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l’actualité chimique canadienne canadian chemical news ACCN

JUNE | JUIN • 2007 • Vol. 59, No./no 6

SUMMER CHEMISTRY Mosquito Repellent

SWIMMING POOL CHEMISTRY

Bantrel Forum on Design in Chemical Engineering

FERTILIZING YOUR GARDEN PROPHECY AS SCIENCE CSChE Board of Directors Nominations

CEPA–Categorizing Chemicals


ACCN

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

JUNE | JUIN • 2007 • Vol. 59, No./no 6

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

Ar ticles

Guest Column Chroniqueur invité . . . . . . 2 The More We Know Russell Boyd, FCIC

10

Swimming Pool Chemistry

14

Chemistry in Your Garden

16

Categorizing Chemicals in Canada

18

Prophecy as Science

20

Bantrel Forum on Design in Chemical Engineering

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

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

Patent Quest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Daphne C. Lainson, MCIC

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

Recognition Reconnaissance. . . . . . . . . 24

Enrico Uva

John Arseneau and Paul Glover

Climatheologists claim to know what will happen 50 years from now. Michael Piggott

Events Événements . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Careers Carrières . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29


GUEST COLUMN CHRONIQUEUR INVITÉ

Editor-in-Chief/Rédactrice en chef Michelle Piquette Managing Editor/Directrice de la rédaction Heather Dana Munroe Graphic Designer/Infographiste Krista Leroux

The More We Know

Editorial Board/Conseil de rédaction Joe Schwarcz, MCIC, chair/président Cathleen Crudden, MCIC John Margeson, MCIC Milena Sejnoha, MCIC Steve Thornton, MCIC Bernard West, MCIC

The simple pleasures of summers past and present

I

t is indeed a pleasure to contribute a guest column to an issue of ACCN devoted to summer chemistry, especially in the same year that I have the honour of being elected the president of the Canadian Society for Chemistry. Let me begin by reflecting on the route I took to becoming the CSC president. I was born in Kelowna, BC, and lived beside Okanagan Lake for my first 15 years. There were four distinct seasons and my passions were all sport—swimming and boating in the hot summer, soccer in the cool autumn, hockey during the relatively mild winter, and baseball in the wonderful spring. Life was carefree. At the time, I knew nothing about chemistry. There were so many things that fascinated me, but it never occurred to me to ask if anyone close to me could explain them, and I am certain that I didn’t know how to find the explanations. We often played with fire and we noticed that if we cut off the air supply, the flame went out. We scrounged lead left behind by plumbers and somehow we learned that lead has a relatively low melting point. We melted the lead in an apple juice can over the hot coals of an open fire and then poured the molten lead into molds that we had created from scrap wood. We lined our molds with aluminum foil. The molten lead would be shiny like mercury until it began to cool and then it turned a dull grey. We had absolutely no idea what was happening to the lead, but we pretended our lead bricks were like the gold bricks in the cowboy movies at the Saturday matinees. Both the world and I have changed significantly since the 1950s. In 1960, I entered high school in New Westminster and I became more

2 L’ACTUALITÉ CHIMIQUE CANADIENNE JUIN 2007

Russell Boyd, FCIC

academically inclined. My interest in science took me to The University of British Columbia, McGill, and Oxford and eventually to an academic position at Dalhousie. I learned that the more we know, the more we know that there is so much that we do not understand. In those halcyon years in Kelowna, I was fascinated by water, but I did not know that matter consists of atoms and that the special properties of water arise from hydrogen bonding. I did not know that the active ingredient in the smoke that was sprayed along residential streets at sundown contained DDT. I had no idea how harmful too much sunlight can be. Sunscreens (sunblocks) were not widely known and there was no mention of a UV index on the radio. In the summer of 2007, millions of Canadian children will experience the simple pleasures of my childhood, and many will be curious about the world around them. They will get the answers to their questions from the Discovery Channel and the Internet. It is a safe assumption they will not be exposed to DDT, and the majority will limit their exposure to the sun. Other risks will be identified and chemistry will be involved in the solutions to many problems. I hope they will have a wonderful childhood, receive an excellent education, enjoy their careers, build strong relationships, and work to make our special planet a better place.

Russell Boyd, FCIC, is president of the CSC.

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 editorial@accn.ca • www.accn.ca Advertising/Publicité advertising@accn.ca 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. www.cheminst.ca. 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 circulation@cheminst.ca 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

He is currently the Alexander McLeod professor of chemistry at Dalhousie University, where he was chair of the chemistry department from 1992 to 2005.

www.accn.ca


NEWS NOUVELLES

LETTERS LETTRES

I was surprised and intrigued to see the February 2007 issue of ACCN dedicated to green chemistry. The five published articles were a great read and very informative. Roland Andersson’s message indicates that Canada is definitely playing an active roll in developing green science, but I am curious as to what motivated the magazine to focus on green chemistry at this time. Is this something that the ACCN customer base asked for or were there other reasons? Karen Moffat, MCIC EDITOR’S NOTE: Every August, the ACCN editorial board and CIC staff determine the editorial calendar for the following year based on what we believe will interest our readers. We dedicated an issue to green chemistry in April 2004, and advances in green sciences in Canada have progressed significantly since that time. Political parties have become “greenminded.” The environment has risen to the top of public issues and it is an opportune time to promote the chemical sciences and engineering. ACCN continues to report on Canadian chemical developments in adherence to the CIC initiative. The CIC is making green chemistry and engineering a priority. Further cooperation and collaboration are vital in pushing green science forward. CLARIFICATION: Belated congratulations to W. G. Forbes, FCIC, who became a 50-Year Member of the CIC in 2005. His name should have been included with his peers in the acknowledgement that ran in the September 2005 issue of ACCN.

What Do You Think? editorial@accn.ca

Canada/U.S. Advance Cellulose Ethanol Technology Industry Canada and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have announced plans to provide funds to Iogen Energy for the development of cellulose ethanol production. Ottawa has awarded Iogen a $7.7 million repayable investment in a research and development project. The investment is part of a $25.8 million project being undertaken by Iogen to upgrade its celluloseto-ethanol demonstration plant and advance biofuel technology. The company said the demonstration plant, which has a production capacity of 2.5 million litres per year, is being upgraded on an ongoing basis. The latest announcement will involve no change to the capacity of the plant. “Iogen is pleased to receive this research investment in second generation biofuels from the Government of Canada,” said Brian Foody, president of Iogen. “This support will help us continue advancing our cellulose ethanol technology as we move to commercialization.” The DOE will invest up to US$385 million for six biorefinery projects over the next four years. When fully operational, the biorefineries are expected to produce more than 130 million gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol. Iogen Biorefinery Partners was one of the six announced recipients. The proposed plant will be built in Shelley, ID, and will produce 18 million gallons of ethanol annually. Iogen said the next step is to negotiate with the DOE on the terms of the grant, which could be up to US$80 million. The company is also looking at the possibility of building future plants in Canada and Germany. Cellulosic ethanol is an alternative fuel made from a wide variety of non-food plant materials or feedstocks. Though it requires a more complex refining process, cellulosic ethanol contains more net energy and results in lower greenhouse emissions than traditional corn-based ethanol, according to the DOE.

NOVA Chemicals and Aux Sable Unite for Alberta Ethane Extraction Plant NOVA Chemicals Corporation has signed a letter of intent with Aux Sable Canada Ltd. (“ASC”) to develop an ethane extraction plant in Fort Saskatchewan, AB, that will process natural gas from the Alliance Pipeline. ASC and NOVA Chemicals will work together to develop the project, which will be owned and operated by ASC and is expected to begin operating in mid-2010. The extraction plant will have the capacity to process as much as 1.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day and will produce approximately 40,000 barrels per day of ethane. The extraction plant will be located on land owned by ASC in Fort Saskatchewan, adjacent to the site of ASC’s Heartland Offgas Plant. Ethane will be delivered via pipeline to NOVA Chemicals’ Joffre, AB, petrochemical complex for use as a feedstock in the production of ethylene. “Maintaining and extending the Alberta Advantage for production of ethylene is fundamental to the long-term viability of the petrochemical industry in the province,” said Jeffrey M. Lipton, president and CEO of NOVA Chemicals. “By increasing the recovery of ethane currently being exported from the province, this project will help position NOVA Chemicals and the rest of the Alberta petrochemical industry for future growth.” “This is an important next step in Aux Sable Canada’s strategy to be a leader in fee-for-service processing in the Fort Saskatchewan area. We are excited about the opportunity to grow our Fort Saskatchewan facilities and to play an increasing role in the Government of Alberta’s vision of value-added resource processing in the province,” said W. J. (Bill) McAdam, president and CEO of ASC. NOVA Chemicals Corporation

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Camford Chemical Report

JUNE 2007 CANADIAN CHEMICAL NEWS 3


NEWS NOUVELLES

Universities Get $6 Million to Build “Green” BioCars Imagine every car in Ontario having a “green” interior, with the dashboard, seats, headrests, door panels, and other parts made from composites of agricultural crops like corn and wheat. The concept took a step closer to reality with the announcement that the provincial government is investing nearly $6 million in the BioCar initiative. This is a multi-university project led by the University of Guelph. Mohini Sain, MCIC, a University of Toronto researcher, is the co-principal investigator for the project. It involves 16 scientists at Guelph and the universities of Toronto, Waterloo, and Windsor. They are combining their research strengths and efforts to improve the development and delivery capacity of biomaterials for the automotive industry. “The BioCar Initiative aligns some of the most distinctive innovation capacity in Ontario,” said Alan Wildeman, vice-president of research. “It involves a consortium of universities working with two of the largest industries in Ontario—the automotive industry and the agricultural industry. This combination provides an unprecedented opportunity for the province to be seen as a major contributor to the global biobased industrial revolution that is occurring.” Support for the project will come from the Ontario Research Fund’s Research Excellence Program and was announced in Toronto, ON, by Premier Dalton McGuinty, minister of research and innovation. Guelph’s role will include creating new industrial crops that can be turned into composite materials used to make interior automobile components. “It’s a whole new way of looking at agriculture and a whole new relationship between the sector and Ontario’s economy,” said plant agriculture professor Larry Erickson, one of the lead researchers. “It opens the door for a lot more approaches and utilization of crops. Now, agriculture is more than meat and potatoes—it’s car parts, building materials, fuel, and more.” It’s been known for years that plant material can be used to make components

4 L’ACTUALITÉ CHIMIQUE CANADIENNE JUIN 2007

in the manufacturing process, but it’s only recently that society recognized the need to do this commercially. For the past 100 years, research efforts and resources have not been focused on using crops in this way because there’s been an abundant supply of lowcost petroleum, said Erickson. “All of that has changed now. We have to catch up and make up for lost time and develop alternative technology.” The BioCar project literally starts in the field, with Guelph looking at the raw agricultural materials and studying crop genetics. It then moves to processing and separating the biological feedstock in collaboration with the University of Toronto, to engineering composite resins and polymers for application to automotive parts at Waterloo, to finally incorporating the new products into automobiles at Windsor. “Talk about a value-added chain of research,” said Erickson. “The BioCar Initiative is a continual stream of research and development with incremental improvements made at each point in the value chain. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” He added that research into new bioproducts has often been challenging because currently, these new materials are not economically competitive with synthetic products. But the integrated, scientific team from four universities hopes to change things. University of Guelph

Methanex Plant in Chile Methanex has signed a memorandum of understanding with GeoPark Holdings, which will provide for the long-term supply, development , and acquisition of new natural gas reserves in Chile. The deal includes a ten-year gas supply and purchase commitment from GeoPark’s Fell Block in southern Chile, beginning in May 2007. The Methanex methanol plant in Chile produces approximately ten percent of the world’s methanol supply.

