique­ de ces derniers. D’autres chercheurs avaient déjà montré comment manipuler les copolymères bloc, mais l’équipe de Mme Buriak est la première à en avoir tiré quelque chose d’utile comme des fils. Depuis la publication de l’étude initiale, les chercheurs de l’INN ont prouvé que le

procédé d’assemblage automatique fonctionne avec divers métaux et substances magnétiques, y compris le cuivre, le cobalt, l’oxyde de fer et le fer. Prochaine étape : l’aluminium. Une des applications qu’envisage l’équipe est l’utilisation des nanofils autoassembleurs comme de très petits capteurs. This text is available in English at www. e.html. Le Conseil national de recherches du Canada

CCTT Launches GoTechGirl Initiative at CCWESTT The Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT) is pleased to announce the launch of its new national GoTechGirl­ initiative at the Canadian Coalition­ of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology­ Conference (CCWESTT), held in Guelph, ON, May 29 to 31, 2008. Organized in partnership with the National Council of Deans of Technology­ (NCDoT), GoTechGirl raises awareness­ among young women in grades 7 to 11 across Canada, regarding the careers available­ in applied science and engineering­ technology­. Made possible through cooperative­ ventures between CCTT, colleges and technical institutes, the GoTechGirl initiative will feature special events held throughout the year culminating­ with National Technology Week, Canada’s national celebration of technology­ careers, held during the first week of November. The official launch of the GoTechGirl initiative was conducted by Lois Sterner, past president of CCTT, Nathalie Emond, instructor at Red River College, and Tracey Kucheravy­ of Dillon Consulting.

Highlights of the GoTechGirl 2008 program include: • distribution of career information packages­ to over 50 school boards; • partnering with Girl Guides of Canada and YM-YWCA on a series of work­ shops­; • series of Tech Camps at colleges featuring­ hands-on experiments in a variety of technology fields; • poster contest; • virtual GoTechGirl mentors (technicians and technologists) answering e-mail questions; • hosting a subgroup on Facebook for young women to exchange ideas and provide feedback. For more information e-mail Rick Tachuk at

Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists

July/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  

News Nouvelles

SFU chemist David Vocadlo, MCIC, and his international team are investigating an enzyme known as OGT.

Casting Light on Human Enzymes Researchers studying the role of a human enzyme are getting closer to understanding its activity—and its potential effect on the processes leading to diabetes and neurodegenerative­ disease. Simon Fraser University (SFU) chemist David Vocadlo, MCIC, together with students Matthew Macauley, MCIC, and David Shen are among international researchers involved in the research featured in the June 8 edition of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. The researchers are investigating an enzyme known as OGT. The enzyme acts to add single sugar units to proteins within the cells of the body. “The basic biological roles of these sugar units remain somewhat mysterious, which is part of the allure. But they have been implicated­ in diabetes and neurodegenerative­ disease,” explains Vocadlo. “The research describes X-ray crystal studies that provide the first detailed atomic level images of a close relative of the human OGT and functional studies of a human enzyme.” The insights gained suggest how this enzyme may identify which proteins it should bind to and to which it should add sugar units. Learning

which parts of the enzyme play critically important roles for its functioning will enable additional experiments to cast light on the biological role of this sugar modification in cells, Vocadlo­ notes. Vocadlo is a scholar of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and holds a Canada Research Chair in chemical glycobiology­—the study of how carbohydrates affect critical processes in biological systems. His research group investigates how certain sugars can serve to maintain health or disrupt the proper functioning of cells, contributing to the onset of diabetes and neurodegeneration. Simon Fraser University

Canadian Geographic’s Wheat Sheet From barnyard bedding to breathtakingly beautiful—Canadian Geographic magazine’s June issue was the first magazine in North America to be published on paper made from wheat straw waste. It marks the birth of a new era in paper production and forest conservation.

  L’Actualité chimique canadienne Juillet/aoÛt 2008

The paper, known as the “wheat sheet” demonstrates that high-quality magazinegrade­ paper can be made from fibre other than wood pulp, which is the only fibre that pulp and paper mills in Canada currently use. The wheat sheet shows that Canada could diversify its paper fibre sources to include a substantial amount of straw left over from grain harvests in communities across Canada. The environmental organization Markets Initiative partnered with Canadian Geographic magazine and technical experts at the Alberta Research Council to create an exploratory trial that would showcase the commercial viability of paper made from agricultural byproducts, namely wheat waste. The printer, Ottawa-based Dollco Printing, was the first North American publications printer to print on wheat straw. “Our June issue uses 60 percent [fewer] trees but looks and feels just like any other issue of Canadian Geographic,” said editorin-chief Rick Boychuk. “We’re delighted by this paper’s performance and hope it will be more widely available for North American publishers soon.” The paper used for the magazine contains 20 percent wheat straw and 40 percent recycled­ fibre content, with the balance coming from wood pulp. Using straw-based pulps can halve a paper’s ecological footprint and improve its strength and print quality. However, the wheat straw pulp for this magazine­ edition was sourced from China, because straw pulping facilities have yet to be retrofitted in Canada. The majority of Canada’s paper is currently made from boreal forests and temperate rain forests­. Straw from Canada’s wheat harvest could produce 8 million tonnes of pulp—equivalent to the paper volume used by the North American newspaper­ industry every year. That could result in saving 100 million trees each year without impacting food production or increasing energy inputs, while providing a new source of income for grain growers. Canadian Geographic

Did You Know

all issues of ACCN prior to 2008 are free to view on-line at

News Nouvelles

Alternate Energy Patents Hydrogen Process Alternate Energy (AEC) has announced the publication of its first patent, which discloses its proprietary processes for producing hydrogen gas and a number of recognized chemical products. Over the past several years, AEC has developed distinctive hydrogen production methods that overcome several industry challenges. AEC’s uniqueness lies in its ability to avoid the predominant reliance on costly fossil fuelbased hydrogen production (natural gas reformation), and the resultant discharge of greenhouse gases. The AEC process is said to manufacture competitively­ priced hydrogen along with beneficial chemical by-products in an environmentally responsible manner. AEC’s recently published patent includes the naming of three of the five chemical byproducts­ that are generated simultaneously with its commercial grade hydrogen. These are calcium citrate, magnesium citrate, and ferric chloride­ (up to 36 percent solution). Magnesium­ and calcium are important minerals for the human body. Each plays an essential role in many critical biological processes, including the maintenance of bone mass and the activation of over 300 enzymes. Deficiencies in these minerals have been linked to a wide variety of health problems,­ ranging from cardiovascular disease to endocrine­ and genetic disorders to migraines. Magnesium citrate and calcium citrate are well known to have higher bioavailability than other compounds in their category. Markets for these citrate salts include dietary supplements, pharmaceutical medications, fortification for fruit juices, soy and milk products, food preservatives, water softeners, and purgatives for diagnostic or surgical procedures. Ferric chloride is an industrial commodity chemical. It is used extensively as a flocculent to remove unwanted particles in sewage treatment­ and drinking water production­. While over 80 percent of ferric chloride production is used in the cleaning of water worldwide, it plays secondary roles in a number of other commercial­ processes. The identified by-products have established global markets in the pharma/nutraceutical­,

food products, and water treatment industries­. All have been tested by a reputable Canadian­ laboratory to ensure compliance with applicable­ industry standards. AEC stated that both of its citrate by-products have exceeded all requirements for the recognized­ USP quality standard. Extensive market research for the company’s initial three byproducts has identified a combined global opportunity that approaches approximately $4 billion annually­. Blaine Froats, AEC chair and CEO, said, “Those that have a fundamental understanding­ of the hydrogen landscape quickly realize how our patent-pending technology is distinctive. Non-fossil-fuelproduced hydrogen—using methods that do

Blachfords Pave Way for Future Innovations

not compromise the environment­, all in one solution­ at a competitive­ price—is matchless in this industry. Unlike others in this field, our company has diversified its product line by simultaneously producing both hydrogen and a wide range of valued products across multiple industries. We feel that this strategic approach minimizes the risks associated to one revenue stream, while maximizing the revenue and profit potential from multiple sources. We have also chosen to meet current hydrogen needs to secure revenue today, versus others that base their business on predicted consumption­ tomorrow.” Alternate Energy

Photo by Owen Egan

John Blachford, FCIC (left), McGill principal Heather Munroe-Blum, Janet Blachford, and McGill’s dean Martin Grant following the announcement of Blachford’s $1.25 million gift establishing­ the Fessenden Professorship­ in Science Innovation at the McGill Faculty­ of Science. The Blachfords’ son, Erik, has committed $250,000 to fund Fessenden Prizes to recognize innovative thinking and research undertaken by McGill faculty, undergraduates­, and graduate students. The gifts are named after John Blachford’s great uncle, radio pioneer­ Reginald Aubrey Fessenden, who sent the world’s first transmission­ of human speech in 1900 and produced the world’s first audio entertainment program in 1906. McGill University’s Team Science Today


Toutes les éditions d’ACCN parues avant 2008 peuvent être lues gratuitement sur le Web à

July/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  

News Nouvelles

Snow Removal Heats Up Free Energy International Inc. in Richmond, BC, is a pioneer in super-conducting ecofriendly­ technologies that use the earth’s heat. It has launched a new product that could end the misery of clearing snow-laden driveways. “The technology is so cost-effective, it can, and has been, applied to airport runways,” said president Alf Sanderson. The system requires a series of T-shaped rods containing the non-toxic superconducting material to be placed vertically­ to a depth of 30 to 35 feet below the surface to tap into the constant mild temperatures below and bring heat continuously to the surface. The natural heat will protect a driveway or sidewalk down to minus ten Centigrade. Below this temperature, self-contained lowwattage­ heating elements switch on to provide any necessary additional­ heat. “Slippery winter driveways are a menace. Many people over-exert themselves clearing snow and ice and have serious accidents, particularly in situations where driveways­ are steep.” Sanderson said that the company’s­ commercial roll out is focusing on three main areas—municipal waste to electricity generation, solar thermal panels for water heating, and seawater heat exchangers for cooling commercial buildings adjacent to shorelines. “ ... we have a suite of sublimely simple, low-cost, low-maintenance technologies that are extremely sustainable because they tap into the heat produced by the earth and do not have any by-products from their use,” stated Sanderson. Free Energy International Inc.

Congratulations to Glynn Michael, FCIC, who celebrated his 90th birthday with friends and family. Most notable throughout Michael’s 62 years as a CIC member are the 27 years of service he dedicated as CIC executive director. He continues to support the CIC as chair of the archives committee and is a valuable resource­ to the CIC administration.