Canada’s First Cellulosic Ethanol Demo Plant Lignol Innovations, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lignol Energy, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Suncor Energy Products regarding the first cellulosic ethanol commercial demonstration plant in Canada. The deal grants Suncor a right of first refusal to build the plant using Lignol technology. “This new relationship with Suncor represents a significant milestone for us, as we advance our commercialization strategy,” said Ross MacLachlan, president and CEO of Lignol. “Suncor has provided us with valuable support in the current commercialization work plan funded in part by Sustainable Development Technology Canada.” In recent years, ethanol has been increasingly added to conventional transport fuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Increased utilization of ethanol in both business and consumer transport can be achieved using existing infrastructure and in compliance with current automobile manufacturer fueling guidelines. Governments in North America and around the world are mandating increased ethanol use as part of their environmental strategies. The Canadian government has set a goal of an average of five percent renewable content in vehicle fuels by 2010. “After the successful launch of our cornbased ethanol plant in Ontario, we are excite to work with Lignol to investigate alternate feedstocks using Lignol’s technology for the production of ethanol,” said Warren Maclean, vice-president, energy supply, Suncor Energy Products. “Suncor was one of the first to blend ethanol in our fuel and we are always looking at opportunities to produce and advance renewable fuels.” Lignol Innovations

Question?

Patent

patentquest@accn.ca Methanex


NEWS NOUVELLES

All Aboard for Safety Union Pacific Railroad and Dow Chemical have signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) reinforcing the companies’ long history of working together to improve safety and security in chemical transportation. In addition to contributing to the long-term viability of both the railroad and chemical industries, the agreement calls for personnel from each organization to work together in a cooperative effort to achieve eight specified goals within the next ten years. More detailed information on the eight goals in the MOC can be found at www.uprr.com. Union Pacific Railroad

New Tax Measures to Aid Chemical Industry Canada’s Chemical Producers’ Association (CCPA) says new tax measures in the federal budget will help the chemical industry.

Photo courtesy of Union Pacific

CCPA has praised the federal government for providing tax relief to the manufacturing sector in its 2007 budget, through modified capital cost allowance on new investments in this sector of the Canadian economy. The change in the new budget will enable chemical producers and other manufacturers to write off capital expenditures over a two-year period (i.e., at a 50 percent rate using the straight-line depreciation method). The current 30 percent declining balance approach in Canada results in an average write-off period of 11 years, compared with four or five years in the U.S. Right now, the combination of a high Canadian dollar, expensive energy, and competition from China and India means that many companies do not have the cash flow to invest in upgrading plants or improving environmental performance, according to the CCPA. “This budget is good for Canadians; it helps those small and large communities struggling with manufacturing losses,” said president Richard Paton. “For chemical producers, this announcement means new plants will be written off in shorter time frames and

will represent a major difference in cash flow for companies. This change in tax policy will stimulate new investment decisions, make chemical producers more competitive compared to the U.S., and help them compete with rising investments in growing markets like Asia and the Middle East.” The changes in capital cost allowance also complement the government’s regulatory approach for industry on environmental issues, providing more flexibility for industry to invest in new capital projects. These include new technologies that could result in further reductions of emissions affecting both greenhouse gases and clean air. The changes announced reflect recommendations made by the Commons Industry Committee in a report endorsed by all parties. The committee unanimously agreed with the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition that changes in business taxation and smart regulation are necessary to encourage investments in new technology, innovation, and skills training. Camford Chemical Report

JUNE 2007 CANADIAN CHEMICAL NEWS 5


NEWS NOUVELLES

Kruger Thinking of De-Inking

2007 MIDW plenary lecturers and presentation award recipients Laurel Schafer, MCIC, Jason Clyburne, MCIC, Allison Lively, Angela Crane, and Adrian Murray

Three Cheers for the MIDW The Maritime Inorganic Discussion Weekend (MIDW) celebrated its third annual instalment at Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB, on March 3 and 4, 2007. Despite some early weather concerns, the event was very well attended again this year, with student and faculty participants from all over the Maritimes, as well as Newfoundland, Quebec, and Ontario. The approximately 100 attendees enjoyed two excellent plenary lectures from Laurel Schafer, MCIC, of The University of British Columbia, and Jason Clyburne, MCIC, of Saint Mary’s University, as well as 35 oral and poster presentations by students from nine institutions. Prizes were awarded to undergraduate students Adrian Murray (St. Francis Xavier University), Angela Crane (Memorial University of Newfoundland) and Allison Lively (Mount Allison University) for their outstanding presentations. The MIDW provides an excellent opportunity for students, post-doctoral fellows, and professors to meet and exchange ideas in an informal environment. The continued success of the event is owed to the support of the flourishing inorganic chemistry community in the region. The organizers are very grateful to NSERC Atlantic (Catherine Vardy), Rigaku/MSC Inc. (Barb Merryweather),

6 L’ACTUALITÉ CHIMIQUE CANADIENNE JUIN 2007

Sepracor, BoroScience Canada (Bernie Spielvogel), the CSC, DIMAGLASS Inc., Mount Allison University, and Dalhousie University for their financial support. Also acknowledged are the Mount Allison Chemistry Society and the many student volunteers that helped out. For further information, visit the MIDW Web site at www.mta.ca/midw. Glen G. Briand, MCIC

Teaming Up Against Antiviral Targets Dalton Medicinal Chemistry Partners, the medicinal chemistry arm of Dalton Pharma Services, has signed a medicinal chemistry agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. Dalton Medicinal Chemistry Partners will utilize their medicinal chemistry expertise to design and synthesize novel compounds against a number of antiviral targets selected by Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. Peter Pekos, president of Dalton Pharma Services, said, “We are pleased to enter this exciting partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. By bringing the added value of our medicinal chemistry capabilities and expertise to their antiviral research projects.”

Kruger will invest $200 million at its TroisRivières, QC, mill to provide 342 kilotonnes per year of de-inking capacity. The unit will employ new technology to produce two grades of pulp that can be used to manufacture newsprint and supercalendered and coated papers. The pulp will entirely replace groundwood pulp and will be used to produce value-added papers with recycled fibre content. The project, to be carried out over 32 months, will position Kruger as the North American leader in the manufacture of publication papers with high recycled fibre content. The company noted that the new de-inking plant will have several major environmental benefits. After startup, Kruger will be recycling an additional 422 kilotonnes per year of recovered paper, equal to Quebec’s entire consumption of newsprint and specialty printing papers. At that point, the company will be using a total of 1,122 kilotonnes per year of recovered paper and board. Power consumption at the mill will be reduced by 20 percent of current demand. Virgin fibre consumption at Trois-Rivières will be reduced by 200 kilotonnes per year of chips and 229,000 cubic metres per year of roundwood. The investment includes a $20 million nonrefundable contribution from Investissement Québec. The project also meets the eligibility criteria of Hydro-Québec’s plant retrofit program for improving the energy efficiency of major customers. This would involve a contribution of $30 million. Investissement Québec also contributed a loan of $50 million. Kruger

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Industrial Waste Recycling on the Rise Kingston Poly-Pacific International has signed a conditional agreement with owners of a tenacre landfill site in Kingston, ON containing waste nylon. The agreement allows Poly-Pacific to conduct its due diligence to encompass an assessment of the quantity and quality of the nylon material situated in the site. The company has retained the engineering firm of Kleinfeldt Consultants of Toronto, ON, to assist with the technical aspects of this process. In its preliminary report, Klenfeldt confirms that the quantity of reclaimable nylon on the site is a minimum of 15 million pounds. Poly-Pacific’s intention is to clean and pelletize this material. The current market value of clean, pelletized nylon is approximately US$1.20 per pound. It is estimated that approximately 180 kilotonnes of industrial wastes were landfilled at the site between 1970 and 1987 and that the overall volume of the present landfill is in the order of one million cubic metres. The city of Kingston has granted Poly-Pacific conditional access to the McAdoo Lane landfill for the sole purpose of assessing the continued feasibility of extracting fibre from the site. The company has retained Grant Bennett as a consultant. Bennett has a long history in plastic manufacturing, encompassing all aspects of the recycling of raw polymer material, plastic conversion methods, and corporate development. Poly-Pacific president Randy Hayward said, “The nylon reclamation project provides Poly-Pacific with the unique opportunity to assist in cleaning up our environment, while earning revenue for the company. In addition, having an individual with … [Bennet’s] credentials … to assist us in the nylon reclamation project and other initiatives is a great benefit to our company.” While recycling of industrial wastes is a growing trend—largely to combat the rising cost of virgin material—the concept of landfill mining and reclamation is a developing technology. According to PlasticsTechnology, recycling and reclamation are once again hot technologies because of high resin prices.

Quest

Patent

Lawyer and patent agent, Daphne C. Lainson, MCIC, answers your questions on patenting your discoveries. Send your questions to patentquest@accn.ca.

Q: I own a small company that has a number of patents. I am considering a new corporate direction, and consequently I am thinking of selling some of my patents. Is there a good way to go about this? For instance, is there a publication in which I can specifically advertise? A: There are a number of options available to you. For example, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office have a service for advertising your U.S. and Canadian patents respectively as being available for licence or sale. Either of these options is inexpensive, and could be pursued together with other options. There are government organizations that can assist you in marketing your patents. Information on government programs can be obtained in a number of places, including through the Industry Canada Web site. Private sector organizations also exist that could assist you in finding a buyer. If you chose to use one of these organizations, you should first investigate its reputation (e.g. contact a Better Business Bureau). The services provided can vary widely (from simple marketing advice to live patent auctions), as can the cost. Finally, you could try contacting companies directly that operate in the field to which your patents relate. In deciding how to proceed, you should consider what you think the patents are worth, the cost of maintaining the patents, and how quickly you want to divest yourself of the patents. These considerations will likely inform your choice. Daphne C. Lainson, MCIC, is a lawyer and patent agent with the law firm Smart & Biggar in Ottawa, ON. Smart & Biggar is Canada’s largest firm practising exclusively in intellectual property and technology law. Disclaimer: The preceding is intended as informational only, and does not constitute professional advice.

Camford Chemical Report

JUNE 2007 CANADIAN CHEMICAL NEWS 7


CHEMFUSION Joe Schwarcz, MCIC

SMACK THAT!