Boehringer Ingelheim—New Labs Fight Disease Boehringer Ingelheim announced the successful completion of a $36 million investment­ in new, leading edge laboratories in Laval, QC, designed to support research into treatments for serious infectious diseases. The new facility will allow Boehringer Ingelheim to hire 40 additional high-calibre scientists who will join an existing team of 150 researchers. As one of the four principal research centres for Boehringer Ingelheim worldwide­, the Laval facility focuses on the discovery of

new treatments for Hepatitis C and the HIV infection­—diseases for which either no vaccine exists or current therapy is unsatisfactory.­ In 2007, Boehringer Ingelheim invested close to $100 million in research and development in Canada with close to $50 million in Laval and the remainder in medical clinical­ trials. “These new facilities offer us cutting edge laboratories in an even more attractive­ setting that will enhance the intense scientific­ exchange and collaborative, teamdriven­­ culture that are central to successful drug discovery” said Michael Cordingley, Boehringer’s­ senior vice-president, research and development division. Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd

ACCN 2008 September Geochemistry­ October Climate Change November­/December­ Genetics Septembre­ La géochimie­ Octobre­ Le changement climatique Novembre/décembre La génétique

Submit your ideas to | Envoyez vos idées à

  L’Actualité chimique canadienne Juillet/aoÛt 2008

regulatory news Natural Health Products— Neither Food Nor Drugs The Canadian Health Food Association, Canada’s largest trade association­ representing the natural products and organics industry, is asking federal parliamentarians to make good on a promise made ten years ago when reviewing legislation to amend the current Food and Drugs Act or Bill C-51. Tabled April 8, Bill C-51 is intended to modernize Canada’s regulatory­ system for foods, drugs, and cosmetics, which hasn’t seen a major review since 1953. According to Health Canada, “therapeutic products” covers all products used for therapeutic purposes, such as drugs, medical devices, cells, tissues, organs, and veterinary drugs, as well as natural health products (NHPs). “NHPs are low-risk products that are neither foods nor drugs,” says CHFA president Penelope Marrett, “a conclusion accepted by the House of Common’s Standing Committee on Health in 1998 but that has yet to be honoured.” Then Health Minister Allan Rock announced in 1999 that he accepted all 53 recommendations made by the Standing Committee on Health in its report on NHPs. The report, Natural Health Products­: A New Vision, led to the Office of Natural Health Products, now called the Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD), and the implementation­ of the Standing Committee’s 53 recommendations. “Bill C-51 is the perfect opportunity to respond to the very first of the 53 recommendations with the creation of a separate category for NHPs in the legislation,” says Marrett. Other significant amendments to the Food and Drugs Act proposed in Bill C-51 include increased powers of enforcement and higher penalties/fines to persons contravening a provision of the Act and regulations. “What is needed now is a separate category that ensures the more than 75 percent of Canadians who have ever used NHPs to achieve optimal health and well-being continue to have access and choice,” says Marrett. The Canadian Health Food Association is Canada’s largest national trade association dedicated to the natural and organic products industry. Members represent the entire supply chain including growers, manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and importers involved in a variety of industry sub-sectors such as vitamin and mineral supplements, herbal products, homeopathics, sports nutrition products, natural and organic foods, fibres, and health and beauty aids. To learn more visit

IndustrialBriefs Helix BioPharma Corporation announced that the board of directors has increased the authorized number of directors from six to seven and has appointed W. Thomas Hodgson as director to fill the newly created position. Hodgson will also serve as chair of the threemember audit committee. AEterna Zentaris Inc. announced that David J. Mazzo has resigned as president, CEO, and member of the board of directors of AEterna Zentaris. Juergen Ernst, the current chair of the board of AEterna Zentaris, has been appointed as the interim president and CEO of the company. Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a global specialty pharmaceutical and medical device company, announced the resignation of Greg Peet from his position­ as a nonexecutive­ director of the company. Royal Dutch Shell (plc) announced that Mark Quartermain­ has become president of its wholly owned natural gas and power marketing and trading subsidiaries, Shell Energy North America (U.S.), L.P. and Shell Energy North America (Canada) Inc. Bradmer Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development and commercialization­ of cancer therapies, announced that it has appointed Robert Tessarolo to the company’s board of directors. NOVA Chemicals has announced the appointment of Grant Thomson as president of the company’s olefins and feedstocks business. Nventa Biopharmaceuticals Corporation announced the appointment of John Varian to the company’s board of directors. Bioniche Life Sciences Inc., a research-based, technology­driven­ Canadian biopharmaceutical company, announced that it has appointed Gary Weber as president, Bioniche Food Safety (U.S.). Welichem Biotech Inc. announced that Hugh WynneEdwards­­ has resigned as a director and chair of the board.

Canadian Health Food Association

july/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  

Chemfusion Joe Schwarcz, MCIC

Higher Heights with H2O2


apoleon would have loved to conquer­ England, but he never managed to do so. But thanks in part to the Emperor’s interest in batteries, the Germans nearly accomplished the task 150 years later. Alessandro Volta had discovered that a series of metallic plates separated from each other by paper soaked in salt could be used to generate an electrical current. The Italian demonstrated his invention in a series of public lectures, often highlighted by the twitching of a frog leg attached to the terminals of his “battery.” Napoleon attended several of these demonstrations and was fascinated by the science he witnessed. And when he heard that Sir Humphry Davy in England had used a battery to break compounds down into their component elements, he provided funds to French scientists Joseph Gay-Lussac and Louis Thenard to come up with a bigger, better battery than the English had. Thenard’s electro-chemical investigations acquainted him with the chemistry of metals including barium. He discovered that heating barium oxide in the presence of oxygen formed a novel substance, barium peroxide, which, when dissolved in hydrochloric acid, yielded a liquid that looked like water but behaved very differently. Each molecule of hydrogen peroxide, as Thenard named the newly discovered­ substance, had an extra oxygen atom when compared to water, conferring on

it the formula H2O2. And what a difference­ that extra oxygen made! Thenard found that hydrogen peroxide was an excellent bleaching agent, removing colours and stains from fabrics. More importantly, in the presence of certain metals or metallic compounds, hydrogen peroxide decomposed into water and oxygen with great vigour, producing a tremendous­ amount of heat. The metals or their compounds were not consumed in the reaction but served as catalysts.­ By the late 1800s, hydrogen peroxide was being used to bleach textiles as well as straw for the hats that stylish men were so fond of at the time. Before long, ladies realized that they could also benefit from the bleaching action and “peroxide blonds” were born. But it was to be the exothermic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide that would be seized upon by the Germans in their attempt to bring England to its knees. On August 22, 1942, a Danish naval officer made a startling discovery on a small island between Germany and Sweden. A device that looked like a large bomb (except for its wings and motor) had apparently crash-landed. As British intelligence was to learn, this was a prototype for the fearsome V-1 flying bomb that was soon to terrorize Londoners with its warhead of TNT mixed with ammonium nitrate. The V-1 was essentially a pilotless jet plane, but its engine could not produce full thrust until it sucked in enough oxygen. This requirement could only be met at a speed of at least 400 km/h. And this is where the hydrogen peroxide came in. The Germans had managed to produce a 90 percent H2O2 solution that reacted explosively when mixed with granules of potassium permanganate. This was the chemistry behind the steam catapult­ system that was used to launch the V-1 propelling it up to 400 km/h. The flying bomb was connected to a piston that moved laterally in a chamber underneath the launch ramp. When hydrogen peroxide was pumped over the potassium permanganate granules in the chamber, it was immediately converted into a huge quantity of steam and oxygen that impacted the piston and launched the weapon. By 1944, the Germans had built some 24,000 of the “buzz bombs” as the British came to call the V-1 because of the characteristic noise the engine made as it screamed towards its target. Most of these were built by slave labour in the notorious underground SS complex in the Hartz Mountains. In France alone, the Germans

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installed over 300 V-1 launch ramps, many of which were bombed by the Allies before they could be used. Nevertheless, almost 4,000 flying bombs were launched against England with the majority targeting London. Many were shot down before reaching the city, but Londoners who can remember the blitz still think back with dread on the fear generated by the V-1. Luckily, the weapon was developed too late in the war to have much impact. But the V-1 was not the only hydrogen peroxide-powered flying machine the Germans had in their arsenal. The Messerschmitt Komet was the world’s first rocket plane, capable of achieving the incredible speed of 960 km/h. At that speed, it had nothing to fear from allied fighters, making bombers sitting ducks for the cannons of the Komet. To achieve that speed, the engine of the Komet made use of some very clever chemistry. The main thrust was delivered by the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into steam and oxygen, using potassium cuprocyanide as catalyst. But a mixture of hydrazine hydrate and methanol­ was injected into the hot exhaust. In the presence­ of oxygen, these chemicals burst into flame and increased the thrust. Allied pilots were stunned in 1944 when they first saw the Komet streaking toward them as they flew missions over Germany. Here, it seemed, was a weapon they could not contend with. As with the V-1, the development of the Komet came too late for the Germans, who had been plagued by technical difficulties ranging from pilots being burned by the toxic fuel to flying times limited to about nine minutes. Still, the little rocket plane, because of its ability to outrace escort fighters, did manage to cause considerable­ losses to allied bombers. Both the V-1 and the Komet are relics of the past, but hydrogen peroxide flight lives on in the form of the Rocket Belt, introduced to the public by James Bond in 1965’s “Thunderball­.” The backpack contains hydrogen peroxide, which, when sprayed over a silver catalyst­, generates the powerful jet of steam and oxygen that propels the wearer through the air for some 30 seconds. Louis Thenard would probably­ be surprised to hear about the heights his invention­ has reached.


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 at

TRANSFORM to COMPETE Industry leader David T. Fung, MCIC, says Canada’s world view must shift to focus on global niche opportunities.

Owen Roberts

The Canadian­ chemical­ industry­ can’t “stay at home.”

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Above: David T. Fung, MCIC, tours a steam turbine factory in China.


n most commodities, Canada competes on quality and reliability rather than quantity. So why is the chemical industry’s approach different? It’s lost ground economically, having banked too much on easily available natural resources and traditional markets. As a result­, it has missed opportunities with strategic value-added markets that were developing abroad. And now new players such as China and India are out-competing Canada. Change is required—the chemical sector must focus particularly on end-use consumers, get its regulatory house in order, and develop its own technology commercialization capacity. Otherwise, tough days lie ahead according to Canadian chemical industry leader David T. Fung, MCIC. Fung is chair and CEO of the Vancouver-based ACDEG Group of Companies­ and chair of the national board of directors of the Canadian­ Manufacturers and Exporters. He keeps close tabs on international affairs, especially business interests in the Far East. Fung is a member of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and serves on the national boards of the Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Network and the Canada China Business Council. He is the immediate past president­ of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering. As well, he’s a board member and the China Sub-committee chair of the International Science and Technology Partnership Canada, an independent agency contracted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to implement­ the bilateral science and technology agreements between Canada and a number of other countries including China and India. When it comes to the chemical industry, Fung is concerned for its future. “Canada must develop a global strategy and learn to manage overseas strategic alliances, or miss participating in the rapidly growing end-use consuming markets for chemicals in China and India,” he says. “If we think we can export to those markets without overseas investments­ to manage the intense local competition, we are mistaken.­” With investment partnerships in chemicals, forest products, biomass energy, electrical power cogeneration, original equipment parts manufacturing,­ and packaging wastes recycling in North America, Europe, and Asia, Fung is keenly aware of the domestic and global marketplace. And he doesn’t particularly like what he sees as the insular status quo on the home front, in either business or government. “If we continue to focus on stay-at-home policies, we will suffer,” he says. Problems for Canada started 15 years ago when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) opened the doors to the U.S., offering unprecedented opportunities. It also ushered in a false sense of security. While Canadians beavered away, successfully developing business south of the border, Asian industry was growing likewise, but with more of a world view. “Industry there didn’t have the benefit of a NAFTA-like agreement, and it looked globally for markets,” says Fung. Ironically, one place these competitors looked was the U.S. And although it’s taken two decades, Canada finally lost its hallowed position as the Americans’­ largest trading partner last year. China now holds that title, exporting US$323 billion to the U.S., compared to Canada’s US$312 billion. This change has a wide-ranging impact on manufacturing, not to mention the transportation sector, which flourished servicing the industry through the natural Canada-U.S. business core, primarily in the east. Fung says change is needed everywhere. Starting at the federal level, he says Ottawa must recognize how the increase in the Canadian dollar has affected cash flow. The dollar has appreciated 50 to 60 percent in the past five years, while at the same time competition with the likes of China has

intensified. Canadian manufacturers had to cut their prices nearly in half to compete and still haven’t fared well. “Trying to overcome a 40 percent reduction in price within 4 to 5 years without transformative changes is simply not realistic,” says Fung. “The government has responded to some degree, but not done enough to ease cash flow so business has money to invest. Immediate cash flow is needed for investing in productivity-enhancing machinery and equipment­ and new product development. Offering tax credits when you’re not making any money is not helpful.” The situation is especially grim in auto industry-reliant Ontario, which, while benefiting significantly from NAFTA, failed to make significant inroads elsewhere, to the peril of other industries. Fung believes technology­ will drive innovation in Ontario but bemoans current policies that support research and development and not technology commercialization. Unfortunately, he says, there isn’t much tangible support by decision makers. “I don’t see any urgency being expressed in maintaining and growing the chemical industry in Ontario, and that’s wrong,” he says. “The chemical­ industry is being overshadowed by threats to the auto industry, and all of the government’s attention is there. But the chemical industry will have to be transformed too.” In western Canada, the picture is brighter. Fung says he’s optimistic about Canada’s potential for converting natural resources into higher value products, which hasn’t traditionally been one of the country’s strengths. Technology will help, and he’s convinced energy companies will find ways to make their operations more environmentally benign and publicly acceptable. “The tar sands are seen now as dirty,” he says, “and that’s not sustainable. But I think technology will be developed with cleaner production processes using less water and less energy. That has big potential and it’s a plus for Canada.” His confidence is bolstered by the fact that the manufacturing sector in Canada exceeded the Kyoto Accord greenhouse gas emissions reduction target three years ago, to 9.3 percent below 1990 levels. Fung is also optimistic about Canada’s ability to compete in niche markets. For example, he says, China doesn’t have enough regulatory­ discipline or capacity to capitalize on high-value items such as food chemicals, forestry-based fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals.­ “It’s tough for China to obtain [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] approval for food chemicals and pharmaceuticals,” says Fung, “so North America has been able to stay ahead of China in these areas.” In fact, he sees growth in clean and healthy customized end-use products in North America and globally, based on trends (and legislation)­ in Europe imposing safety regulations on chemicals that can be imported. Still, he’s looking beyond Canada’s borders for growth and suggests the rest of the chemical industry do the same. Fifteen years ago, Canada showed China how to make paper and board but didn’t follow up with strategic alliances overseas. Now, the Canadian forestry industry is being dismantled while China is moving ahead. “The message is very challenging for the next 20 years,” says Fung. “The Canadian chemical industry can’t ‘stay at home,’ or it will face limited growth and potentially decline. It needs a global vision and the capacity to manage global partnerships.” Owen Roberts is the director of research communications for the University of Guelph. july/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  13

Canada’s Chemical Valley on the road to sustainability

Sarnia’s Resurgence

Tokunbo Ojo

14  L’Actualité chimique canadienne juillet/aoÛt 2008


rchie Kerr thinks a lot more about the future these days. His company, Lanxess, is downsizing following years of costcutting. Chemical plants such as Dow Chemical and Basell have closed operations completely. A press release issued by Lanxess on February 1, 2008, indicated that the company would lay off about 270 of its 700 Sarnia employees over two years. The release read, “the move is aimed at removing increased operating expenses due to higher energy and raw material costs in addition to the impact of the Canadian dollar on labour.”

Challenge to face the future Lanxess is one of the companies that has been operating in Sarnia, ON, since 1942. Starting out as Polymer Corporation and later as Polysar and Bayer, respectively, it has gone through a series of transformations in terms of mergers and acquisitions over the years to become a world leader in rubber and specialty chemicals. In 2007, it had sales of about $10 billion and 15,200 employees in 21 countries. Its Sarnia plant is the world’s largest modern butyl rubber facility. As the company’s director of sustainability, Kerr has his work cut out for him. Like its Sarnia neighbours, Lanxess is faced with high operating costs, soaring oil prices, and growing world pressure for a cleaner environment. The company is now considering the option of green chemistry, which involves the use of biotechnology, natural processes, and renewal feedstock in chemical production. “Lanxess’ Sarnia site believes, as a chemical plant, we will need to be more sustainable in the future,” he said. “If we do not swing from hydro-based feedstock to bio-based feedstock, we will continue to have problems with high energy and oil costs.” Since its core business is in the manufacture and sale of specialty chemicals, plastics, and rubber, Kerr said Lanxess is looking at the possibility of using butanol as the alternative biofuel for its chemical production. Butanol is derived from plant biomass. Biomass sources range from cornstarch to sugar beets. Butanol has higher energy density than ethanol and could be transported easily using Sarnia’s existing gasoline pipelines. It is not corrosive on metallic materials. Although Kerr said it will take time to complete the research on the applicability of butanol to Lanxess’ chemical production, this has not stopped him from raising awareness about bio-products and sustainability. He is working closely with community and industry leaders to promote the use of bio-hybrid technology and alternative energy sources in chemical processes. “We must continue to strive toward a smaller environmental footprint, reducing our dependence on natural resources [and] take a more active role in the community regarding corporate social responsibility,” said Kerr.


Sarnia’s Central Location Locational advantage • 54% of U.S. payroll • 6 0% of plastics resin markets of North America • 65% of entire Canadian GDP

Within 1 day’s trucking of • Toronto to Chicago 500 miles (800 km) • Houston to Chicago 1000 miles (1600 km) • Toronto to New York 500 miles (800 km) • Houston to New York 1600 miles (2500 km)

Community collaboration Kerr is also the chair of the Bluewater Sustainability Initiative (BSI). The BSI is a Sarnia-Lambton community initiative in partnership with business, industry, and civil society. The BSI’s primary goal is to make Sarnia-Lambton an environmentally friendly community through the collective efforts of all community stakeholders. It was established in 2006 by the leaders from Aamjiwnaang First Nations community, the city council, local industry, and civil society groups, following a two-day meeting organized by the Sarnia-Lambton Environmental Association (SLEA). Lanxess is one of the BSI’s founding partners. “The local community leaders realized the emerging trend in the movement for greener products and recognized a potential opportunity for the local chemical and refining industry,” explained George Mallay, general manager of the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP). “There is an opportunity to leverage southwestern Ontario’s large agricultural and manufacturing capabilities to retain and enhance the competitiveness of the chemical industry.” july/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  15

Key Players in Canada’s Chemical Valley Air Liquide Canada Inc. Air Products and Chemicals Inc. Basell Canada BP Canada Energy Company Dow Chemical Canada Inc. Ethyl Canada Greenfield Energy H. C. Starck Canada Inc. Imperial Oil Products & Chemical Division Invista Canada LANXESS NOVA Chemicals (Canada) Ltd. Pollutech Research & Testing Praxair – Air Separation Plant Praxair – CO2 and Dry Ice Production Plant Royal Polymers Limited Shell Canada St. Clair Ethanol Plant (Suncor) Suncor Energy Products Inc. Terra International (Canada) Inc.

The Sarnia advantage Since North America’s first commercial oil well was discovered in Sarnia 150 years ago, the area has been the hub of Canada’s chemical industry. Dubbed “Canada’s Chemical Valley,” Sarnia has the country’s largest and

most diverse cluster of chemical, plastics, allied manufacturing, petrochemical, and research and development facilities. Earning over $4 billion in annual revenue and contributing over $12 million in municipal taxes, Sarnia’s chemical industry is vital to the Canadian economy. Raw materials are produced in Sarnia for other industries such as pharmaceutical, plastics, pulp and paper, health, industrial coatings, and transportation. “If you look around your home or office, there are very few things in them that do not have some input from the chemical industry,” observed John Jaworski, senior industry development officer for Industry Canada’s Life Science Branch. “If the chemical industry were to disappear from Sarnia, the automotive sector would likely be next.” Sarnia has more product diversification than Quebec and Alberta, which are more focused on life sciences and petroleum-based commodity products, respectively. Sarnia is well integrated into the North American manufacturing industry. As a result of its competitive edge and economies of scale, renowned international chemical companies such as Imperial Oil, Nova Chemical, and BP Energy call Sarnia home. “Petrochemical companies normally like to be part of an industry cluster because this allows product and by-product streams to be exchanged between sites, improving overall competitiveness. One company’s by-product­ can become another’s feedstock,” said John Margeson, MCIC, senior industry officer at Industry Canada’s Resource Manufacturing and Value-Added Products Directorate. “The Sarnia region has good infrastructure (pipelines, rail, highways, and bridges) and a workforce with skills tailored to the needs of the chemical industry.” Its strategic location and infrastructure, which allow easy and faster access to both North American and offshore markets, are additional selling points for the area. According to Canada’s Chemical Producers’ Association (CCPA), this geographical advantage helps Sarnia overcome its limitations with regard to critical mass when compared to other major complexes in the U.S. and abroad.

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Enterprising developments However, in the last eight years, Sarnia’s chemical industry has been experiencing a dramatic downturn as a result of the skyrocketing price of operations, emerging chemical clusters in Asia, and the general slowdown in the North American economy. In addition to the high costs of operation and soaring energy prices, the chemical industry is also faced with growing pressure to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. These factors have led to the closure of plants and to the movement of jobs to offshore markets at an alarming rate, leaving the community compromised. Many of the remaining companies are re-examining their business strategies and future in the area. Caught in the throes of these globally competitive times, industry and community leaders are working in conjunction with academic institutions and governments to rejuvenate the Chemical Valley. Companies are looking at new ways to leverage their resources and reduce their operational costs through innovative applications of chemistry and biotechnology. “The industry realized that just because it was located in Sarnia where oil was first commercially produced in North America, it would not automatically continue to be located there if cost structures were not conducive,” Jaworski explained. “Advances in chemistry, biotechnology engineering, and environmental pressures are making it attractive to explore renewable feedstocks and bioprocessing technologies.” This is a strategic business move that should have been perfected about a decade ago when DuPont, Dow, and BASF experimented with the idea, according to Jaworski. But somewhere along the line, they dropped the ball, he noted. However, it now appears that the green light is back on in Sarnia. The County of Lambton’s Community Development Corporation (CDC) just breathed new life into the empty office spaces of the old Dow Chemical facility. The CDC paid $8 million to purchase Dow’s 200,000+ square-foot facility in 2003 and spent another $12 million on infrastructure. The London Free Press described this $20

million community investment as the “most important development for Sarnia in more than 30 years.” The facility has been further converted into a vibrant research park. The University of Western Ontario Sarnia-Lambton Research Park is touted to be the heartbeat of innovation and commercialization of the Canadian bio-products industry. The Research Park will work with small- and mid-sized enterprises, multinational organizations, entrepreneurs, and local businesses to develop and commercialize new bio-based energy and products. “The reason for the bio-based vision is … sustainability,” said Don Hewson, managing director of industrial liaison at the SarniaLambton Campus of the Research Park. “One of our mandates is to open the eyes of the chemical companies to the bio-industrial technology and bio-products. Connect them to a new approach and help them to consider what the energy savings means. It is to assist them in reinventing themselves.” Existing companies in Sarnia and potential entrepreneurs can turn to the Park for more than additional office space—but also for research assistance and development of new ideas. The purpose of the Park is to help these groups unlock innovations and find solutions­ to problems that might be slowing them down, according to Hewson. While the Park is open to new ideas, Hewson warned that the Park is not an exploratory research facility. “This is an applied research facility, and we only focus on the research that is close to commercialization,” he said. “Before we take on any

Testing a photovoltaic panel at the alternative energy lab at Sarnia’s Lambton­ College.­ At present, there are 150 research projects underway at the Park. Ninety of these projects are in bio-industrial innovation. They range from the use of wind power for energy to the innovative techniques of heating greenhouses through agricultural crops. It is expected that by 2014, the Park will have worked on entrepreneurial projects that will spin off about $1 billion in bio-based business investments.

Foundation on funding The Ontario government is investing $10 million in the Park. This investment

“If Ireland and Switzerland could build their industries from virtually nothing, there is no reason why we cannot do it in Sarnia.” Bernard West, MCIC project, we judge the chances of success and failure, investment return rate, and impact on the industry.” Hewson disclosed that only research projects that can potentially contribute to the overall business development of Sarnia and Ontario will be adopted.

will contribute toward a new bio-industrial innovation centre at the Park. The innovation centre is expected to attract new bio-industrial plants to Sarnia and create about 1,000 jobs. “A good part of Ontario’s industrial base was built on energy and chemicals created

from fossil fuels right here in SarniaLambton,” said Caroline Di Cocco, Ontario Minister of Culture, last August when she announced the provincial government’s investment. “This new innovation centre will leverage that expertise and infrastructure, and make Ontario a leader in developing renewable alternatives. The result will be a competitive new industry that is also environmentally sustainable.” Last February, the federal government matched the provincial funding by providing an additional $15 million towards the centre. This contribution will be used to support collaborative entrepreneurial projects at the Park in combination with the over $20 million financial commitment from the municipal government, academic institutions, and industry partners. The funds will be managed by the governing board of the Research Park in partnership with a community- and industry-led council that will be established.