G

uests at the Cypress Cove Nudist Resort in Florida routinely emerge from the swimming pool and walk over to a nearby row of citrosa plants. They proceed to shake the shrubbery and then rub their hands on their thighs. This is not some sort of bizarre nudist ritual. It is just preparation for a spell of bite-free frolicking in the sun. The citrosa plants produce two compounds, citronella and citral, which are claimed to have mosquito repellent properties. Have the nudists found a solution to a problem that has plagued humankind since time immemorial? If so, it would signify a lot more than peaceful barbecues and slapfree camping trips. It would mean the saving of lives. Mosquitoes hold the unenviable record as the creature responsible for killing the most humans throughout our history. They have dispatched millions with malaria, yellow fever, and encephalitis. Of course, the mosquito is not a conscious murderer. When it sinks its proboscis into our flesh, it is only

8 L’ACTUALITÉ CHIMIQUE CANADIENNE JUIN 2007

trying to survive. Actually, the male is a vegetarian. It is only the female of the species that torments us. She bites, searching for a source of protein needed to nurture her eggs. Unfortunately, our blood is an ideal source of nutrients for this purpose. As the female mosquito sucks blood, she injects a mix of chemicals to keep the blood from clotting. It is this mosquito saliva that can trigger the localized release of histamine, which in turn causes an allergic reaction and the associated itch. Far worse, disease causing organisms that the prospective mother may have picked up from a previous meal may now be transferred to the new victim. A great deal of research has been carried out to try and determine what makes a mosquito bite a certain individual. It is well known that some people are more attractive to the insect than others. Actually, if given the choice, many varieties of mosquitoes prefer animals. Evidence suggests that the mosquito selects its prey by sensing moisture, warmth, carbon dioxide, and various bodily fragrances. Lactic acid, a product of muscle metabolism, is a definite attractant. So is octenol, which is produced when plant material is digested. The breath of cows makes mosquitoes drool. They also find vegetarians particularly appealing. Mosquito traps that release carbon dioxide and octenol have already been used to significantly cut down on insect populations in the Florida Everglades. Mosquitoes are also attracted by certain fatty acids produced by bacteria found on the skin. Since people have different microflora, they may indeed attract mosquitoes to different extents. Even certain parts of our anatomy may be more tempting to mosquitoes than others. Some species apparently prefer the fragrance of feet. Others are drawn to more intimate areas. This may explain the nudists’ habit of anointing their thighs with the citrosa scent. So we are back to the citrosa. Promoters claim that the chemicals released by the plant block the mosquitoes’ olfactory receptors and prevent them from zeroing in on their target. But scientific research does not fully support this claim. When researchers thrust their hands into boxes filled with hungry mosquitoes, they find that citronella affords only minimal protection. Smoke really does keep the bugs away. Sound does not. The ultrasonic repellers on the market supposedly frighten insects away by mimicking the sound of the mosquitoes’

greatest enemy—the bat. The Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. concluded after extensive testing that none of the ultrasonic devices are effective. Bugs are, however, attracted to blue light and can be zapped with electricity. This may make a dent in the population but some researchers suggest that the process can disperse microbes the insects may be carrying into the air. Not an attractive scenario. Better stick to chemistry. Since the 1950s we have been relying on DEET (or N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamideor). This synthetic chemical does indeed bind to the mosquitoes’ olfactory receptors. When used properly, it can keep the insects away for hours. The repellent effect is proportional to the concentration of DEET in the product. So are the possible problems. DEET can be absorbed through the skin. About 15 percent of a dose eventually shows up in the urine. In addition to allergic reactions, there have been rare reports of neurological problems including seizures and confusion. The risks can be minimized by not using products that contain over 35 to 40 percent DEET for adults and 10 to 20 percent for children. DEET also has an unpleasant odour and can damage some fabrics as well as plastic lenses in eyeglasses. Still, millions of people use DEET regularly every year without significant problems. There is precious little evidence as far as other repellents go. Supposedly B vitamins block taste receptors that mosquitoes use when they search for blood. Advocates claim that taking yeast tablets raises the blood levels of vitamin B to an extent that affords protection. The mosquitoes may probe, but they will not bite. Garlic also has a reputation as a deterrent to the sanguinous predator. But garlic loading hardly constitutes a convenient way of dealing with the problem. Neither does sleeping with pigs. According to some accounts, Mediterranean peasants capitalize on the mosquitoes’ preference for pork over humans and allow their hogs to roam freely through the bedroom. I think DEET is a better option.

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


Swimming 10 L’ACTUALITÉ CHIMIQUE CANADIENNE JUIN 2007


W

e bought a swimming pool. One of the first things I noticed was that pool chemistry terms are confusing to both specialists and lay people alike. A pool manual’s usage of terms such as “alkalinity” and “free chlorine” are not textbook definitions. But once I sorted through the initial confusion, it gave me one more excuse to do some simple chemistry experiments in my backyard.

Chlorine and pH When pool manufacturers use the term “free chlorine,” they are referring to hypochlorous acid, HOCl, which exists in aqueous solution. This is the chemical species that actually kills bacteria and attenuates algal growth, preventing diarrhea, the nasty earache known as “swimmer’s ear,” and various skin and respiratory problems. Diatomic chlorine, Cl 2 , would also do the trick, but it is far too dangerous. If Ca(ClO)2 is used as an alternative, the product will slowly dissolve in water to produce the hypochlorite ion, OCl-(aq). But OCl-(aq) goes into equilibrium with the vital HOCl.

OCl- ( aq )+H2O U HOCl ( aq )+OH- ( aq ) If the pH is too high, the reverse reaction will be encouraged, leading to a higher concentration of OCl- and lowering the amount of essential HOCl. Although a lower pH (more acid) will encourage the forward reaction (by destroying OH-), it also makes the water more irritating and more corrosive. Copper for example, which is used in some electric heating coils and in less expensive heat pumps, can withstand the action of HOCl alone. Unfortunately, the metal is prone to oxidation in

the presence of both HOCl and acid. The right balance of effective bactericidal action and low corrosion occurs at a pH of 7.2. The ideal concentration of hypochlorite in pool water is about 2 parts per million, translating into about 2 milligrams of calcium hypochlorite per litre of water. I normally start with a little more, especially if I’m not chlorinating at dusk, which is the best time. Ultraviolet light will break down chlorine compounds, create Cl free radicals and eventually convert them to HCl. If I dissolve 120 grams in a 40,000 litre pool, that’s equivalent to 3 grams per 1,000 litres, which is 0.003 grams per litre or 3 milligrams per litre. On average, such an amount will last two days. But factors such as temperature, frequency of use, and presence of a pool cover (which filters UV light) will either increase or decrease HOCl’s residence-time. There are times in the summer when my HOCl runs low after 24 hours. Conversely, in the spring before we actually start swimming in the pool, I have seen chlorine levels remain adequate beyond 48 hours. Adding more than the required amount of hypochlorite is not recommended because it is an eye and skin irritant. For those seeking a more stable chlorine-product and the illusion of convenience, trichlor (trichloroisocyanuric acid) tablets (or “pucks”) are available. In addition to generating HOCl, trichloroisocyanuric acid lowers pH and drives the HOClequilibrium to the right (in keeping with the good old LeChatelier principle), but unless the owner periodically adds carbonate ion (socalled pH+), the acid will accumulate and take its toll on pool equipment. It is for this reason that I prefer Ca(ClO)2. Although it also has its drawbacks—such as calcium deposits accumulating if dilution and backwashes are not

… somehow water crept past what I thought was a waterproof lid routinely performed—it is nowhere near as nasty as trichlor. Thanks to trichlor and some carelessness on my part, a couple of years ago I almost became a victim of chlorine gas. Here’s how. First trichlor creates HOCl and isocyanuric acid:

With both acid and HOCl around, elemental chlorine can potentially be part of the following equilibrium:

HOCl ( aq )+HCl ( aq ) U H2O ( l )+Cl2 ↑ Normally the acid introduced by the pucks, once diluted by a pool’s large volume of water, will not create much of the elemental chlorine gas. But I had a leak in my storage shed, and somehow water crept past what I thought was a waterproof lid. The water in the bucket of trichloroisocyanuric acid pucks partially dissolved the chemical, creating very high concentrations of both HOCl and HCl. So when I opened the container I was greeted by the second-most vicious member of the halogen family. The greenish gas felt like a knife going through my throat and lungs. Luckily, I was alone and outdoors. Good ventilation and a strong coughing reflex flushed most of it out of my system.

Alkalinity Alkalinity to a chemist means level of base concentration. A base is an acid’s counterpart. But to a pool person, alkalinity refers to a specific base, namely hydrogen carbonate ion (HCO3-). The reason it’s important to have a decent amount of this in your pool is that it acts as a buffer, thus stabilizing the pH level.

Measuring pH The typical pH paper provided in some kits is not at all accurate. It can easily be off by more than 1 unit, and a single

JUNE 2007 CANADIAN CHEMICAL NEWS 11


unit on the pH scale, a logarithmic one, is really a factor of 10 in terms of [H+]. Some kits come with phenol red, but it is useful only between pH values of 7 and 8. A pH meter would be nice, or you can embark upon the following adventure. If the water is more acidic than 7 as tap water and rainwater typically are, you will first need bromothymol blue. Take a small sample of tap water and one of pool water. Since the indicator bromothymol blue is dissolved in NaOH, adding four drops to a small vial containing an unbuffered sample will not give the expected green colour for tap water. It will be blue. If the pool water plus four drops of the same indicator is as blue as the tap water sample, then you will not need to add the carbonate at this point. Go on to perform the phenol red test. If the pool sample is a lighter blue or greenish blue, it will obviously be more acidic than tap water. This will correspond to a pH of <6.8 in the chart in the back of the pH+ bottle. It’s time to add carbonate in proportion to the volume of the pool. Then after 12 hours, remeasure the pH using a phenol red indicator. If it’s still below the desired

pH value of 7.2, add more carbonate. If you accidentally overshoot the desired value, it will be time to buy pH-, and you’re on your way to having your own lab.

Chlorine indicator A common agent used to measure free chlorine is ortho-tolidine, which turns either a light or dark shade of yellow depending on the concentration of HOCl. Unfortunately, ortho-tolidine is a suspected carcinogen, so I wear gloves, and I do not dump the samples back into the pool. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency no longer approves it for chemical analysis, but it is still widely sold in Canada. Since it’s vital to constantly monitor pH and chlorine levels in one’s swimming pool— too much chlorine is toxic, too little leads to problems, too little acid will not let HOCl do its job, and too much will be corrosive—a chlorine indicator is indispensable. Hopefully, a safer one will soon be commercially available. Otherwise, I will have to rely on the old iodide-thiosulfate titration.