Bio-innovation With the introduction of biotechnology, the seed of revival is gradually taking root in Sarnia. New grounds are being dug for the plants of the future. Shell Canada has

July/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  17

… the green light is back on in Sarnia. acquired 6,000 acres of land to build a new refinery—Canada’s first since 1984. OptiSolar, a California-based independent power producer, is building an eco-friendly 60 megawatt (MW) solar farm in the valley. The Toronto-based Northern Ethanol is also heading down to the Chemical Valley to build a manufacturing plant. The facility will produce at least 378 million litres of ethanol annually for use as an alternative fuel to oil. Suncor Energy just completed the construction of its ethanol plant, which is considered to be Canada’s largest. It will double its current production capacity of about 200 million litres of ethanol per annum in the next couple of months. Ethanol fuel, derived primarily from corn, wheat, and cassava, is considered to be environmentally friendly. It is biodegradable, and the carbon dioxide produced during the fermentation and combustion is actually absorbed in greater quantity by the biomass for growth. It was estimated that carbon dioxide would be reduced by 300,000 tonnes per annum by Suncor Energy’s Sarnia ethanol plant. The finding was conducted

Bioindustrial Innovation Centre. George Mallay (left) general manager of the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership; Ministry of Research and Innovation’s Alastair Glass; Research Park’s Don Hewson; the Ministry’s Craig Crawford; and Research Park’s Joel Adams.

by the Pembina Institute, an Alberta based non-profit environmental group, for Suncor Energy in 2002–2003. Other bio-innovation projects underway in Sarnia include Greenfield Energy’s 1,005 MW power generation facility, which is aimed at significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The SLEP and Lambton College are testing market-ready fuel cell devices. The goal of this fuel cell demonstration project, which is partly funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, is to make use of the existing infrastructures in Sarnia to deploy one of the largest fleets of hydrogen fuelled devices in Canada. Invista Canada (formerly DuPont Canada) announced that by 2015, one-fourth of its revenue will be generated from renewable resources.

Power through partnership This is a sign of resurgence according to industry watchers. A 2001 report entitled “Keeping Ontario Industries Competitive in the Global Marketplace” is partly credited for the unfolding development in Sarnia. In his report, Ted Chudleigh, MPP of Halton, ON, identified the challenges that the chemical industry was facing in Sarnia and the rest of Ontario. The report made recommendations on ways to turn the industry around to ensure its competitiveness in the global marketplace. Chudleigh highlighted the need for partnership among local communities, chemical companies, support industries, colleges, and universities. Partnership will help facilitate important economic clusters. “Working together, these groups guide decisions and make investments that help build a competitive chemical sector and a stronger local and provincial economy,” the report stated. “For instance, Lambton College could become a leader in petrochemical training and education. This partnership could identify ways to foster future development of the chemical industry, and help the area drive Ontario’s chemical sector.” Other recommendations from Chudleigh’s report include: • streamlining and harmonizing regulatory frameworks to ensure the protection

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of the environment and reduction of overhead and operational costs for the chemical companies; • developing an environment that is conducive­ to research and development activities; • raising global awareness for investments in the Ontario chemical sectors; • establishing a task force to advise on the accessibility of skilled chemical workers and training new chemical workers to replace­ Ontario’s aging labour force. Since the report was released, Lambton College, which is the primary source of entry level employees for Sarnia’s chemical companies, has revamped its curriculum to meet the changing needs of the industry. Bryan Aitken, coordinator of chemical production and power engineering at Lambton College, said industry representatives in the Chemical Valley regularly consult with the college on curriculum development through the industrial education cooperative (IEC) and program advisory committee. So far, the results of the consultations have been positive­. “This has resulted in a more specifically career-oriented graduate who has helped industry to meet the needs of the increasing complexity of plant operations,” said Aitken. “The co-op model used in the program helps to supply industry with students who can experience the industrial environment and be evaluated for their suitability for the same environment. Key elements—sustainability, environmental and safety knowledge, communications and human interactions, and general education—are also built-in to help build well-rounded entry candidates.” The college recently introduced an on-line diploma program in chemical production engineering technology, which will allow existing employees in the chemical industry across the country to update their training and skill sets. The program is also open to anybody with a career prospective in the chemical industry. “This is an exciting time for Sarnia, and it must not fail,” said Bernard West, MCIC, who has held various leadership positions in the Canadian chemical industry for over 40 years.

“If Ireland and Switzerland could build their industries from virtually nothing, there is no reason why we cannot do it in Sarnia.” West’s optimism is based on his belief that Sarnia has what it takes to metamorphose from the chemical cluster to the bio-industrial cluster with massive product diversifications. “It has the infrastructure, people, education, transportation links,” he added. “It also has the community support, and there is energy for renewal.” He added that all these are in addition to the vast agricultural lands that could produce soybeans, corns, tobacco and other biomass, which could be converted to biofuel and other feedstock. West and other industry leaders established the Ontario Chemistry Value Chain Initiative (OCVCI) in 2003 as a follow up to Chudleigh’s­ report. The OCVCI is working together with government, academic institutions, research

institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGO), communities, farmers, and leaders in industries such as automotive and forestry to identify common issues among the chemical and other industries. The goal is to bridge the gap between biochemistry and synthetic chemistry in the production process. In addition to building an alliance and partnership across the industries for a synergy among agriculture, biology, and chemistry, the OCVCI is proactive in the development of human resources. Its human resources committee has identified that the industry will require at least 13,000 highly skilled and trained trade workers over a period of ten years. If everything goes well, Mallay, who is also working in partnership with OCVCI and Lambton College through the SLEP that he manages, sees growth and a rejuvenated

industry in Sarnia in the next five years. “I see a new bio-petrol industry where leading edge bio-based firms are operating alongside traditional refining and chemical firms,” he said. “I see integration between the old and the new. The University of Western Ontario Research Park, Sarnia Campus will emerge as a major force in moving the bio-based industry in Ontario and Canada.”

Tokunbo Ojo is a freelance journalist with a MA in media studies from Concordia University and a MSc in biomedical writing from the University of Sciences in Philadelphia. His works have been previously published in the Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, National Review of Medicine, Canadian Pharmaceutical Journal, Inside Soccer Magazine and at

Suncor’s Sarnia-Lambton ethanol plant is the largest in Canada.

July/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  19

An INterview

with Stephen­ Gould, MCIC


 eeping Pace K with Change

CCTT’s president addresses the challenges brought by technological change.


he Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT) is the national organization representing provincial associations­ who grant and maintain the certification of individual technicians­ and technologists. More than 53,000 members of CCTT’s provincial associations rely on CCTT as their national advocate on issues such as pan-Canadian technology benchmarks, national and international mobility, and national accreditation of technology programs. CCTT establishes and maintains national competency benchmarks for certifying members with professional designations in 14 applied science and engineering technology disciplines including­ chemical, civil, electrical, electronics, forestry, geomatics, industrial­, information technology, instrumentation, mechanical, mining, petroleum­, bioscience, and building.

ACCN: How does the CCTT work with the CSCT to advance certification and accreditation initiatives? Stephen Gould: CCTT is responsible for accrediting the programs that train technicians and technologists in Canada while provincial­ constituent member associations are responsible for an individual’s­ certification. CCTT, through its standing committee, the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB), works in partnership with the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology (CSCT) and provincial associations to accredit individual chemical technology programs. CTAB strives to provide a national accreditation program that enables educational­

20  L’Actualité chimique canadienne juillet/aoÛt 2008

with Gale Thirlwall

agencies offering applied science and engineering technology­ programs to meet the challenges presented by technological­ change. Accreditation­ is a voluntary, yet detailed, review of a program measured against the National Technology Benchmarks (NTB). CTAB uses a two-part process to assess each program at a level of performance, integrity, and quality, ensuring that technology programs across Canada keep pace with change and remain relevant to industry. The CSCT has representatives who actively participate in CTAB. The new NTBs are an excellent example of the collaborative efforts between CCTT/CTAB and CSCT in driving certification and accreditation­ initiatives forward. The NTBs were developed by CCTT in partnership with the National Council of Deans of Technology (NCDoT). These new, outcome-based requirements for national accreditation and certification took effect on January 2, 2008. In developing the new NTBs, the CSCT played a key role in defining specific program criteria for chemical technology.

ACCN: What is your role in the organization? Stephen Gould: In October 2007, I had the privilege of being elected CCTT president after serving several years on the CCTT national board of directors. Concurrently, I have served in several capacities with the Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists­ of Prince Edward Island (ACETT PEI)—the PEI constituent member of the CCTT federation.

As president, I am responsible for overseeing­ the operations of Canada’s national technology accreditation and certification­ body, which through its provincial constituent members, represents Canada’s 53,000-plus certified technicians and technologists. Our agenda for the next two years will build on CCTT’s many recent accomplishments­. Highlights include our strategy to address Canada’s­ growing technical­ skills shortages and strengthening­ our national accreditation­ program for colleges through the implementation­ of Canada’s­ new NTBs.

ACCN: How did your career path lead you to this position? Stephen Gould: I successfully completed the chemical engineering technology program at NBCC in Saint John, NB, in 1981. I fondly remember instructors Carlos Freeman and Jim Ricketts putting us through our paces to ensure we had a functional knowledge­ base for the multitude of career paths that awaited­ us. Upon graduation, our whole class quickly embarked on an exciting journey in varying fields. Some went to the oil refinery in Saint John, some went to a brewery, others went to oil fired power generation plants. My career started immediately—just two weeks after graduation. The solid reputation of the chemical technology program at Saint John immediately opened the door to work in research and development laboratories. First at the Research and Productivity Council in Fredericton, NB, and then with the Canadian Institute of Fisheries Technology located within the department of food science at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS. I considered myself fortunate to get the job in R&D as practical industry skills were in high demand and well appreciated. Although the pay was somewhat lower than some other jobs, being part of leading edge research projects certainly made up for it. The academic environment at the time was “publish or perish.” There was a push by the governments of the day to tap into the academic scientists for industry innovations­. Research and development grants were the primary means through which the governments­ would entice the academics to follow this path. As a result, university research started to become more industry responsive in the 1980s. That cooperative relationship is flourishing today.

Industry development has long been a major focus of my career. My current position­ is senior extraction technologist with the natural products division of the Prince Edward Island Food Technology Centre within the Provincial Ministry of Innovation and Advanced Learning. Although I have been in this position for 19 years, each month brings exciting new challenges. One month I may be called to help optimize the extraction of Artimisinin (a molecule used to combat malaria), and the next month I may be extracting and purifying­ phenolic compounds from apple peels. This week I am operating a 2 by 12 litre, pilot-scale, supercritical extraction plant to isolate several antioxidants from a well-known biomass.­ The chemical enterprise needs to make a profit to survive, and in an environment of international competition, Canadian companies need a competitive edge to be successful. Gone are the days when the location­ of natural resources alone determined­ where the greatest profits would be made. For several years, the Conference Board of Canada and other economic think tanks have cited innovation as a key factor in sustaining and improving­ macroeconomic­ performance over the long term. At the level of the firm, innovation­ is vital to enhancing both productivity and competitiveness. It is my contention that the practical skills

possessed by chemical technicians and technologists­ have, and will continue to have, a direct influence on innovation within the chemical­ enterprise. As a matter of practice, innovation is born on the lab bench or on the plant floor. The logic behind this statement is simple—they who perform the task have the best chance at improving the task. The chemical enterprise today is well served by chemists, chemical­ engineers, chemical technologists and chemical­ technicians—all of whom interact with a multitude of other disciplines­. The entire team must continuously be mindful that innovation and the hands-on application­ of science is key to maintaining the competitive­ edge that will make the chemical enterprises­ successful. Although practical skills are highly valued today in the field of R&D, there still exists a gap in the understanding of how much a chemical technologist or a bioscience­ technologist­ is capable of doing and contributing­. My early involvement and interest in CCTT and my provincial association­ was driven by a desire to help bridge that gap of understanding. The scope of practice of the technologist includes everything from

July/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  21

conducting routine analytical­ techniques to analytical methods development and validation and even large scale project management. Promoting the incredible capabilities and contributions of certified technicians and technologists has been a life-long passion and one that has led me to my current position within CCTT.

ACCN: How does the CCTT further the Canadian chemical industry? Stephen Gould: CCTT is engaged in a variety of initiatives that serve to advance the interests­ of the chemical sector and Canadian industry overall. CCTT’s national accreditation­ program enables educational­ agencies offering applied science and engineering­ technology programs to meet the ongoing challenges presented by technological­ change. The implementation of the NTBs reflects CCTT’s commitment to the evolution of this process, ensuring that technology programs across Canada keep pace with change and remain relevant to industry.­ Beyond ensuring the quality and integrity­ of technology education in Canada remains on the leading edge, CCTT is also focused on the critical need to expand our technical skills inventory. The growing shortage of technical skills in the chemical­ sector and others country-wide holds serious implications­ for Canada’s long-term productivity­ and prosperity. This issue is perhaps the single most important­ trend affecting the long term outlook for our profession and the sustainability of the existing pool of certified chemical technicians­ and technologists in Canada. To address this, CCTT embarked last year on a consultation process aimed at developing­ a national strategy to combat the skills shortage. This process was launched at a TechCanada National Roundtable meeting, led by CCTT, that provided input from over 40 participating organizations representing industry, government, and academia. The round table explored innovative approaches through which Canada’s technical skills inventory might be increased and set the stage for a series of follow-up meetings­ across the country focused on regional challenges­ and opportunities to be addressed as part of a national strategy. In tandem with this national consultation­ process, CCTT is simultaneously advancing efforts to increase the skills inventory by

encouraging greater numbers of young Canadians to pursue technology careers. To engage Canada’s youth, we have focused on the promotion of National Technology Week, which has become a centrepiece to our communications strategy. National Technology­ Week is the culmination of a yearlong­­ series of activities and special events designed to showcase the many exciting career choices available in applied science and engineering technology. Activities­ conducted under the National Technology Week banner include school outreach programs, special promotions and contests, college open houses, scholarships and other programs aimed at helping students, teachers, and parents explore technical­ careers. A third focus of our skills strategy has been the attraction and integration of skilled immigrants. In this regard, CCTT recently completed a national stakeholder consultation­ addressing the question of how best to attract and integrate foreign-trained technicians and technologists into the Canadian economy. The consultation’s findings identified­ issues, needs, and priorities related to the development­ of an integrated system that will allow Canada to better attract and more effectively employ technically trained immigrants. Remarkably, immigration­

accounted for 70 percent of Canada’s labour force growth in the 1990s, and it will represent 100 percent of our labour force growth by 2011. We are now embarking on a second phase of this initiative involving the implementation­ of the recommendations­ of our national consultation­ focused on increasing the supply of foreign-trained technology­ professionals. Finally, CCTT is currently at the midpoint in a two-year labour market study on the engineering and technology sector in Canada. Funded by HRSDC, this research is being undertaken in partnership with Engineers Canada. It will provide a better understanding of the current and future employment picture by analyzing trends affecting the roughly 725,000 professionals in engineering and technology occupations. By developing and disseminating industry data on employment trends in the chemical and other sectors, CCTT provides a valuable service to decision makers and policy makers in planning for future needs. For further information on the CCTT visit

Gale Thirlwall is the awards and local sections manager at the Chemical Institute of Canada.

Pacifichem 2010 Organizing Committee Meets in Kyoto

Led by Congress Chair Howard Alper, HFCIC, University of Ottawa, the Pacifichem 2010 organizing­ committee­ met in Kyoto, Japan, May 12 to 15 to review 165 symposium proposals­ and other Congress matters­. The Canadian­ Society for Chemistry (CSC) is the host society. Steven Holdcroft, FCIC, Simon Fraser University­ and the National Research Council Canada (NRC) is the technical program chair; Cathleen Crudden­, MCIC, Queen’s University and Roland­ Andersson, MCIC, Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) complete the Canadian­ team. Pacifichem 2010 takes place in Honolulu, HI, December 15 to 20, 2010. Visit

22  L’Actualité chimique canadienne Juillet/aoÛt 2008

Aoi Festival, Kyoto Japan

July/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  23

Pierre Beaumier, MCIC, with Anne Campbell, MCIC

Maxxamizin Maxxam Analytics Inc is a Canadian success story.

The company has grown into one of the largest privately owned analytical laboratory networks in North America. It offers a diverse range of high-quality analytical testing and consultation expertise. Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC) president, Pierre Beaumier, MCIC, is the executive vice-president of Maxxam Analytics. He shares his thoughts on the success of the company.


axxam Analytics is the successful product of mergers and quality management. In the late 1960s and 1970s, Novalab in Montréal, QC, and Mann Testing in Mississauga, ON—two chemistry companies spawned from a government program for equine doping control—merged to form Novamann. Both Novalab­ and Mann Testing moved away from the dependency of a single government­ contract­ and the uncertainty of the horse racing industry to expand into environmental testing. Also expanding into environmental­ testing­ was Chemex, an Alberta company started by engineer Howard McLean. Chemex began as a service lab for the petroleum­ industry, but due to the instability of the oil and gas industry in the 1970s, Chemex needed the future security of the environment business. In 1996, Maxxam

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Analytics­ resulted from the merger of western Canada’s Chemex and eastern Canada’s Novamann. In late 2004, Maxxam merged with PSC Environmental to create Canada’s first and only truly national­ environmental­ laboratory company.

The expansion Mergers and acquisitions have been critical to Maxxam’s success by allowing the company to expand both geographically and into new analytical fields. Facilities were consolidated, the best practices were adopted, and the combination led to improvements in lab efficiency. Over the years, Maxxam has learned through trial and error that the secret to successful business acquisitions and mergers is to move quickly and to do so with the support of good management overseeing the entire project. The company has successfully diversified and is now the analytical services market leader in environmental, petroleum, food safety, forensic testing, and DNA analysis services.

The state of the chemical industry Over the years, there have been critical changes to environmental­ testing as concern for the environment has increased dramatically­

ng Success since Maxxam began. On the lab side, a p o w e r f u l l a b o r a t o r y i n f o r m a t i o n­ management­ system (LIMS) was developed­ for rapid data processing. The cost of analytical­ testing of a water sample, for example, has dropped from $240 in the 1980s to $50 today. Quality systems have been greatly enhanced, and companies that spent approximately $200,000 on quality systems in the 1980s now spend in the range of $1.7 million. The government has also augmented the public’s new-found interest in the environment with substantial­ regulations­. These regulations result directly in an increased number of samples for the lab.

The future Maxxam is a private company owned by the staff, founders, and private equity, and it is operated as a public company. The rewards

of Maxxam’s success are shared by each of its 1,500 employees. Maxxam has over 30 labs and service centres across Canada. It is the only analytical laboratory in Canada that uses professional managers. It will continue to champion the laboratory testing field because of its management, its vision, and its drive to succeed on a solid foundation of service, science, and quality. Jon Hantho is past president of Symcor Customer Communications Services and past president and COO of Optus Corporation­. He now applies his corporate strategy and business­ development savvy to Maxxam in his current role as CEO. Under his leadership­, Maxxam and the board of directors have received some of the highest awards in Canada including being named as Canada’s bestgoverned company by the Conference Board of Canada in 2006. If I were to offer advice to a start-up services company, it would be along these lines:

• know your markets; • get as close as possible to your customers and prospects; • be seen as contributing to your industry; and • build the exceptional team and required operational competencies to consistently deliver on your service promise! And remember, service companies are only as good as the staff they recruit, train, retain, and motivate. They represent your brand and are your most important asset.

Pierre Beaumier, MCIC, is the executive vice-president­­­ of Maxxam Analytics and president of the Canadian Society for Chemistry. Anne Campbell, MCIC, is the career services and student affairs officer at the Chemical Institute of Canada.

July/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  25

The 91st Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition


rom May 24 to 28, 2008, chemists converged on Edmonton for the 91st Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition. CSC 2008 boasted a full technical program, special lectures, poster presentations,­ and provided an invaluable networking opportunity for the 1,895 attendees. Christopher Walsh delivered the opening plenary lecture. Walsh is the Hamilton Kuhn Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology­ at Harvard Medical School, and he spoke to a rapt audience­ about non-ribosomal and ribosomal strategies for peptide-based­­ natural­ antibiotics. ­ The delegates packed the exhibition hall with 37 exhibitors ranging from educational publishers to technological manufacturers and chemical­ distributors. Special award lectures included the CIC Medal, delivered by conference­ chair John Vederas, FCIC, and the Montréal Medal, awarded to former CSC president, R. Stanley Brown, FCIC. An NSERC Workshop led by NSERC president Suzanne Fortier, FCIC, described the process for a discovery grant application and NSERC’s role in supporting research and innovation at the leading edge. The CIC Chair’s Event featured a panel discussion on the scientific and research challenges­ of the oil sands. The final special event was the Science Policy Forum which asked, “Does the professional chemist have the right to practice?­” The forum was led by CSC president Pierre Beaumier, MCIC, and CSC past president Dave Schwass, MCIC, leader of the National Advisory Committee on the Profession of Chemist in Canada (NACPCC). The exceptional scientific program encompassed some of the usual aspects from the main chemistry disciplines and the increasing overlap between all research areas. This year’s program featured some very popular symposia including “Advanced Materials by Molecular SelfAssembly,” “Materials for Energy Conversion,” and “Organic Synthesis—The Latest Trends.” The Inorganic Chemistry Division held a special symposium in honour of Bill Graham—“From C-H Activation­ to Future Challenges in Organometallic Chemistry.” The Chemical Education Division’s popular sessions included input from students themselves with a symposium “Getting to the Core of Introductory­ Level Chemistry” and “Making Career Choices and Entering the Workforce­.”

In keeping with the CSC’s efforts to increase industrial content, CSC 2008 featured a two-day industrial chemistry symposia organized by co-chairs Gerry Tertzakian, FCIC, and Wendy Lam, MCIC. The industrial symposia, which was well received and attended, included sessions on the business of chemistry, enterprising chemistry, and job searches. Beatrice Ngatcha, MCIC, opened the doors for a lively networking opportunity at the Economics and Business Management Division reception. Forty-nine attendees filled the room to maximum capacity for the Industrial Oilfield Chemistry Short Course. The conference showcased future chemical professionals with the Undergraduate Student Poster Competition. Students from across Canada presented posters about their research and competed for cash prizes. The winners were announced at the Chemical Education Awards reception and posted on the conference Web site at The CSC was delighted to host a special guest, American Chemical­ Society (ACS) president Bruce Bursten, MCIC. Bursten enjoyed the lectures and events and made a special report to the CSC board of directors.­ The CSC held two special prize draws. The first was for an iPod, won by Kyle Sue, MCIC, from Delta, BC. The second was for free accommodation­ at the Westin, won by Diethard Bohme, FCIC, from North York, ON. Next year, the CSC conference moves to Hamilton, ON. Conference chair Brian McCarry, FCIC, and program chair Willie Leigh, FCIC, are putting together a complete scientific program that’s sure to enlighten and entertain­. Mark your calendar for CSC 2009—May 30 to June 3, 2009. An immense thank you goes out to conference chair John Vederas, FCIC, vice-chair Gerry Tertzakian, FCIC, and program chair Todd Lowary, MCIC. The dedicated committee planned the successful student program, the scientific program symposia, and the social events that were enjoyed by all. Leah Martin-Visscher, MCIC, led a team of 140 student volunteers who contributed to the success of the conference. Thank you to all volunteers­ and members of the organizing committee. The CIC is grateful for the generosity­ of the sponsors—your donations to the conference speak volumes about your commitment to the success of chemistry in Canada.

Anne Campbell, MCIC

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CSC 2008 At A Glance 1. Student attendees start off the opening reception in style.


2. University of Alberta president­ and vice-chancellor Indira V. Samarasekera­ 3. Canadian­ Society for Chemistry (CSC) immediate­ past president­ Russell Boyd, FCIC, with American Chemical­ Society­ (ACS) president­ Bruce Bursten, MCIC.


4. Chemical Institute of Canada’s­ executive­ director, Roland Andersson, MCIC, welcomes delegates. 5. CIC Medal winner and conference­ chair John Vederas­, FCIC, takes the podium.­ 6. Chemical Institute of Canada’s­ immediate­ past chair Christian Detellier, FCIC, presents­ the Montréal Medal to R. Stanley Brown, FCIC.


Special thanks to Trevor Schneider for the use of his photos.

July/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  27

SPONSORS The CSC gratefully acknowledges the conference sponsors for their generous support.

st Canadian Chemistry Conference­ and Exhibition


Patron Supporter Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Bruker BioSpin Bruker Daltonics Bruker Optics

Elite Alberta Advanced Education and Technology Applied Biosystems AstraZeneca Canada Edmonton Economic Development Corporation Gilead Alberta ULC LANXESS Merck Frosst Canada Ltd./Ltée NOVA Chemicals University of Alberta, Department of Chemistry University of Alberta, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Division of Analytical & Environmental Toxicology ACS Petroleum Research Fund

Leadership Apotex Fermentation Inc. Apotex Pharmachem Inc. Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd./Ltée CEM Corporation ChemRoutes Corporation CSACS (FQRNT Centre for Self-Assembled Chemical Structures) Eli Lilly Canada Inc. Global Wealth Builders Ltd. Institute for Sustainable Energy and Economy Guardian Chemicals Inc. PricewaterhouseCoopers Sepracor Canada University of Alberta, Faculty of Science Varian, Inc.