The warm water of swimming pools is a favourable environment for the growth of microorganisms. Sanitation reduces the numbers of microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses, to safe levels. Vigilance is required to carefully monitor water balance—adequate sanitizer levels, pH, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness. Chlorine-based and bromine-based products are effective sanitizers that also control algae. When added to water, chlorine-based products release hypochlorous acid and bromine-based products produce hypobromous acid. Chlorine and bromine can be purchased either as a chemical (pucks, tablets, or liquid) or as a device (generator or dispenser). Recommended minimum free available chlorine or equivalent bromine:

Sources 1. Ben Selinger, Chemistry in the Marketplace (Allen & Unwin Academic, 1998). 2. Terry Tamminen, The Ultimate Pool Maintenance Manual (McGraw-Hill, 2000). 3. www.rhtubs.com/chlorine.htm#trichlor 4. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_ hypochlorite 5. www.chemicalland21.com/ specialtychem/finechem/ o,o’-TOLIDINE.htm 6. www.freepatentsonline.com/ 5223617.html 7. www.edstrom.com/DocLib/MI4148.pdf

Enrico Uva is a chemistry teacher at LaurenHill Academy in Saint-Laurent, QC. Thanks to his wife who eliminated his computer-phobia over a decade ago, he has maintained a popular science Web site at www.emsb.qc.ca/laurenhill/science. You can reach him at euva@videotron.ca.

• Residential pools: 1–3 ppm • Commercial pools: Provincial and/ or municipal regulations must be followed. The presence of organic matter in swimming pool water reduces the effectiveness of sanitizers. In some cases, the label directions of swimming pool sanitizers and algicides may instruct residential pool owners to maintain a minimum chlorine level of 0.6 ppm. Reducing sanitizer levels from 1–3 ppm to 0.6 ppm is possible only when the organic matter content in swimming pool water is controlled. Check the directions for use on the product label. Read more about swimming pool safety at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/sport/spa/ index_e.html. Health Canada

12 L’ACTUALITÉ CHIMIQUE CANADIENNE JUIN 2007


CHEMISTRY

YOURGARDEN IN

P

ull up a lawn chair in the sun, pour a nice cool drink, and watch the chemistry going on in your backyard. Right in the green lawn, the flower beds, and the cedar hedge, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulphur are helping your garden retreat grow. The easiest way to understand the significance of fertilizers is to view them as food for your garden. Just as people need an adequate and consistent diet to grow and stay healthy, plants and crops have to get proper nutrition from the soil to thrive. The

14 Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ACTUALITĂ&#x2030; CHIMIQUE CANADIENNE JUIN 2007

menu for plants must include a balanced supply of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulphur. As plants and crops extract these nutrients from the soil during every growing season, they must be replenished through fertilizers, manure, and compost added to fields or gardens annually. The advantage of using fertilizers is that they can be applied with more control to match crop needs and protect the environment. Or they can supplement manure or compost to ensure the soil gets an adequate supply of nutrients. For that reason, the

Canadian Fertilizer Institute and agriculture organizations stress the importance of managing and balancing the supply of nutrients to prevent both over- and under-fertilization. Research has shown that a properly fertilized lawn has an extensive root system that uses nutrients more efficiently and allows less to leach through the soil. In addition, a strong root system can make a lawn more resistant to summer drought. Fertilizers are composed of the same ingredients as manure and compost. Added to the soil, they make nutrients easily available


NUTRIENTS ARE FOOD FOR PLANTS AND PEOPLE

to plants and crops. Nitrogen, which is essential to plant growth, is extracted from the atmosphere. Air is about 78 percent nitrogen, so fertilizer companies have a readily available supply of it. Phosphorus comes from fossil remains found in phosphate rock, and potash fertilizers come from ancient seabed deposits. Research has shown that the protein, vitamin, and mineral content of our food is boosted by the nutrient content of the soil. For example, potash fertilizer improves the isoflavone content of soybeans, which has

PLANTS

PEOPLE

NITROGEN (N)

Essential for vegetative growth, protein content, and boosting crop yields

Plays a critical role in protein formation, which in necessary for human physical development

PHOSPHORUS (P)

Provides energy for plant growth and health at all stages

Important for healthy bones and teeth

POTASSIUM (K)

An important contributor to food quality. Helps plants use water more efficiently

Helps regulate blood pressure

SULPHUR (S)

Improves quality of food and feed crops. Increases oil content in oilseed crops such as flax, soybean, and canola

Synthesizes proteins, which are critical to human diets and survival

been known to help prevent health problems such as cancer of the colon, breast, and prostate, and most recently, the potential to reduce blood cholesterol. The table above shows how common nutrients benefit plants and people. Keeping food-producing soils healthy is important in our world where one in seven people go hungry and one in three is short of minerals and vitamins. While people in other countries often spend more than half of their income on food, Canadians use about 10 percent of their income to

feed themselves. In part this is because our farmers can produce the most abundant, affordable, and nutritious food in the world with the help of fertilizers. And whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good for a farm will keep your backyard an green oasis throughout the summer for you to enjoy. For further tips on fertilizing your lawn, go to www.cfi.ca.

Canadian Fertilizer Institute

JUNE 2007 CANADIAN CHEMICAL NEWS 15


Categorizing Chemicals in Canada John Arseneau and Paul Glover

M

edicines, computers, fabrics—nearly every aspect of our lives involves chemicals. While we all depend on the benefits of chemical substances, we also understand there are risks that some can pose to human health and the environment. Canada has assessed new chemicals that enter the marketplace since 1994, helping us to better manage risks. Now, with the completion in 2006 of the categorization of legacy chemicals and the design of a Chemicals Management Plan, we have added to the protection regime in Canada. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) is one of the main laws governing chemical substances in Canada, though

16 L’ACTUALITÉ CHIMIQUE CANADIENNE MAI 2007

there are over 20 other pieces of legislation that deal with protecting health and the environment. Under CEPA 1999, Government of Canada scientists examine every new chemical substance proposed for use, evaluating some 800 substances each year. Canada has one of the best regimes for dealing with new substances, but like most other countries, it struggled with addressing its existing chemicals. The Chemicals Management Plan ensures that Canada has a world-class program for both new and existing chemical substances. Categorization, the comprehensive exercise to address existing chemicals, involved 23,000 chemical substances on what is known as the Domestic Substances List (DSL)—the list of every substance in use between 1984 and 1986. While other countries decided to focus on high production volume substances or focus on those in commerce, Canada was the only country to methodically conduct a triage of all existing substances to set priorities for further action. Canada is the first country in the world to complete this groundbreaking approach.


Categorization involved a sorting process by Health Canada and Environment Canada to determine which chemical substances have characteristics that could potentially harm the environment or human health. Using information from Canadian industry, academic research, and other countries, Government of Canada scientists worked with partners in applying a set of rigorous tools to the 23,000 chemical substances on the DSL. Categorization identified those that are inherently toxic to humans or to the environment and that might be persistent, those that are bioaccumulative and are ones to which people might have greatest potential for exposure. Out of the 23,000 substances reviewed, about 19,000 substances did not meet the criteria used for categorization. The remaining 4,000 substances, plus 300 substances identified as priorities for human health, are getting further attention under the Chemicals Management Plan. The complete list of substances can be found on the Government of Canada’s Chemical Substances Web portal at www.chemicalsubstances.gc.ca. Within the remaining 4,300 substances, the focus is currently on the 500 high-priority substances. From a human health perspective, this includes chemical substances that met the criteria of inherently toxic to humans and greatest potential for human exposure. From an environment perspective, this includes chemical substances that met the criteria of persistence, bioaccumulation, and inherently toxic to the environment. In essence, the Chemicals Management Plan is designed to be science-based and take immediate action on chemical substances of high concern. The plan also includes taking action over the next three years on consumer products, food, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and some older pesticides so as to reassess their risk profile in light of new science. In addition to expanding environmental health research activities, this work is being further supported through increased biomonitoring and surveillance work that will begin the development of a national baseline on chemicals in Canadians and help track the government’s progress and assess the effectiveness of control measures. Out of the 500 high-priority substances identified by the categorization process, 193 chemical substances are still in commerce and are potentially harmful to human health or the environment. These represent the highest

priorities for risk assessment and appropriate controls. The Government of Canada is challenging industry and civil society to provide new information on these 193 chemical substances. Every three months, groups of 15 to 30 substances will be released to industry and stakeholder groups for a six-month comment period. The substances will be published in the Canada Gazette Part I (canadagazette. gc.ca). The government will then decide what actions should be taken, in a progressive fashion for each batch. These 193 chemical substances will be assessed within a three-year time frame. The first group of substances was published on February 3, 2007. The second group was published on May 12, 2007. The government is using the mandatory information gathering provisions of section 71 of CEPA 1999 to gather information required for improved decision making, with respect to these 193 substances. In addition, industry and interested stakeholders are also invited to complete the Challenge Questionnaire to

Canada has a world-class program for both new and existing chemical substances. submit further information regarding the scientific properties of these substances, or best management practices associated with the use of these substances that might contribute to improved decision making. For more information on the questionnaire, please contact the Survey Coordinator at DSL.surveyco@ ec.gc.ca. As not every chemical needs managing in the same way, Health Canada and Environment Canada will use a mix of tools—regulations and enforcement, restrictions on re-introduction and new uses, accelerated re-evaluation of older pesticides, mandatory ingredient labelling of cosmetics, and regulations on environmental risks from pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Also included are enhanced management of environmental contaminants in food, and reinforcement tools such as health monitoring, surveillance, and research. There is also immediate action underway on a number of substance categories confirmed to be harmful to the environment

and to human health in the long run, moving toward prohibiting most uses. Industry recognizes the necessity of these actions and in many cases has been moving to find solutions. The Government of Canada has established the Virtual Elimination List under CEPA 1999 and has added the first substances to that list. Through the Chemicals Management Plan, the Government of Canada is committed to address all of the substances that have been identified through categorization via successive rounds of assessment. The government will work with key sectors to develop and codify sound management practices that will protect Canadians and the environment and, where necessary, will take regulatory action. Since early 2007, Significant New Activity provisions under CEPA 1999 are being applied to additional chemical substances that are highly hazardous to humans. While current uses of these substances may be responsibly managed, this will ensure that any new or increased use of these substances is not allowed without informed assessment and appropriate controls. With a United Nations target for all countries to achieve the sound management of chemicals by 2020, Canada now has a large body of knowledge to establish priorities and plans and is leading its counterparts around the globe. Many industrialized countries are undertaking a similar process, though most are focused on chemicals used on a highproduction volume. As part of the new Chemicals Management Plan, the Government of Canada has launched a new Internet portal. The portal provides Canadians with information about categorization, news about actions to manage and prevent risks to human health and the environment, and links to information collections on chemical substances in Canada. The portal is available at www. chemicalsubstances.gc.ca.

Paul Glover is director general of Health Canada’s Safe Environments Program. He and John Arseneau, director general of Environment Canada’s Science and Risk Assessment Program, co-led the completion of the CEPA categorization process and played prominent roles in the development of the Chemicals Management Plan for the two departments.