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Agilent Technologies Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Carbohydrate Science Altos Photonics, Inc. Amgen Anacor Pharmaceuticals Association of the Chemical Profession of Alberta Association of the Chemical Profession of Ontario AVAC Ltd. BD Diagnostics-Preanalytical Systems Biotage Blachford Bruker AXS Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation—Atlantic Cedarlane Laboratories Limited Coherent, Inc. Custom Biologics Dalton Medicinal Chemistry Partners Dalton Pharma Services Edinburgh Instruments Fisher Scientific Gamble Technologies GE Healthcare—Life Sciences Genzyme Corp. HEKA Electronik Johnson Matthey John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd. JPK Instruments K'(Prime) Technologies Inc. LECO Corporation London Scientific Limited Manulife Financial Maxxam Analytics Inc. MBraun McKay-Carey and Company MDS Analytical Technologies Meloche Monnex MethylGene Inc. Michel Gagné NAEJA Pharmaceutical Inc. NAIT NANUC National Bank Financial Nelson Education Ltd. Neurochem Inc. Omicron Biochemicals, Inc. PARTEQ Pfizer Global Research & Development Praxair Technology Inc. Renishaw Inc. Ridout & Maybee LLP Royal Society of Chemistry Sigma-Aldrich Canada SiliCycle Spectra Research Corporation Spectra Stable Isotopes Strem Chemicals, Inc. Systems for Research TCI America Teledyne Leeman Labs ThermoFisher Scientific Thorlabs Torcan University of Alberta, Department of Biochemistry University of Alberta, Department of Chemistry, Organic Chemistry Division University of Alberta, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry University of Western Ontario, Department of Chemistry Varian Canada VWR International, Ltd. Waters Limited Wellington Laboratories Wyatt Technology Corporation Xerox Research Centre of Canada

Recognition reconnaissance chemical­ engineering at the University of Toronto and University of Alberta in the field of energy and the environment. Bowman said Canada has a unique opportunity to lead the world in developing the technology to provide sustainable energy supplies for mankind. “We should not be afraid of promoting our image as an emerging, sustainable, environmentally-sound energy­ superpower.”­

“Continuing work on finding solutions to environmental issues is key to the future of Canada’s oil sands,” says Clement W. Bowman, HFCIC, winner of the Global Energy International Prize. Speaking in Toronto, ON, following his June 7th return from award ceremonies in St. Petersburg, Russia, Bowman said there was a high degree of interest in Russia in environmental efforts related to continuing oil sands development­ in Canada. Prize co-winner Eduard Volkov expressed interest in arranging follow-up­ meetings with key Russian engineers and researchers. “A critical factor considered by the award committee was the leadership provided by the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE) in addressing the need for sustainable­ hydrogen and the recovery and storage of carbon dioxide,” Bowman said. As vicepresident­­, Esso Petroleum Canada, Bowman led the Esso Research Centre that is part of the Exxon global energy network. As president of the Alberta Research Council, he established consortia with international oil companies to explore research approaches in oil sands that had breakthrough potential. Bowman said building a positive global image of Canada’s oil sands development will be a continuing challenge. “We have to keep working on the environmental aspects of its development and clearly demonstrate to the world that we are committed to cleaning up any problems associated with it.” Bowman received a medal from Russian president­ Dmitri Medvedev in recognition­ of “the development of highly efficient technologies­ and utilities for extracting oil from oil shale and oil sands, thus contributing to the energy saving problem of humanity.” He is co-winner of the $1.3 million prize and will provide permanent scholarships in

Margaret-Ann Armour, FCIC, OC, was awarded an honorary degree from The University of British Columbia for the development of safety guidelines for recycling and disposing of laboratory chemicals. Armour is a chemistry professor at the University of Alberta who has been internationally recognized with several distinguished awards including the Order of Canada and the Governor General’s Award for her commitment to advancing the role of women in science and engineering.

BioMS Medical Corporation in Edmonton, AB, is pleased to announce that it was been selected to receive the Gold Leaf Award from BIOTECanada for “Company of the Year.” BioMS Medical is a leading developer in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and was presented with this distinguished award on June 17, 2008 at the 2008 BIO International Convention in San Diego, CA. Lignol Energy Corporation, a leading technology company in the cellulosic ethanol and biorefining sector, announced that it was named Early Stage Company of the Year—Industrial and Agricultural at the BIOTECanada Gold Leaf Awards. The award is given annually to a company that has distinguished itself from its peers with demonstrated technology innovation milestone achievements.

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“We are very pleased to have received this award, which we believe validates our position as an industry leader in non-food based biofuel and biochemical development,” said Ross MacLachlan, CEO of Lignol. “Our team continues to work with a variety of non-food cellulosic feedstocks at our new facility located on the grounds of the British Columbia Institute of Technology to produce cellulosic ethanol and a variety of valuable biochemical co-products with exceptionally high greenhouse gas reduction and oil displacement benefits. This award will be a valuable asset for our company as we move closer to commercial deployment of our technology, both in Canada and abroad.” This is the second industry award that Lignol has received this year. In March 2008, the company was also named Emerging Life Sciences Company of the Year by LifeSciences­ BC.

The 2008 IUPAC-Richter Prize in Medicinal Chemistry has been awarded to Jan Heeres, formerly of the Centrum for Molecular Design and Janssen Pharmaceutica, Beerse, BE. Heeres received this award in recognition of his outstanding medicinal chemistry contributions to new drug discovery, in particular, for the discovery of ketoconazole, the first orally active broad-spectrum imidazole antimycotic. The IUPAC-Richter Prize was presented on June 18, 2008 at the American Chemical Society 31st National Medicinal Chemistry Symposium­ in Pittsburgh­, PA.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has won the Performance Improvement Award from the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) at its Annual CEO Conference. The award was made for the strong improvement made in performance by the Darlington Nuclear Power Station in Ontario. As part of the focus on efficient operation, OPG staff at Darlington have improved maintenance procedures, resulting in shorter, more efficient maintenance outages. As a result of these performance improvements, Darlington increased its electricity production between 2003 and 2006 from 25 percent (37.7 TWh) of Ontario’s electricity supply to more than 31 percent (46.9 TWh).

Bowman photo by Dmitry Lovetsky

2007 Society Silver Medalists Les médailles d’argent 2007

The CCUCC Chemistry Doctoral Award Sponsored by the Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs (CCUCC) The CCUCC Chemistry Doctoral Award is presented for outstanding achievement and potential in research by a graduate­ student whose PhD thesis in chemistry was formally accepted by a Canadian university in the 12-month period preceding the nomination­ deadline.­ Award: A framed scroll and cash prize.

The CIC is proud to announce additional 2007 Silver Medal winners. The medals are awarded to undergraduate students on behalf of the Societies. L’ICC est fière d’annoncer additionnelles des médailles d’argent 2007. Les Sociétés

Nominations are now open for the 2009 award.

Submit your nominations to: Awards Manager Canadian Society for Chemistry 130 Slater Street, Suite 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 Tel: 613-232-6252, ext. 223 Fax: 613-232-5862 Deadline: September 15, 2008

The full Terms of Reference for this award are available at www.cheminst.­ca/awards.

octroient ces médailles à des étudiantes et des étudiants de premier cycle. Stephen G. Newman Chemistry Dalhousie University

Raymond E. Ortlieb Chemistry King’s University College

Le Prix du doctorat en chimie du CDDCUC Parrainé par le Conseil des directeurs de département de chimie des universités canadiennes­ (CDDCUC) Le prix du doctorat en chimie du CDDCUC est présenté à un étudiant des cycles supérieurs­ dont la thèse de doctorat en chimie a été formellement acceptée par une université­ canadienne­ au cours des 12 mois précédant la date d’échéance des mises en candidatures. Ce prix souligne une contribution et un potentiel en recherche exceptionnels.

Jake Yorke

Prix : Un parchemin encadré et un prix en argent comptant.­

Chemistry Mount Saint Vincent University

La période de mise en candidature est maintenant ouverte pour le prix 2009.

Lisa D’Agostino Chemistry University of Alberta

Chelsea Ellis Chemical Engineering University of New Brunswick

Veuillez faire parvenir vos mises en candidature à : Directrice des prix Société canadienne de chimie 130, rue Slater, bureau 550 Ottawa (Ontario) K1P 6E2 Tél. : 613-232-6252, poste 223 Téléc. : 613-232-5862 Le cadre de référence complet pour ce prix est disponible au

July/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  31

Recognition reconnaissance

Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering Board of Directors Nominations (2008–2009) Présentation des candidats pour le conseil d’administration de la Société canadienne de génie chimique (2008-2009) The Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE) Nominating Committee, appointed under the terms of CSChE bylaws Article 8, Section K, has proposed the candidates listed below to serve as CSChE officers and directors for 2008–2009. David Fung, MCIC, CSChE past president and chair of the Nominating Committee, is pleased to announce the candidates for the 2008–2009 election. Additional nominations for candidates may be submitted by members no later than Monday, August 25, 2008. Ten or more voting members, in good standing, must support additional submissions in writing. Those elected, whether by ballot or acclamation, will take office immediately following the Society’s Annual General meeting (AGM) in Ottawa, ON, on October 21, 2008. Le comité des candidatures de la Société canadienne de génie chimique (SCGCh), nommé aux termes de l’article k de la division 8 des règlements de la SCGCh, propose les candidats suivants aux postes d’administrateurs de la SCGCh pour l’exercice 2008-2009. David Fung, MCIC, président sortant de la SCGCh et président du comité des candidatures, est heureux de présenter les candidats aux élections pour l’exercice 2008-2009. Les membres peuvent présenter d’autres candidates au plus tard le 25 août 2008. Les mises en candidature supplémentaires doivent être appuyées par écrit par au moins dix membres votants. Les personnes élues, au scrutin ou sans concurrent, entreront en fonction immédiatement après l’Assemblée générale annuelle de la Société qui se tiendra le 21 octobre 2008 à Ottawa (Ontario).

D. Grant Allen, MCIC

Larry Seeley, MCIC

Ali Esmail, MCIC

Phillip Choi, MCIC

Amyl Ghanem, MCIC

President 2008–2009

Présidente 2008–2009

D. Grant Allen, MCIC, is a professor and associate chair (graduate studies) in the department of chemical engineering and applied chemistry at the University of Toronto. He obtained his PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Waterloo and his MASc and BASc from the University of Toronto. Allen’s area of research interest is in bioprocess engineering, with particular application to the treatment of aqueous and gaseous emissions and utilizing wastes for energy and chemical production. He was the director and, before that, associate director, of the Pulp & Paper Centre at the University of Toronto. He worked with Esso Petroleum’s Process Control group between his MSc and doctoral studies and spent his research leave in 1994 with Weyerhaeuser Co. in Tacoma, WA, working on

D. Grant Allen, MCIC, est professeur et titulaire adjoint de chaire (études supérieures) au département de génie chimique et chimie appliquée de la University of Toronto. Il a obtenu son doctorat en génie chimique de la University of Waterloo et sa M.Sc.A. et son B.Sc. A. de la University of Toronto. Le secteur de recherche de M. Allen est le génie des bioprocédés, particulièrement appliqué au traitement des émissions aqueuses et gazeuses et à l’utilisation des déchets dans la production énergétique et chimique. Il a été directeur, et auparavant directeur adjoint, du Centre des pâtes et papiers de la University of Toronto. Il a œuvré au sein du groupe de Contrôle des procédés de Pétroles Esso Canada entre ses études de maîtrise et de doctorat, et a passé son congé de recherche en 1994 chez Weyerhaeuser Company

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Recognition reconnaissance biofiltration of air pollutants from wood products emissions. He has served the CSChE and CIC in many roles including chair of the biotechnology subject division from 1992–1995, vice-chair (program) for the 1992 CSChE conference, and conference co-chair for the 2005 CSChE conference­.

de Tacoma, WA, se concentrant sur la biofiltration des polluants atmosphériques dans les émissions des produits du bois. Il a joué plusieurs rôles au sein de la SCGCh et de l’ICC, notamment président de la Division spécialisée de biotechnologie de 1992 à 1995, vice-président du programme technique du Congrès de 1992 de la SCGCh, et co-président du Congrès de 2005 de la SCGCh.