JUNE 2007 CANADIAN CHEMICAL NEWS 17


PROPHECY

AS SCIENCE

PROPHECY AS SCIENCE Climatheologists claim to know what will happen 50 years from now.

Y

ou have heard of scientology. It’s a religious system based on seeking self-knowledge and spiritual fulfillment. Climatheology is an allied faith, a belief system based on seeking climate prophecy fulfillment through observing trends in the world’s weather. Temperature increases are especially relevant, but hurricane frequency and ozone-layer holes are also grist for the mill. It is pseudo-scientific, involving a vast majority of lay people with a sprinkling of people with a science background who are firm believers. Some scientists are believers and others are not. And it’s a funny thing about scientists—they can hold very firm beliefs. Once they believe something, no evidence is enough to convince them that they are wrong. Take the 18th-century phlogiston, for example. There was a belief that a substance called phlogiston existed in all flammable materials and was released on burning that material. Careful experiments revealed that burning many substances increased the weight. That proved that phlogiston didn’t exist. Nevertheless, scientific advance was hampered until the believers in phlogiston had died out. More recently, an innocent scientist put what he deemed to be a crystal of polyethylene into an electron microscope. He did it differently from everybody else and discovered that it was indeed a crystal and that the polyethylene chains packed themselves concertina-wise.

18 L’ACTUALITÉ CHIMIQUE CANADIENNE JUIN 2007

Michael Piggott

When he announced this discovery, the experts laughed at him. You see, they had a fixed idea about how the chains packed themselves. So they thought that they knew better than the results the experiments revealed. But experiment—not theory—is the basis of science. When some hardy youngsters repeated his experiments, they proved the innocent right and the grey beards wrong. Such chain folding is now an established fact. But people remain the same. Today’s youngsters are tomorrow’s conservative old fogies (or conservative old biddies). The wise person knows that making extrapolations is dangerous. Many people have lost their shirts betting money on stock market trends. You would think scientific people would be more careful. But distinguished cosmologists gaily make huge extrapolations back to the big bang. They even think they know what happened in the first thousandth of a second, billions of years ago. Since events so long ago do not concern us in our daily rounds, they are welcome to theorize about it till kingdom come. But extrapolations into the future by our climatheologists matter very much. That is because the politicians have got hold of them. They or their electorates are dazzled by the computer models. They seem so modern. But we use computer models to forecast the weather. Where does that get us? Probably they get tomorrow and the next day nearly right.


have the ability to travel everywhere in cars as we do in the affluent West, they will deny themselves these pleasures just because of the prognostications of a computer model hatched in that affluent West? They see no sign—in that affluent West—of people curbing their car travel. Indeed, our roads get busier and busier every year. Fortunately, the end is in sight. Even The Economist, that enthusiast of letting supply and demand rip (the more the demand for resources, the cleverer we are in finding new supplies), doubts whether there will be enough to supply unlimited amounts of oil products to Asia’s billions. So the oil will run out in the foreseeable future. We will have to distil oil from coal and/or build giant nuclear plants to synthesize it out of all the excess greenhouse gas that we keep producing. But maybe, just maybe, that Russian scientist is right. It’s all the fault of the sun irradiating us more, and 50 years hence, that radiation will dwindle and we will enter yet another mini ice age. You want to bet on it?

Michael Piggott is an emeritus professor of chemical engineering and applied chemistry at the University of Toronto.

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But next week? Next month? Next year? Our climatheologists claim to know what will happen 50 years from now. Would you bet your lifetime savings on predictions for what the weather will be doing 10 years from now? Especially in view of that happily erroneous prediction about more and more devastating hurricanes in 2006? Politicians would have us bet our economy on it. It won’t come to that point. Some country will be caught cheating on the agreed policy (Kyoto, for example), once it really hurts their economy. Then the agreements will fall apart and we can all make small yearly adjustments to the way we do things, where we live, etc., to make accommodation before the inevitable, as humankind has always done. It is inevitable. Does anyone think that once the teeming millions in China and India


Forum on Design in Chemical Engineering

The Bantrel Forum on Design in Chemical Engineering was initiated in 2005, and has been held as part of the last two Canadian Chemical Engineering Conferences. The overall objectives of the Bantrel Forum are to identify best design practices, and to raise the profile of design activities in chemical engineering departments across Canada. The themes of the first two Forum events have concerned design education and engineering design research, respectively, and a number of interesting and even controversial ideas have been raised during the extensive time allocated to discussion at each Forum. We hope that these event summaries provide inspiration for those involved in design training and design research.

2005 Bantrel Forum on Design in Chemical Engineering Process Design in the Chemical Engineering Curriculum: Best Practices 101 Andrew Hart, MCIC, Bantrel Co. Paul Szabo, MCIC, Xerox Research Centre of Canada Paul Stuart, MCIC, École Polytechnique Montréal

T

he first Bantrel Forum on Design in Chemical Engineering was held October 18 and 19, 2005 during the 55th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The goal of the 2005 Forum was to share experiences

20 L’ACTUALITÉ CHIMIQUE CANADIENNE JUIN 2007

and synthesize best practices on two themes—Design Throughout the Chemical Engineering Curriculum, and the Capstone Design Sequence. Design education leaders from chemical engineering departments across Canada participated in the Forum. Through presentations, break-out groups, and discussion it was found that practices in undergraduate design education vary widely between departments. Despite this, a fairly extensive list of best practices was developed during the Forum. Generally, it was felt that


design activities and exposure to open-ended design problems should take place beginning early in the undergraduate curriculum. Excellence in Chemical Engineering Design is best achieved by those programs that culminate in (a) a full-year capstone design project, where (b) student teams interact directly with industry, via (c) a “client-consultant” relationship. This guarantees that graduating students must address projects that are unique, multidisciplinary, open-ended, and that will typically change in scope as they execute.

Forum protocols and roll-out An industrial perspective on chemical engineering design was first made by Andrew Hart, MCIC, of Bantrel in a presentation titled, “Engineering in an EPC Office,” and as well by Paul Szabo, MCIC, of Xerox Research Centre of Canada who presented on “Plant Design: A View From the Interface Between Industry and Academia.” Presentations were made on Design Throughout the Curriculum by Graeme Norval, MCIC (University of Toronto), Hui Wang, MCIC (University of Saskatchewan), and Jules Thibault, MCIC (University of Ottawa). Presentations on the Capstone Design Sequence were made by Brent Young, MCIC (University of Calgary), Nicolas Abatzoglou, MCIC, (Université de Sherbrooke), and Andrew Hrymak, FCIC (McMaster University). These presentations were followed by break-out sessions where best practices in each of the two subject areas were held and finally, these were presented and an open discussion chaired by Bill Svrcek, FCIC (University of Calgary).

Industrial perspective on chemical engineering design Process design might be considered as the application of chemical engineering principles for the creation of processes, to create known quantities of products that meet societal needs. While chemical engineers are typically involved to a limited extent in the detailed engineering of projects, they play a very important role in pre-feasibility, feasibility, and appropriation-grade design engineering. The Forum discussion seized on a definition of the “perfect candidate” presented by Bantrel for their engineering design company—technically qualified, strong communication skills, articulate speaker, and a team player/leader. A greater emphasis on so-called soft skills in engineering candidates is commonly expressed by industry, and these skills are at the foundation of design. Their development should be emphasized early in the chemical engineering curriculum. An important focus of the Bantrel presentation was on work flows, or the link between design activities to arrive at project objectives. There is an increasing emphasis in design companies on the systems and tools needed to “deliver projects,” and a reduced emphasis on basic process engineering. In the university setting these sophisticated systems and tools are not available for student training, however design practice should be considered as a series of systematically implemented tasks—and these connected to an understanding of errors and omissions if the tasks are not appropriately executed. The competency students should acquire in their university programs is how to solve an open-ended industrial problem through systematic design methodologies and practices.

Best practices—design throughout the curriculum It was agreed that despite the challenges associated with design for students in earlier years, that including design activities and more broadly “integrated learning” activities throughout the curriculum is critical. Students should become comfortable with open-ended problems starting in their first year, and then regularly apply the basic chemical engineering concepts they learn thereafter to solve open-ended design problems. Concepts of fundamental as well as empirical information for solving problems should be second nature to chemical engineering students. Generally speaking, the Forum participants noted that that there is a relative lack of coherence in the evolution of the design competency in many chemical engineering curricula, and that this could be an interesting topic for a more detailed analysis of best practices. More specifically, it was agreed that process simulation software should be introduced early in the chemical engineering curriculum after students have mastered hand calculations, and then used regularly thereafter. The interpretation of results from the use of process simulation should be emphasized.

Best practices—capstone design sequence in chemical engineering The capstone design sequence is an essential component of every chemical engineering curriculum, typically including courses and material covering Process Design and a Design Project. However the methods used for its execution vary widely between departments across Canada. The participants at the Bantrel Forum sought to identify some best practices for the capstone design sequence. Some of these included the following: • The Process Design learning component of the capstone design sequence sometimes over-emphasizes process simulation at the expense of emphasizing the overall design process (and work flows), and sometimes over-emphasizes re-learning the design of unit operations at the expense of an emphasis on process systems analysis. Ideally, both process simulation and the design of unit operations should be adequately treated in the chemical engineering curriculum prior to the capstone design experience. • There is a perceived challenge associated with the capstone design sequence due to dissimilar project definitions, diverse client expertise, and distinct student team chemistry. It was agreed at the Forum that these are positive challenges, since they are essential characteristics in order for chemical engineering students to have a professional design experience in their graduating year. • Engineering practice and heuristics are critical in design. This broad competency must reside either with the design professor or the industry client for success in the capstone design project, and through appropriate means, it is important that students have regular access to engineering practice and empirical experience throughout the capstone design sequence.

Addressing some of the key questions Following the above discussion, various key issues related to design in chemical engineering were discussed by the Bantrel Design Forum participants, three of which were the following:

JUNE 2007 CANADIAN CHEMICAL NEWS 21


• What are the characteristics of “excellent” design projects for students in the capstone design course? The Forum participants underlined the importance of direct interaction of student groups with industry, including the challenges associated with a “clientconsultant” relationship. Many design sequences only have a one-semester design project, however it was agreed that a full year is ideal. This is important to recognize the effort required and allocate adequate credit-hours to complete the design, but also to allow students the necessary elapsed time to understand and correctly define the design project, and to execute preliminary engineering steps including the opportunity for iteration with the design client and course instructor. This also increases the quality of the final design, and presumably results in a more positive exposure of chemical engineering departments and their graduates to industry clients. • Are design work flows emphasized adequately in undergraduate capstone design courses? It was recognized that many design

sequences emphasize a creative but somewhat ad hoc approach to process design, without a clear link between design activities. In order to equip students with the competency needed to execute design projects in their final year, an understanding of work flows and project planning are essential, as well as a recognition that replanning followed by client consultation should be expected in any project. • What should be the role of product design in the chemical engineering curriculum? It was recognized that product-centric design is increasingly emphasized in industry, and that undergraduate students should understand the role of product design relative to that of process design. Ideally this can be achieved in a dedicated course preceding the process design course, possibly also including entrepreneurship, and otherwise product design can be treated less comprehensively within the process design course.

2006 Bantrel Forum on Design in Chemical Engineering Turning Research Into Innovation Through Design Viviane Yargeau, MCIC, McGill University Nicolas Abatzoglou, MCIC, Université de Sherbrooke Paul Stuart, MCIC, École Polytechnique, Montréal

T

he second Bantrel Forum on Design in Chemical Engineering took place on October 18, 2006 during the 56th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference held at the Delta Sherbrooke Hotel and Conference Centre, Sherbrooke, QC. The goal of the 2006 Forum was to share different view points on “design-directed research,” with input from a range of R&D stakeholders including Natural Sciences and Research Council of Canada (NSERC), industry, as well as government and university researchers. The Bantrel Forum participants agreed that although designdirected research has significant potential to enhance the impact of university-based R&D in Canada, that design methodology components are typically considered in research projects only on an ad hoc basis. It was agreed that an increase in Canada’s innovation potential might be reached through an enhanced design-directed research culture in our universities; incorporating both “boiler plate design” and “design for innovation” practices at the early planning stages of engineering research and development programs. To optimize the benefit from our investment in research, we must provide young Canadians a university research environment that encourages the entrepreneurial spirit and employs methods that promote innovation.

Forum protocols and roll-out The discussion on the role of design in research was initiated by Janet Walden, vice-president of research partnerships programs at NSERC, whose talk was titled, “Designing Innovation in an Environment of Change.” An industrial perspective was presented by John McVey from Bantrel. The research institute point of view was presented by Alberto Alva-Argaez from Natural Resources Canada and, finally, Esteban Chornet, FCIC, from the Université de Sherbrooke. Chornet and

22 L’ACTUALITÉ CHIMIQUE CANADIENNE JUIN 2007

his spin-off company, Enerkem Technologies, presented an academic view from the technology transfer standpoint. In the afternoon session, presentations were made on design-directed research success stories by Tom Marlin, MCIC, of McMaster University, Yonghoa Ni, MCIC, from the University of New Brunswick, and Jean-Sébastien Simard, ACIC, of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Montréal. These presentations were followed by break-out sessions where best practices in design-directed research were debated and finally, an open discussion was held to identify ways to promote design-directed research, particularly in academia.

Definition of design-directed research Based on the different opinions expressed at the Forum, the chemical engineer might define “design-directed research” as applied research whose methods are process engineering centric, and that addresses multidisciplinary industry problems through the systematic application of design-oriented practices. Many research problems being tackled in university are characterized as multidisciplinary, however too few explicitly consider design practices in their methodology. The participants have agreed that design-directed research includes projects that specifically meet the following three criteria: 1. an industry-based problem or opportunity is addressed; 2. there is good potential for innovation leading to the creation of a new or enhanced product and/or a new systematic design practice; and 3. an articulated design practice or methodology guides the research.

Synthesizing different perspectives on design-directed research The main conclusions from the Forum discussion included the following:


• Design-directed research was seen as intrinsically linked to innovation. After a significant investment in building new research capacity in recent years, our Canadian granting agencies now seek and expect results from university research in the form of tangible benefits for Canada. This will require better technology transfer from university to industry and society, an outcome which is inherent to design-directed research. Later in the Forum it was decided to see this conclusion as an opportunity, and to explore strategies that would enhance Canada’s ability to do design-directed research. • Large engineering design companies such as Bantrel see design as a set of defined activities executed in series and parallel, in order to achieve the design objective. These design practices might be termed “boiler plate design.” Engineering design companies work on systems allowing for the execution of “boiler plate design” to occur quickly and with minimum error, and which attempt to minimize the impact of inevitable deviations from the standard model. Significant changes in the working environment and design systems have occurred in recent years associated with the global economy. Maintaining good design practices executed by skilled engineers is a significant challenge and a key element for success. • From the perspective of a government research laboratory, the process design component is considered essential for successful research leading to innovation. Fundamental research activities must be systematically coupled with design activities to create new processes and products as quickly as possible, and transfer this capability to the private sector. This set of design practices might be termed “design for innovation.” • Academia (and their spin-off companies) identified the collaboration with stakeholders across the innovation chain as a key element. The potential for innovation must be identified early in the research process in order to influence the orientation of the research program and the design process, and to be able to establish collaborations. An effective university/industry interface facilitates the transfer and commercialization of technology to a significant extent.

How might design-directed research be promoted? The existing university R&D system limits the extent to which designdirected research is recognized and rewarded. Although it is difficult to clearly identify cause-and-effect relationships, it was agreed that design research is limited to a good extent due to the basic difference between fundamental and design-directed research. The goal of fundamental research is to add to the existing body of knowledge. In contrast, the starting point for design-directed research is to develop innovation that addresses a societal need. Our limited success at university-based design-directed research is, at least in part, related to our strong university traditions in fundamental research. These strong traditions must be continued, however it may be that designdirected research represents a significant and yet-to-be-realized opportunity for Canada. Participants at the Bantrel Forum agreed that leadership from NSERC and other granting agencies is essential for promoting design-directed research in universities. In recent years, NSERC has played a leadership role in this regard by increasing the emphasis on translation of research results into innovation, particularly through the Collaborative Research and Development (CRD/RDC) grants program. NSERC has also created the Design Engineering Chair program, and supported the creation of the Canadian Design Engineering Network (CDEN). It was felt that, while these initiatives have been effective at enhancing the design culture in the engineering departments of Canadian universities, much more has to be done. To date, there are no incentives either at the educational or funding level, for explicitly applying design-directed techniques in the development of research and development projects at their earlier stages. Such incentives may create an environment where more graduate students emphasize design-directed orientation of their work, and in the longer term, Canada’s ability to innovate would be enhanced. In order to promote design-directed research at the starting point of the innovation process, NSERC could establish the need to include design-directed research in certain of their existing programs. Furthermore, NSERC might consider the creation of a program explicitly dedicated to promoting designdirected research—one that favours scientifically sound projects meeting the criteria defined above for design-directed research, and that have an enhanced potential for innovation.

If you require seed funding for an interesting science project with a strong educational component, why not consider submitting your proposal to the CEF? CEF directors are always looking for new ideas and new projects. Grant applications should be submitted by December 15 for the following year’s approval. A mid-summer review of new requests may also take place, if funds allow. For more information about the CEF and the grant application form, visit www.cheminst.ca/cef.

JUNE 2007 CANADIAN CHEMICAL NEWS 23


RECOGNITION RECONNAISSANCE

Lewis Kay, professor of biochemistry and medical genetics and microbiology at the University of Toronto (U of T), is the recipient of the 2006 Dales Award. Established in 1991 by the U of T life sciences committee to acknowledge sustained excellence in medical research, the prize is given annually to a senior U of T investigator of outstanding calibre whose research has had a substantive impact in the areas of clinical, community, or basic health research. The substantial cash award may be used towards the direct costs of research over a period of three years.

35th SOUSCC Students Compete The 35th Southern Ontario Undergraduate Student Chemistry Conference (SOUSCC) took place on March 17, 2007, at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, ON. The organizing committee, led by Krisztina Paal, MCIC, put together an interesting program with guest speakers, student oral and poster presentations, and a graduate studies fair. Thank you to the sponsors: Canadian Society for Chemistry; Council of Canadian University Chemistry Chairs; Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences; Digital Specialty Chemicals; Eco-Tec Inc.; Energy Council of Canada; John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd.; Thomson Nelson; Xerox Canada Ltd.; University of Ontario Institute of Technology—Faculty of Science, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and Office of Research Services; and the CIC Chemical Education Fund and CIC subject divisions—Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Division, Chemical Education Division, Environment Division, Organic Chemistry Division, Physical, Theoretical, and Computational Chemistry Division. Winners of the student presentations are as follows: Analytical, Environmental, and Forensic Chemistry Session 1. Grace Wong, University of Toronto 2. Elize Ceschia, York University 3. Nathan Oldridge, University of Waterloo Biochemistry and Bio-Organic Chemistry Session 1. Miguel Neves, York University 2. Timothy Ramadhar, University of Waterloo 3. Joe Leung, University of Toronto

24 L’ACTUALITÉ CHIMIQUE CANADIENNE JUIN 2007

Inorganic Chemistry Session 1. Tran Doan, York University 2. Amina Mulani, University of Toronto 3. Sylvia Baglione, York University Materials and Polymer Chemistry Session 1. Amanda Fawcett, McMaster University 2. Kurtis Hartlen, Wilfrid Laurier University 3. Janice Calzavara, The University of Western Ontario Organic Chemistry Session 1. Barbora Bajtos, The University of Western Ontario 2. Chris White, Queen’s University 3. Jane Panteleev, Queen’s University Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Session 1. Chad Atkins, University of Waterloo 2. Kevin Daub, The University of Western Ontario 3. Genna Woolston, University of Guelph Poster Session 1. Melissa Paulite, University of Toronto 2. Marian Dreher, Queen’s University 3. Aliaksei Shkarupin, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) is pleased to announce that Geoffrey Rayner-Canham, FCIC, was among those named a 2007 honoree of the 3M National Teaching Fellowships. Rayner-Canham is a professor of chemistry at Memorial University of Newfoundland and “a chemist without borders who brings his passion for science to far-flung northern outposts, demonstrating the intricacies of chemistry to students who don’t even have laboratories.” “The 3M National Teaching Fellowship is Canada’s most prestigious teaching award and this year’s outstanding recipients embody the highest ideals of teaching excellence and scholarship,” says STLHE president, Julia Christensen Hughes. Co-sponsored by the STLHE and 3M Canada Company, the Fellowships are open to Canadian university teachers from all disciplines. Since their inception in 1986, Fellowships have been awarded to 218 Canadian university professors, representing 41 universities. The formal presentation will take place on June 14 at the STLHE Annual Conference hosted by the University of Alberta. As part of the Fellowship, the winners will also attend a scholarly retreat, November 5 to 7, hosted by 3M Canada, at the Fairmont Château Montebello in Montebello, QC.

Donald R. Woods, FCIC, professor emeritus at McMaster University, recently published two books with Wiley-VCH. Successful Trouble Shooting for Process Engineers details the principles of and skills used in trouble-shooting and provides 50 practice cases to improve one’s confidence in this area. In Rules of Thumb in Engineering Practice, the rules of thumb are for systems thinking skills such as problem solving, communication, performance review, and team work pertaining to over 350 pieces of processing equipment.