Vice-president 2008–2009

Vice-président 2008–2009

Larry Seeley, MCIC, is president and CEO of Recapture Metals Limited and Founding Shareholder. Recapture Metals is a firm that produces, recycles and markets high value metals such as gallium, indium and rhenium with two plants in Ontario, two in the U.S. and one in Germany. Previously, for 12 years he was President and CEO of Lakefield Research Limited, growing the company to over 1,000 employees with laboratories and pilot plants in Lakefield, ON; Santiago, Chile; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Perth, Australia. He has a BASc, MASc, and PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Toronto and a Diploma in Business Administration­ from Laurentian University. He was president of the Canadian Metallurgical­ Society, chair of the Science Committee of Science North and has served on the board of governors of Cambrian College, Science North, Canadian Metallurgical Society and Trent University. Seeley is presently chair of the advisory board to chemical engineering of the University of Toronto, chair of the planning and development committee of the Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster, member of the board of governance of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology­, member of the board of Eco-Tec Limited. He previously­ served on the advisory board of mining engineering of Queen’s University­. Seeley was with Falconbridge for 25 years as corporate vice-president environment, director of Sudbury metallurgical operations, manager of corporate metallurgical research and development, manager Sudbury smelter and other roles in operations and technology. His accomplishments have been recognized by the following: • Past President’s Memorial Medal (1989) and Fellow (1991) of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy; • President of the Canadian Metallurgical Society (1987–1988) and recipient of the Silver Medal for service to the profession (1992); • Entrepreneurship Award of the Professional Engineers of Ontario (2003); • Honoree Life Member of Science North (1992) and Honoree Board of Governors Member of Trent University (2003); • Industrial Practice Award of the Canadian Society of Chemical Engineers (2005); • Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (2006); • Induction in the Engineering Hall of Distinction, University of Toronto­ (2006); • Arbor Award for Alumni in Outstanding Service, University of Toronto (2007).

Larry Seeley, MCIC, est président, PDG et actionnaire fondateur de Recapture Metals Limited, une entreprise qui produit, recycle et met en marché des métaux précieux comme le gallium, l’indium et le rhénium. L’entreprise possède deux usines en Ontario, deux aux États-Unis et une en Allemagne. Il a auparavant été président et PDG pendant douze ans de Lakefield­ Research Limited, une entreprise en croissance qui compte plus de 1000 employés. L’entreprise possède des laboratoires et des usines pilotes à Lakefield (Ontario), Santiago (Chili), Belo Horizonte (Brésil), Johannesburg (Afrique du Sud) et Perth (Australie). Il détient un baccalauréat, une maîtrise et un doctorat en génie chimique de la Toronto University ainsi qu’un diplôme en administration­ des affaires de l’Université Laurentienne. Il a été président­ de la Société canadienne de la métallurgie ainsi que du comité scientifique de Science Nord. Il a également siégé sur le conseil des gouverneurs du Cambrian College, de Science Nord, de la Société canadienne de la métallurgie et de la Trent University. M. Seeley préside actuellement le conseil consultatif en génie chimique de la Toronto University ainsi que le comité de planification et de développement du Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster. Il est également membre du conseil de gestion de l’Institut universitaire de technologie de l’Ontario et du conseil d’Eco-Tec Limited. Il a auparavant siégé sur le conseil consultatif en génie minier de la Queen’s University. M. Seeley a travaillé pendant 25 ans pour Falconbridge. Il a été vice-président général à l’environnement, directeur des opérations métallurgiques à Sudbury, gestionnaire en recherche et développement­ métallurgique, gestionnaire pour la fonderie de Sudbury en plus d’occuper d’autres fonctions liées aux opérations et à la technologie. Il s’est mérité les distinctions suivantes : • Récipiendaire de la médaille commémorative des anciens présidents­ (1989) et membre (1991) de l’Institut canadien des mines et de la métallurgie; • Président de la Société canadienne de la métallurgie (1987–1988) et récipiendaire de la médaille d’argent pour sa contribution à la profession (1992); • Prix de l’entrepreneuriat de l’Ordre des ingénieurs de l’Ontario (2003); • Membre honorable à vie de Science Nord (1992) et membre honorable­ du conseil des gouverneurs de Trent University (2003); • Récipiendaire du Industrial Practice Award de la Société canadienne­ de génie chimique (2005); • Membre de l’Académie canadienne du génie (2006); • Introduit au Engineering Hall of Distinction, Toronto University (2006); • Récipiendaire du Arbor Award for Alumni in Outstanding Service, Toronto University (2007).

july/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  33

Recognition reconnaissance

2008 Statement to the CSChE Larry Seeley, MCIC

Énoncés 2008 de la SCGCh Larry Seeley, MCIC

Innovation is a major foundation of Canada’s future economy, quality of life and sustainable environment for all forms of life. Canadians must be leaders in innovation and sustainability in our country to reach our aspired vision, and Canadians must influence and help the world toward the benefits of innovation and a sustainable approach. The foundations of innovation are high levels of education of our people, and creative, energetic, and innovative industries to produce the products, solutions and outcomes that are needed. Chemical engineering­ is a major profession for achieving outcomes in numerous sectors of our lives including our food, water, air, products, materials­, energy and health. The quality of our lives depends, in part, on chemical­ engineers, and the thrust to alternative energy is just an example of how chemical engineers can contribute. I believe it is essential that our governments, our public, our industries­, CSChE members, our universities and our educational institutions­ fully understand and support our profession—the key success factor for innovation that is needed in industry and the long-term­ policies related to education and industry innovation that are needed for developing a high quality sustainable life, economy and environment­ in Canada. Chemical engineers need to influence our public policy particularly­ related to the aspiration of an innovative industry.

L’innovation constitue une base importante sur laquelle repose l’avenir de l’économie canadienne, de la qualité de vie et de l’environnement de toutes les formes de vie. Les Canadiens se doivent d’être des chefs de fil de l’innovation et du développement durable dans notre pays pour atteindre notre monde idéal. Ils doivent influencer et aider le monde à prendre la direction de l’innovation et de ses bienfaits dans une perspective de développement durable. Les fondations de l’innovation sont faites d’une éducation de haut calibre pour nos citoyens et d’entreprises créatives, énergiques et innovatrices­ qui fournissent les produits, les solutions et les résultats qu’il faut. L’ingénierie chimique est une profession déterminante qui donne des résultats dans beaucoup de domaines de la vie, notamment les aliments, l’eau, l’air, les produits, les matériaux, l’énergie et la santé. La qualité de nos vies dépend en partie des ingénieurs chimiques. L’engouement pour les nouvelles formes d’énergie n’est qu’un exemple de la contribution que les ingénieurs chimiques peuvent apporter. Je pense qu’il est essentiel que les gouvernements, le public, l’industrie, les membres de la SCGCh, les universités et les institutions­ d’enseignement comprennent bien et soutiennent notre profession­. Celle-ci constitue un facteur de succès clé pour l’innovation dont l’industrie a besoin et les politiques à long terme relatives à l’éducation et à l’innovation industrielle qui sont nécessaires pour construire un mode de vie, une économie et un environnement durables de haute qualité.

Treasurer 2005–2009

Trésorier 2005–2009

Ali Esmail, MCIC, received his BSc in chemical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan in 1987. After graduation, he joined Dow Chemical working in process design, plant operations, environmental management, and supply chain management. Since 2000,he has managed projects in the oil and gas industry and now holds a project development position at Shell Canada Ltd. From 1991 to 1995, Esmail was active as the industrial liaison in the Edmonton CSChE local section, organizing community science projects and member professional development. From 2003 to 2004, he was on the executive of the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists­, and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA), Calgary Branch. Most recently, he was treasurer for the CSChE 2004 conference in Calgary, AB. He is fluent in French and English. Esmail is also a member of APEGGA, the Project Management Institute, and the American Institute­ of Chemical Engineers.

Ali Esmail, MCIC, a obtenu son baccalauréat en génie chimique de la University of Saskatchewan en 1987. Diplôme en main, il s’est joint à l’équipe de conception des procédés de fabrication de Dow Chemical, passant ensuite aux opérations de l’usine, à la gestion de l’environnement puis à la gestion de la chaîne d’approvisionnement. Depuis 2000, il a dirigé des projets dans l’industrie pétrolière et gazière et occupe présentement un poste de développement de projets chez Shell Canada Ltée. De 1991 à 1995, Esmail assurait la liaison avec les entreprises au sein de la section locale de la SCGCh d’Edmonton, organisant des projets scientifiques communautaires et encourageant ledéveloppement professionnel des membres. De 2003 à 2004, il faisait partie de la direction de l’Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists­, and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA), section de Calgary. Plus récemment, il agissait comme trésorier au congrès de 2004 de la SCGCh à Calgary. Il est parfaitement bilingue (français et anglais). Esmail est également membre de l’APEGGA, du Project Management Institute, et de l’American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

34  L’Actualité chimique canadienne juillet/aoÛt 2008

Recognition reconnaissance

Directors 2008–2011

Directrice 2008–2011

Phillip Choi, MCIC, is a registered professional engineer in the province­ of Alberta. He received his BASc in 1988 from The University of British Columbia and his MASc and PhD in 1992 and 1995, respectively, from the University of Waterloo. Upon completion of his PhD, Choi had worked in the coating industry as a development chemist for about one year before he moved to the University of Alberta where he currently holds the title of full professor in the department­ of chemical and materials engineering. He has been the chair of the Edmonton local section of CSChE for the past six years. He has helped organize­ and chaired a number of polymer sessions for CSChE and CSC conferences­. He served as a secretary for the 2007 CSChE conference­ and as the MSED representative for the 2008 CSC Conference.­ Choi has recently won the Faculty of Engineering Undergraduate­ Teaching Award and was named the McCalla Professorship in 2007 at the University of Alberta recognizing his contribution to the undergraduate­ education­ in chemical engineering. He received an international IUPAC Travel Award in 2002 and a national Young Innovator Award from Petro Canada Inc. in 2001for his work on molecular simulation of polymers.

Phillip Choi, MCIC, est un ingénieur professionnel agréé de l’Alberta. Il a obtenu son baccalauréat en 1988 de l’University of British Columbia et complété sa maîtrise et son doctorat en 1992 et 1995 respectivement à l’University of Waterloo. À la suite de l’obtention de son doctorat, M. Choi a travaillé dans l’industrie du revêtement comme chimiste spécialiste de la mise au point pendant un an avant d’être engagé à l’University of Alberta où il occupe présentement un poste de professeur­ titulaire au département de chimie et de génie des matériaux­. Il a dirigé la section locale de la SCGCh à Edmonton pendant les six dernières années. Il a aidé à organiser et a été responsable­ d’un certain nombre de séances sur les polymères à l’occasion des congrès organisés­ par la SCGCh et la SCC. Il a agi à titre de secrétaire lors du congrès annuel 2007 de la SCGCh et comme représentant de la section Science et génie macromoléculaires­ au congrès de la SCC en 2008. M. Choi a récemment remporté le Faculty of Engineering Undergraduate­ Teaching Award et s’est mérité le McCalla Professorship en 2007 de l’University of Alberta qui reconnaissait­ ainsi sa contribution à l’enseignement de premier cycle en génie chimique. En 2002, il a obtenu une bourse de voyage de l’UICPA et a bénéficié en 2001 du Programme de récompenses aux jeunes innovateurs de Petro-Canada Inc. pour son travail sur la simulation­ moléculaire de polymères.

Amyl Ghanem, MCIC, is an associate professor in process engineering and applied science at Dalhousie University and is cross appointed to the School of Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie University. Previous work experiences include assistant professor at University of Maine and process engineer for Imperial Oil. Ghanem received her BSc in chemical engineering from University of New Brunswick and her PhD from Cornell University. Ghanem’s research interests are in the areas of tissue engineering and drug delivery, biomaterials and biochemical processing. She is the author of many journal articles and the recipient grants from NSERC, CFI and Networks of Excellence. Ghanem has participated in CSChE conferences as a speaker and as session chair on numerous occasions, and is the faculty liaison to the Dalhousie Student Chapter of CSChE. Ghanem has received the Dalhousie Chemical Engineering Student Appreciation Award and the University of Maine Faculty of Engineering Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Teaching by Young Faculty. She is a Professional Engineer with PEO, and a past participant in many school outreach programs (UMaine High School Outreach Program, UMaine Upward Bound Program, Expanding Your Horizons).

Amyl Ghanem, MCIC, est professeure agrégée en ingénierie des procédés et en science appliquée à la Dalhousie University. Elle a auparavant été professeure adjointe à l’University of Maine et ingénieure­ des procédés pour Imperial Oil. Mme Ghanem a obtenu son baccalauréat en ingénierie des procédés de l’Université du NouveauBrunswick­ et son doctorat de la Cornell University. Ses intérêts de recherche se situent dans les domaines de l’ingénierie tissulaire, de l’administration des médicaments, des biomatériaux et des procédés biochimiques. Elle est l’auteure de nombreux articles scientifiques et récipiendaire de bourses du CRSNG, de la FCI et des Networks of Excellence. Mme Ghanem a à plusieurs reprises participé aux congrès du SCGCh comme conférencière et présidente de séance. Elle se charge aussi de faire le lien avec la section étudiante de la SCGCh à la Dalhousie University. Mme Ghanem a reçu le Dalhousie Chemical Engineering Student Appreciation Award et le University of Maine Faculty of Engineering Award pour ses réalisations exceptionnelles en enseignement en tant que jeune professeure. Elle est une ingénieure professionnelle agréée par l’Ordre des ingénieurs de l’Ontario. Elle a de plus participé dans le passé à de nombreux programmes scolaires de diffusion scientifique (UMaine High School Outreach Program, UMaine Upward Bound Program, Expanding Your Horizons).

july/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  35

Nominations are now open for

The Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering

2008AWARDS Act now!

Do you know an outstanding person who deserves to be recognized?

The Bantrel Award in Design and Industrial Practice is presented to a Canadian citizen or a resident of Canada for innovative design or production activities accomplished in Canada. The activities may have resulted in a significant achievement in product or process design, small or large company innovation, or multidisciplinary designdirected research or production. The achievement will relate to the practice of chemical engineering and/or industrial chemistry whether in research and development, process implementation, entrepreneurialism, innovation, production or some combination of these. It may be via a well-known, long-standing reputation for translating chemical engineering principles into design and industrial practice and, through this, contribute to the profession as a whole. Sponsored by Bantrel. Award: A plaque and a cash prize.

The D. G. Fisher Award is presented to an individual who has made substantial contributions to the field of systems and control engineering. The award is given in recognition of significant contributions in any, or all, of the areas of theory, practice, and education. Sponsored by the department of chemical and materials engineering, University of Alberta, Suncor Energy Foundation, and Shell Canada Limited. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize and travel expenses.

The Process Safety Management Award is presented as a mark of recognition to a person who has made an outstanding contribution in Canada to the Process Safety Management (PSM) Division of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering recognizing excellence in the leadership and dedication of individuals who have led Canada in the field of process safety and loss management (PSLM). Sponsored by AON Reed Stenhouse Inc. Award: A framed scroll and a cash prize.

The R. S. Jane Memorial Award is presented to an individual who has made new significant contributions to chemical engineering or industrial chemistry in Canada. Sponsored by the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize and registration fee to the CSChE Conference.

The Syncrude Canada Innovation Award is presented to a resident of Canada who has made a distinguished contribution to the field of chemical engineering while working in Canada. Nominees for this award shall not have reached the age of 40 years by January of the year in which the nomination becomes effective. Sponsored by Syncrude Canada Ltd. Award: A framed scroll and a cash prize.


The deadline for all CSChE awards is December 1, 2008 for the 2009 selection.

Nomination Procedure

Submit your nominations to: Awards Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering 130 Slater Street, Suite 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 Tel.: 613-232-6252, ext. 223 Fax: 613-232-5862

Nomination forms and the full Terms of Reference for these awards are available at


5, 2 October 18 to 2

A program of the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) Public Understanding of Chemistry including National Chemistry Week is a CIC outreach program that assists in educating­ elementary and high school students and the general public about the wonders of chemistry through activities and promotional materials. Sponsorship supports the Public Understanding of Chemistry activities including: • Elementary School Awareness Programs; • Chemical Engineering Outreach; • National Crystal Growing Competition; • Promotional Items. Contact the Chemical Institute of Canada to support this exciting program. Gale Thirlwall

The Canadian­ Society for Chemical Technology


The Norman and Marion Bright Memorial Award is awarded to an individual

who has made an outstanding contribution in Canada to the furtherance of chemical technology. The person so honoured may be either a chemical sciences technologist, or a person from outside the field who has made a significant and noteworthy contribution to it advancement.

Award: A medal and a cash prize.


The deadline for this CSCT award is December 1, 2008 for the 2009 selection. Nomination forms and the full Terms of Reference for this award is available at

july/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  37

Events Événements

Employment Wanted Demandes d’emploi

CIC members in the search of new employment opportunities are eligible to publish three consecutive­

Employment Wanted

ads in ACCN free of charge. For more information, e-mail Topwe M. Mwene-Mbeja, PhD. Seven years of experience as a Researcher in Synthetic Organic Chemistry. For example, developed concise total synthesis of (+)-cuparenone and new synthetic methodologies for the [2,3] Wittig rearrangement in order to procure chiral quaternary carbons. Please contact Experienced Professional Analytical Chemist with MSc seeking immediate FT Permanent Employment in a Supervisory, Management or Teaching Capacity in Chemical or Environmental Field.

Canada Conferences August 3–6, 2008. 54th International Conference on Analytical Sciences and Spectroscopy (ICASS), Montréal, QC, August 13–16, 2008. 13th Symposium on the Latest Trends in Organic Synthesis, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, www. intro.html September 6–10, 2008. 6th International Symposium on Radiohalogens­, Whistler, BC, October 19–22, 2008. 58th Canadian Chemical­ Engineering Conference­, Ottawa, ON,

August 4–6, 2008. 12th Asia-Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineering­ Meeting—the Chemical Engineering Exhibition­, Dalian, China, August 17–22, 2008. 25th Meeting of the International Society of Chemical Ecology, State College, PA, meetings­/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,

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,

October 20–22, 2008. LABTECH Conference & Exhibition 2008, Manama­, Bahrain,

U.S. and Overseas

December 12–15, 2008. 10th European Meeting on Supercritical Fluids­, Strasbourg, France,

August 3–8, 2008. Chemistry in the ICT Age—the 20th International Conference on Chemical Education (ICCE 2008), Reduit, Mauritius,

Looking for the right job? filler

38  L’Actualité chimique canadienne Juillet/aoÛt 2008

November 16–21, 2008. 2008 AIChE Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, Conferences/AnnualMeeting/index.aspx

August 3–7, 2009. 42nd IUPAC Congress, “Chemistry Solutions,” Glasgow, Scotland,

careers carrières

The University of British Columbia Faculty of Applied Science

Director, Clean Energy Research Centre

Applications are invited from outstanding individuals for a faculty position at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor, with tenure, to serve as Director of the Clean Energy Research Centre at the University of British Columbia. The successful candidate’s home department will be the Department­ of Chemical and Biological Engineering or the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC) is a multi-disciplinary research centre housed in the Faculty of Applied Science. CERC’s goal is to explore and promote the use of sustainable energy sources and to increase efficiency and reduce emissions from more conventional energy conversion­ processes, through scientific discovery and engineering development of a wide range of clean energy­ technologies. Currently, more than 20 professors and 100 graduate students work in CERC. CERC provides state-of-the-art research facilities for the exploration of clean energy technologies.­ The successful candidate will be expected to hold a Ph.D. in engineering; and to either have, or be willing to pursue, registration with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia. The successful candidate will have a broad perspective on the future development and application of clean energy technologies; and will be expected to provide innovative leadership­ as CERC strives to expand existing research programs, develop new programs, build stronger alliances­ with industry and government, and ensure that it is placed to take full advantage of future funding opportunities. She/he will also be expected to develop a strong, externally funded research program, and to contribute to high quality undergraduate and graduate teaching. Interested applicants should submit an application package that consists of a short biography,­ a curriculum vitae, a statement of interest including research priorities, a record of teaching effectiveness­, and the names and contact details of four referees. The closing date for applications­ is  September 30, 2008, and the appointment will commence as soon as it can be filled.  Applications should be sent by e-mail (only Word or PDF files, set for printing on letter-size paper, should be attached) to:

Chair, CERC Director Search Committee The University of British Columbia 5000 – 2334 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1Z4 E-mail:

The position is subject to final budgetary approval. The University of British Columbia hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply; however, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

GET NOTICED Advertising in ACCN puts your message in front of 6,500

chemists, chemical­ engineers, and technologists each month at a very low cost.

july/august 2008 Canadian Chemical News  39

40  L’Actualité chimique canadienne Juillet/aoÛt 2008

Continuing  Education  for  Chemical  Professionals

Laboratory Safety 2008 Schedule October 21–22 Ottawa

Registration fees $550 CIC members $750 non-members $75 students For more information about the course and locations, and to access the registration form, visit: profdev


he Chemical Institute of Canada and the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology are presenting a two-day course designed to enhance the knowledge and working experience of chemical technologists and chemists. All course participants receive the CIC’s Laboratory Health and Safety Guidelines, 4th edition. This course is intended for those whose responsibilities include improving the operational safety of chemical laboratories, managing laboratories, chemical plants or research facilities, conducting safety audits of laboratories and chemical plants. During the course, participants are provided with an integrated overview of current best practices in laboratory safety.

Day 1 • • • • • • • • • •

Introduction Safety management Safety policies Training Safety audit Labelling Flammable solvents Corrosive chemicals Toxic chemicals Reactive chemicals

Day 2 • • • • • • • • • •

Insidious hazards Compressed gases Cryogenic liquids Fire safety Storage Waste disposal Personal protective equipment Electrical hazards Fume hoods 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

Continuing Education for Chemical Professionals

The Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) and the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE) are presenting the following course designed to enhance the knowledge and working experience of safety, environmental and process safety professionals.

Professional Development Risk Assessment and Management for Continuous Improvement 2008 Schedule October 21–22 Ottawa Registration fees $845 CIC/CSChE members $995 non-members profdev

This two-day course is geared to those whose responsibilities include risk assessments, development of management systems, and providing advice to decision makers. The learning objective is to reach a thorough understanding of integrated risk assessment and management principles and techniques. During the course, participants are provided with a broad overview of the technical tools available to assess risk in industrial environments as well as how these tools fit in the bigger picture of the broader risk management systems to control risk.

Elements of the course • Introduction • Major Historical Accidents in Process Industries • Risk Concepts, How to Estimate Risk and Evaluate its Acceptability • Integrated Risk Management: Success Factors for High Performance • The Risk Management Process • Techniques for Risk Analysis • Qualitative Techniques: Hazard Identification (Screening Level, What-if, HAZOP, FMEA) with handson application examples • Index Methods • Frequency Analysis Techniques (Fault and Event Trees), SVA, LOPA • Consequence Analysis Methods for Hazards Associated with Hazardous Materials (with reference to US EPA Risk Management Program Rule)

The Chemical Institute of Canada

• Elements of Process Safety Management (with reference to US OSHA PSM Regulations) • Emergency Management (with reference to Environment Canada and other Canadian Legislation) • Summary and Conclusions

Recommended for Industry and government personnel who have responsibilities in: • Safety, Health and Environment • Worksite safety • Asset Management • Operations Management • Process Safety and Loss Prevention • Risk Management • Security and Emergency Response

Course leader Ertugrul Alp, PhD, PEng, MCIC, Principal, Alp & Associates Incorporated, has over 20 years' experience in assessment and management of risks to environment, health, safety, property and reputation. His experience covers a number of industrial sectors, including chemical, energy, pulp and paper, mining, steel, and transportation, and government sectors such as labour, environment, health, natural resources, and municipal planning.

Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering


Jul/Aug 2008: ACCN, the Canadian Chemical News  

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

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