Three Canadian chemists join the ranks of U.S. rising stars from establishments such as Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and Sloan-Kettering. Deborah Zamble, MCIC, Canada Research Chair in biological chemistry and associate professor in the department of chemistry at the University of Toronto, and Laurel L. Schafer, MCIC, assistant professor, and Ruth Signorell, associate professor, both of the department of chemistry of The University of British Columbia, have been awarded Sloan Research Fellowships. Each year, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, based in New York, awards research fellowships to the best young faculty members in seven specified fields of science. They are presented to recognize those who show the most promise of making fundamental contributions to new knowledge. The two-year fellowships come with a US$45,000 award that can be used for equipment, technical assistance, professional travel, trainee support, or any other research-related activity. The Sloan Research Fellowships program, the foundation’s oldest, was established in 1955 to provide support and recognition to early-career scientists and scholars, often in their first appointments to university faculties, who were endeavouring to set up laboratories and establish their independent research projects with little or no outside support.

In Memoriam The CIC extends its condolences to the families of: Stuart G. Davis, FCIC Harry G. Krokosh, MCIC D. B. Tonks, FCIC


RECOGNITION RECONNAISSANCE

Supporting Chemical Education The CIC Chemical Education Fund (CEF) is made available from individual member donations and from earnings on trust fund balances accumulated from the generous contributions of the chemical industry over many years. The Fund’s objective is to advance education in science and technology, particularly in the areas of chemical sciences, chemical engineering, chemical technology, and related disciplines.

2007 grant recipients: • • • • •

Virtual Science Fair; CSC regional undergraduate student conferences; CSChE’s student program at the Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference; CSCT student symposia; Banff Symposium on Organic Chemistry, a graduate student organized conference; • Convenient recording and archiving of chemistry conference proceedings, an experiment in podrecording at the Winnipeg CSC Conference; • “Chemistry is Everywhere,” outreach to schools in remove communities; • E. G. Young Lectureship—Atlantic CIC Local Section.

Readers reach for ACCN for news on

who’s who and

what’s what in the Canadian chemical community

2006–2007 CEF Donors The CEF directors would like to thank the generous donations to the Chemical Education Fund received between May 2006 and February 2007 from the following CIC members: M. T. Antoniades, MCIC

Ulrich J. Krull, FCIC

Samuel Attah-Poku, MCIC

R. B. Kuper-Meryn, MCIC

Gordon Bates, MCIC

E. F. Ladniak, MCIC

Maurice A. Bergougnou, FCIC

S. C. Liang, MCIC

L. G. Bortolin, MCIC

J. F. Matthews, MCIC

Russell Boyd, FCIC

Eric Mead, FCIC

Gordon Brown, MCIC

T. H. Glynn Michael, FCIC

T. M. Callaghan, MCIC

Michael Mocek, FCIC

Robert Caunt, MCIC

D. S. Montgomery, FCIC

Howard C. Clark, FCIC

Melonie M. Myszczyszyn, MCIC

F. R. Crowne, MCIC

Brian T. Newbold, FCIC

Katherine Valenta Darvesh, MCIC

G. L. Ossberg, FCIC

Jean A. Desnoyers, MCIC

W. R. Phalen, MCIC

Patrick M. Draper, FCIC

Judith C. Poë, FCIC

T. A. Eastwood, FCIC

William D. Powrie, FCIC

Chien P. Fong, MCIC

A. Ramella, MCIC

George H. Fraser, MCIC

Donald E. Rivington, FCIC

James Fuller, MCIC

Michel Senez, MCIC

Helen Graves Smith, MCIC

Jet Joseph Sieh, MCIC

J. S. Grossert, FCIC

F. W. Southam, FCIC

Ronald L. Haines, MCIC

Josef Takats, FCIC

W. A. Harrison, FCIC

Mary Anne White, FCIC

W. David Jamieson, FCIC

Alfred G. Wikjord, MCIC

Frank R. Jefferson, MCIC

David M. Wiles, FCIC

Dieter Klapstein, MCIC

Tabitha Eden Wood, ACIC

w w w. a c c n . c a

Next month Chemical Terror

JUNE 2007 CANADIAN CHEMICAL NEWS 25


RECOGNITION RECONNAISSANCE

CANADIAN SOCIETY FOR CHEMICAL ENGINEERING BOARD OF DIRECTORS NOMINATIONS (2007–2008) PRÉSENTATION DES CANDIDATS POUR LE CONSEIL D’ADMINISTRATION DE LA SOCIÉTÉ CANADIENNE DE GÉNIE CHIMIQUE (2007-2008) 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 for 2007–2008. Paul Stuart, MCIC, CSChE past president and chair of the Nominating Committee, is pleased to announce the candidates for the 2007–2008 election. Additional nominations for candidates may be submitted by members no later than July 9, 2007. Ten or more voting members must support additional nominations in writing. Those elected, whether by ballot or acclamation, will take office immediately following the Society’s AGM in Edmonton, AB, on October 30, 2007. 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 2007-2008. Paul Stuart, MCIC, président sortant de la SCGCh et président du comité des candidatures, est heureux de présenter les candidats aux élections pour l’exercice 2007-2008. Les membres peuvent présenter d’autres candidats au plus tard le 9 julliet 2007. 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 30 octobre 2007 à Edmonton (Alberta).

Présidente 2007-2008

Milena Sejnoha, MCIC

D. Grant Allen, MCIC

Christine Moresoli, MCIC

President 2007–2008 Milena Sejnoha, MCIC, graduated from McGill University in Montréal, QC, from the department of chemical engineering with a BEng in 1983, and an MEng in thermodynamics in 1986. She worked at QIT Fer et Titane in Sorel, QC, for six years as a research engineer and as a project development supervisor developing new products and managing pilot plants. For nine years, Sejnoha worked at CANMET’s Energy Diversification Research Laboratory in Varennes, QC, where she was head of the process engineering section in charge of developing, licensing, and deploying new industrial drying and reactor technologies. She held the position of manager of the Climate Change Technology Development Group at the Office of Energy Research and Development of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) for three years where she was responsible for developing and managing S&T delivery programs for climate change mitigation. She was a member of the organizing committee for the 50th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference in Montréal in 2000. She was vice-president of the CSChE from 2006–2007. Sejnoha has served as director of Energy Technology Policy at NRCan since the summer of 2006.

26 L’ACTUALITÉ CHIMIQUE CANADIENNE JUIN 2007

Milena Sejnoha, MCIC, est diplômée de l’Université McGill de Montréal (Québec) où elle a obtenu un B.Ing. du département de génie chimique en 1983, et un M.Ing. en thermodynamique en 1986. Elle a été à l’emploi de QIT Fer et Titane de Sorel (Québec) pendant six ans en qualité d’ingénieure de recherche et superviseure en développement de projet, élaborant de nouveaux produits et dirigeant les usines pilotes. Sejnoha a également œuvré au Laboratoire de recherche en diversification de CANMET Énergie, à Varennes Québec pendant neuf ans, où elle dirigeait la section ingénierie des procédés chargée du développement, de la délivrance des licences et du déploiement des nouvelles technologies de séchage et des réacteurs. Elle a occupé pendant trois ans le poste de chef du Groupe de développement des technologies relatives au changement climatique du Bureau de recherche et de développement énergétiques de Ressources naturelles Canada (RNCan, où elle était responsable de l’élaboration et de la gestion des programmes d’exécution des S&T pour l’atténuation des changements climatiques. Elle faisait partie du comité organisateur du 50e Congrès canadien de génie chimique tenu à Montréal en 2000. Elle a été vice-présidente de la SCGCh de 2006 à 2007. Mme Sejnoha est directrice, Politique en technologie énergétique à RNCan depuis l’été 2006.


RECOGNITION RECONNAISSANCE

Vice-president 2007–2008

Vice-président 2007-2008

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 master’s and doctoral studies and spent his research leave in 1994 with Weyerhaeuser Co. in Tacoma, WA, working on 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.

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 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.

2007 Statement to the CSChE

Énoncés 2007 de la SCGCh

Canadian chemical engineers are well positioned to play a leadership role in moving the world toward a sustainable economy that preserves the health of our planet and recognizes our limits to growth. We are among the key players that are responsible for developing environmentally responsible recovery of our non-renewable resources and making use of our prosperity to invest in the development of technologies and products that can improve human health and maximize the utilization of our vast renewable resources for food, materials, and energy. The chemical engineer’s training makes him/her ideally suited to take advantage of the multitude of advances in the chemical, physical, and biological sciences to help to achieve these goals. However, our future requires that chemical engineers move beyond the role of the application and development of technologies; they need to also be heard in the public policy debates and be seen as leading advocates for a sustainable world. The CSChE has an important role in the road ahead. It can serve as an advocate for our discipline to help us recruit and retain the best minds and play an active role in influencing policy both as a society and through encouraging more active involvement in public policy by Canadian chemical engineers. We will also soon have an opportunity to put Canadian chemical engineering on the world stage, August 23–29, 2009, at the 8th World Congress of Chemical Engineering in Montréal, QC.

Les ingénieurs chimistes canadiens sont bien placés pour jouer un rôle de leadership vers une économie mondiale durable, qui protège la santé de notre planète et tient compte de nos limites de croissance. Nous faisons partie des joueurs clés responsables de l’élaboration d’un recouvrement des ressources non renouvelables respectueux de l’environnement, et de l’utilisation judicieuse de notre capacité d’investir dans le développement de technologies et de produits capables d’améliorer la santé humaine et de maximiser l’utilisation de nos vastes ressources renouvelables dans l’alimentation, les matériaux et l’énergie. La formation de l’ingénieur chimiste fait de lui le candidat idéal pour profiter des multiples progrès des sciences chimiques, physiques et biologiques en vue d’atteindre ces objectifs. Cependant, notre avenir exige que les ingénieurs chimistes jouent un rôle qui va au-delà de l’application et du développement de technologies; ils doivent se faire entendre dans les débats publics sur les politiques et défendre activement l’avènement d’un monde durable. La SCGCh a un rôle important à jouer dans notre avenir. Elle peut plaider la cause de notre discipline afin de nous aider à recruter et à retenir nos meilleurs talents, et influencer activement la politique, tant en notre qualité de société qu’en encourageant une implication plus grande des ingénieurs chimistes canadiens dans la politique publique. L’occasion se présentera bientôt pour les ingénieurs chimistes canadiens de prendre pied sur l’échiquier mondial, du 23 au 29 août 2009 lors du 8e Congrès mondial du génie chimique, à Montréal (Québec).

Director 2007–2010

Directrice 2007-2010

Christine Moresoli, MCIC, is an associate professor in the chemical engineering department at the University of Waterloo. She obtained her Diplôme ès sciences techniques at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland and her MEng and BEng from McGill

Christine Moresoli, MCIC, est professeure adjointe au département de génie chimique de la University of Waterloo. Elle a obtenu son diplôme ès sciences techniques à l’École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne en Suisse, et son M.Ing. et son B.Ing. de l’Université McGill.

JUNE 2007 CANADIAN CHEMICAL NEWS 27


RECOGNITION RECONNAISSANCE

University. Moresoli’s area of research interest is in bioprocess engineering with a focus on the development of protein and peptide separation processes, protein-based products, and the manufacture of bioplastics. After her PhD, she worked for two years as a biotechnology engineer at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Moresoli has served the CSChE in many roles including chair of the biotechnology subject division from 2002–2004, organizer of the Ontario-Quebec Biotechnology Meeting (1999, 2003) and as organizer of the biotechnology sessions at the CSChE conference (2005, 2006). She has also served on NSERC Committees—Chemical/Metallurgical Engineering Grant Selection Committee (1999–2003), Selection Committee for Doctoral Prizes in Engineering and Computer Sciences (2004–2006), and Strategic Project Selection Panel—Quality Food and Novel Bioproducts (2006–2008).

Le secteur de recherche de Mme Moresoli est le génie des bioprocédés, avec un accent sur le développement de procédés de séparation des protéines et des peptides, les produits à base de protéines et la fabrication des plastiques biologiques. Après avoir obtenu son doctorat, elle a travaillé pendant deux ans au ministère de l’Agriculture et de l’Agroalimentaire du Canada. Mme Moresoli a joué plusieurs rôles au sein de la SCGCh, notamment en qualité de présidente de la Division spécialisée de biotechnologie de 2002 à 2004, d’organisatrice de la Rencontre sur la biotechnologie Ontario-Québec (1999, 2003) et d’organisatrice des sessions de biotechnologie des congrès de la SCGCh (2005, 2006). Elle a également fait partie de différents comités du CRSNG – Comité de sélection des subventions en génie chimique/ métallurgique (1999-2003), Comité de sélection des lauréats des prix de doctorat en génie et informatique (2004-2006), et Comité de sélection des projets stratégiques – Aliments de qualité et bioproduits novateurs (2006-2008).

What do YOU think? React at editorial@accn.ca

28 L’ACTUALITÉ CHIMIQUE CANADIENNE JUIN 2007


EVENTS ÉVÉNEMENTS

CARRERS CARRIÈRES

Canada Conferences July 8–12, 2007. CHEMRAWN-XVII and ICCDU-IX Conference on Greenhouse Gases: Mitigation and Utilization, Kingston, ON September 18–21, 2007. CropLife Canada’s 2007 Conference and Annual General Meeting, The Power of Partnerships, The New BioEconomy: Accelerating Change/Achieving Prosperity, Saskatoon, SK, www.croplifeconference.ca October 28–31, 2007. 57th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference, Edmonton, AB, www.csche2007.ca February 4–8, 2008. Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada 94th Annual Meeting and EXFOR’s 50th Anniversary, during PaperWeek International, Montréal, QC, www.paptac.ca May 24–28, 2008. 91st Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, Edmonton, AB, www.csc2008.ca June 2–5, 2008. International Pulp Bleaching Conference, Québec, QC, www.paptac.ca June 16–18, 2008. Control Systems/Pan Pacific Conference, Vancouver, BC, www.paptac.ca

University of Utah As part of the Utah Science, Technology and Research (USTAR) Initiative for economic development in the State of Utah in the area of fossil energy, The University of Utah seeks an outstanding senior individual for a tenured faculty position at the rank of Professor or Associate Professor who demonstrates expertise and extensive experience in the area of oil sands/oil shale research and development. The successful candidate will be expected to be a national leader in his/her area and bring a significant externally funded research program to the University of Utah and have a demonstrated record in leadership, publication and teaching excellence. Applicants must have an earned Ph.D. in chemical engineering, or a closely related field. Before hiring, the selected candidate must provide proof of U.S. citizenship or authorization to work in the U.S. Interested persons should send a cover letter, vitae, detailed statement of research and teaching interests and at least three reference contacts to: Search Committee Department of Chemical Engineering University of Utah 50 S Central Campus Dr. Rm 3290 Salt Lake City, UT 84112

October 19–22, 2008. 58th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference, Ottawa, ON, www.csche2008.ca

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. The position will be available as of July 1, 2007. Applicants should reference this announcement in their cover letters.

August 23–27, 2009. 8th World Congress of Chemical Engineering and 59th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference, Montréal, QC, www.wcce8.org

The University of Utah, an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer, encourages applications from women and minorities, and provides reasonable accommodation to the known disabilities of applicants and employees.

Student Conferences Postdoctoral Fellowship

October 26, 2007. Colloque annuel des étudiants et étudiantes de 1er cycle en chimie, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Pierre.Harvey@usherbrooke.ca

Department of Chemistry University Guelph Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1

U.S. and Overseas June 21–23, 2007. Chemtech 2007, Institute of Chemistry, Ceylon, Colombo, Sri Lanka, info@ichemc.com, www.ichemc.com June 25–28, 2007. 11th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference, Washington, D C. July 1–5, 2007. 3rd International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Delft, The Netherlands July 22–26, 2007. 23rd Annual Meeting of the International Society of Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany, www.chemecol.org/meetings/ meetings.htm August 4–12, 2007. IUPAC 44th General Assembly, Torino, Italy, www.iupac.org/symposia/conferences/ga07 August 5–11, 2007. IUPAC 41st Congress, “Chemistry Protecting Health, Natural Environment and Cultural Heritage,” Torino, Italy,www.iupac2007.org. September 16–21 2007. 6th European Congress of Chemical Engineering (ECCE-6) Copenhagen, Denmark, www.ecce6.kt.dtu.dk November 18–21, 2007. The 10th International Chemistry Conference in Africa (10 ICCA) Benghazi, Libya, www.garyounis. edu/africhem/.

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A one-year Postdoctoral fellowship is available immediately. Applicants should have expertise in electrochemical methods and spectroscopic methods, especially fluorescence. One project will focus on the growth of thin inorganic films on electrodes with a view developing chemical sensors for arsenic in drinking water. A second project involves studies of oligopyridines and their fluorescent metal complexes. which show promise as sensors and have a rich redox chemistry. Some experience with inorganic/organic synthesis would be useful. Highly motivated candidates are encouraged to apply. Salary $35,000 (Cdn) p.a. Please direct informal enquiries and applications containing the names and contact information for two referees to: Prof. Mark Baker E-mail: mbaker@uoguelph.ca Closing date for applications: June 30, 2 007

JUNE 2007 CANADIAN CHEMICAL NEWS 29


Nominations are now open for

The Chemical Institute of Canada

2008AWARDSAct now!

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

The Chemical Institute of Canada Medal is presented as a mark of distinction and recognition to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the science of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada. Sponsored by the Chemical Institute of Canada. Award: A medal and travel expenses.

The MontrĂŠal Medal is presented as a mark of distinction and honour to a resident in Canada who has shown significant leadership in or has made an outstanding contribution to the profession of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada. In determining the eligibility for nominations for the award, administrative contributions within The Chemical Institute of Canada and other professional organizations that contribute to the advancement of the professions of chemistry and chemical engineering shall be given due consideration. Contributions to the sciences of chemistry and chemical engineering are not to be considered. Sponsored by the MontrĂŠal CIC Local Section. Award: A medal and travel expenses.

The Environmental Improvement Award is presented to a Canadian company, individual, team, or organization for a significant achievement in pollution prevention, treatment, or remediation. Sponsored by the CIC Environment Division. Award: A plaque and travel assistance.

The Macromolecular Science and Engineering Award is presented to an individual who, while residing in Canada, has made a distinguished contribution to macromolecular science or engineering. Sponsored by NOVA Chemicals Ltd. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses.

The CIC Award for Chemical Education (formerly the Union Carbide Award) is presented as a mark of recognition to a person who has made an outstanding contribution in Canada to education at the post-secondary level in the field of chemistry or chemical engineering. Sponsored by the CIC Chemical Education Fund. Award: A framed scroll and a cash prize.

Deadlines The deadline for all CIC awards is July 3, 2007 for the 2008 selection.

Nomination Procedure Submit your nominations to: Awards Manager The Chemical Institute of Canada 130 Slater Street, Suite 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 Tel.: 613-232-6252, ext. 223 Fax: 613-232-5862 awards@cheminst.ca Nomination forms and the full Terms of Reference for these awards are available at www.cheminst.ca/awards


Nominations are now open for

The Canadian Society for Chemistry

2008AWARDSAct now!

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

The Alcan Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution in the fields of inorganic chemistry or electrochemistry while working in Canada. Sponsored by Alcan International Ltd. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses.

The Alfred Bader Award is presented as a mark of distinction and recognition for excellence in research in organic chemistry carried out in Canada. Sponsored by Alfred Bader, HFCIC. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses.

The Strem Chemicals Award for Pure or Applied Inorganic Chemistry is presented to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant who has made an outstanding contribution to inorganic chemistry while working in Canada, and who is within ten years of his or her first professional appointment as an independent researcher in an academic, government, or industrial sector. Sponsored by Strem Chemicals Ltd. Award: A framed scroll and travel expenses for a lecture tour.

The Boehringer Ingelheim Award

of University Chemistry Chairs (CCUCC).

Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses.

The Maxxam Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution in the field of analytical chemistry while working in Canada. Sponsored by Maxxam Analytics Inc. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses. The R. U. Lemieux Award is presented to an organic chemist who has made a distinguished contribution to any area of organic chemistry while working in Canada. Sponsored by the CIC Organic Chemistry Division. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses. The Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Reasearch Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada, who shall not have reached the age of 40 years by April 1 of the year of nomination and who has made a distinguished contribution in the fields of organic chemistry or biochemistry while working in Canada. Sponsored by Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses.

is presented to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant whose PhD thesis in the field of organic or bioorganic chemistry was formally accepted by a Canadian university in the 12-month period preceding the nomination deadline of July 3 and whose doctoral research is judged to be of outstanding quality. Sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses.

to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution to the field of medicinal chemistry through research involving biochemical or organic chemical mechanisms. Sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb Canada Co. Award: A framed scroll and a cash prize.

The Clara Benson Award is presented in recognition of a distinguished contribution to chemistry by a woman while working in Canada. Sponsored by the Canadian Council

an individual who demonstrates innovation in research in the field of analytical chemistry, where the research is anticipated to have significant potential for practical applications. The award is open to new faculty members at

The Bernard Belleau Award is presented

The Fred Beamish Award is presented to

a Canadian university and they must be recent graduates with six years of appointment. Sponsored by Eli Lilly Canada Inc. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses.

The Keith Laidler Award is presented to a scientist who has made a distinguished contribution in the field of physical chemistry while working in Canada . The award recognizes early achievement in the awardeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s independent research career. Sponsored by Systems for Research. Award: A framed scroll and a cash prize. The W. A. E. McBryde Medal is presented to a young scientist working in Canada who has made a significant achievement in pure or applied analytical chemistry. Sponsored by Sciex Inc., Division of MDS Health Group. Award: A medal and a cash prize.

Deadline The deadline for all CSC awards is July 3, 2007 for the 2008 selection.

Nomination Procedure Submit your nominations to: Awards Manager The Canadian Society for Chemistry 130 Slater Street, Suite 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 Tel.: 613-232-6252, ext. 223 Fax: 613-232-5862 awards@cheminst.ca Nomination forms and the full Terms of Reference for these awards are available at www.chemistry.ca/awards


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June 2007: ACCN, the Canadian Chemical News