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l’actualité chimique canadienne canadian chemical news ACCN

June|Juin • 2009 • Vol. 61, No./n o 6



A Publication of the Chemical Institute of Canada and Constituent Societies / Une publication de l’institut de chimie du canada et ses sociétés constituantes


June|juin • 2009 • Vol. 61, No./n o 6

20 Feature




Aspects of Lignocellulosic-Fibre Reinforced “Green” Materials By Alexis Baltazar-y-Jimenez and Mohini Sain




Guest Column Chroniqueur invité


Whole Grain: A Potential Source of Antioxidants


News Nouvelles


Bioplastics from Potatoes


Is There a Future for the Internal Combustion Engine?


Automotive Bioplastics: Back to the Future

By Craig Arthur and Carmen McKnight


Industrial Briefs




Recognition reconnaissance


Events Événements

By Joe Schwarcz, MCIC

By Trust Beta

By Debbie Locrey-Wessel

By Klaus L. E. Kaiser, FCIC

By Craig Crawford


Guest Column Chroniqueur invité

Executive Director/Directeur général Roland Andersson, MCIC Editor/Rédactrice en chef Terri Pavelic Staff Writer/rédacteur Chris Rogers Maria Cootauco

New Wave of Fuel Efficiency By Craig Arthur and Carmen McKnight


uel economy is extremely important in today’s society for a number of reasons. Fuel efficient­ vehicles reduce our dependence on petroleum, are more economical and are generally better for the environment. The question arises: just how far can we take fuel efficiency with an internal combustion engine and today’s vehicle technology? In September 2008, a group of six mechanical engineering students from Dalhousie University set out to build a fuel efficient vehicle to compete in the 2009 Shell Eco-marathon held in Fontana, CA. Although Dalhousie University has competed in similar competitions in the past, this is the first time Dalhousie has competed in this particular event. The team modified an existing body that was made from lightweight Kevlar® by a previous Dalhousie team in 2002. A new lightweight aluminum frame was built incorporating a larger and stronger roll bar and a new steering system. A completely new drive-train was designed including a more reliable and efficient Honda GX-35 four-stroke engine, a dry-plate friction clutch, and an overall 20:1 gear reduction. The vehicle used three high-performance wheelchair tires with custom designed hubs. In April 2009, the completed car along with tools and spare parts were shipped down to California­in a large wooden crate. The team followed shortly after and met the crate at the Auto Club Speedway, where the competition was to be held. During the competition, the team faced a number of challenges. One major problem not identified­during testing was the effect of desert temperatures on the performance of the car. To correct this issue the team tried many different solutions, such as re-routing fuel lines, removing windows for better air circulation and finally installing a new redirected air intake, which ultimately­solved the problem. Overall, the team placed 10th out of 34 teams in the Prototype Combustion category with a fuel consumption of 782.8 mpg (332.8 km/l). Dalhousie University plans to enter the competition again next year with the goal of breaking 1,000 mpg. Competitions such as the Shell Eco-marathon challenge young engineers to push the limits of today’s technology to produce the next generation of fuel-efficient vehicles. ACCN Carmen McKnight and Craig Arthur are graduate students in mechanical engineering at Dalhousie University. They entered the 2009 Shell Eco-Marathon with four of their fellow classmates.

Contributing writers/collaborateurs Craig Arthur Carmen McKnight Alexis Baltazar-y-Jimenez Mohini Sain Trust Beta Debbie Lockrey-Wessl Klaus Kaiser Craig Crawford Graphic Designer/Infographiste Krista Leroux Alexandra Mitchell Communications manager/ Directrice des communications Lucie Frigon Marketing Manager/ Directrice du marketing Bernadette Dacey Awards and Local Sections Manager/ Directrice des prix et des sections locales Gale Thirlwall Editorial Board/Conseil de rédaction Joe Schwarcz, MCIC, chair/président Cathleen Crudden, MCIC John Margeson, MCIC Milena Sejnoha, MCIC Bernard West, MCIC Editorial Office/ Bureau de la rédaction 130, rue Slater Street, Suite/bureau 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 613-232-6252 • Fax/Téléc. 613-232-5862 • Advertising/Publicité Subscription Rates/Tarifs d’abonnement Non CIC members/Non-membres de l’ICC : in/au Canada CAN$60; outside/à l’extérieur du Canada US$60. Single copy/Un exemplaire CAN$10 or US$10. L’Actualité chimique canadienne/Canadian Chemical News (ACCN) is published 10 times a year by the Chemical Institute of Canada / est publié 10 fois par année par l’Institut de chimie du Canada. Recommended by the Chemical Institute of Canada, the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, and the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology. Views expressed do not necessarily represent the official position of the Institute or of the societies that recommend the magazine. Recommandé par l’Institut de chimie du Canada, la Société canadienne de chimie, la Société canadienne de génie chimique et la Société canadienne de technologie chimique. Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement la position officielle de l’Institut ou des sociétés qui soutiennent le magazine. Change of Address/ Changement d’adresse Printed in Canada by Gilmore Printing Services Inc. and postage paid in Ottawa, ON./ Imprimé au Canada par Gilmore Printing Services Inc. et port payé à Ottawa, ON. Publications Mail Agreement Number/ No de convention de la Poste-publications : 40021620. (USPS# 0007-718) Indexed in the Canadian Business Index and available on-line in the Canadian Business and Current Affairs database. / Répertorié dans la Canadian Business Index et accessible en ligne dans la banque de données Canadian Business and Current Affairs.

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Juin 2009

ISSN 0823-5228

Continuing Education for Chemical Professionals


Process improvement course


he Chemical Institute of Canada

2009 Schedule September 21–23 Toronto, ON

Registration fees

$795 CIC members $995 non-members $100 student members For more information about the course and locations, and to access the registration form, visit: profdev

(CIC) and the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC) are

presenting a three-day course designed to enhance the knowledge and working experience of chemists, chemical


• Introduction • Implementing a Kaizen Program • Using 5S • Developing Project Charters • Identifying Customer Requirements

engineers and chemical technologists.

• Measuring Baseline Performance

This course is designed for anyone

• Identifying Project Y

looking for ways to improve laboratory

• Basic Statistics

operations and improve efficiency.

• Calculating Sigma

The participants will learn how to implement a Kaizen Improvement Program and will apply analytical tools through a relevant case study.

 Day


• Mapping the Process • SIPOC • Detail Process Map • Value Stream Maps • Analyzing for Root Causes

Instructor Denise Nacev, a certified Black Belt and Adult Educator, has 10 years experience in the design and implementation of Continuous Improvement Programs using Lean, Six Sigma and Kaizen. Denise is an


• Cause and Effect Diagrams • Pareto Charts • Regression Analysis

 Day


• Improving the Process • Implementation Plans • Piloting the Solution

independent consultant working with

• Stakeholder Analysis

companies in various industries,

• Developing the Control Plan

including a laboratory environment,

• Cost Benefit Analysis

to improve efficiencies and profitability.

• Closing Projects

Canadian Society for Chemistry

News Nouvelles

ARS File Patent on Pasteurization Technology

Canada’s BPA Ban Catching On Canada became the first country in the world to ban the import and sale of baby bottles containing bisphenol-A (BPA) in October 2008, and this month Chicago is following suit. Chicago City Council has passed the U.S.’s first municipal ordinance to protect children’s health by eliminating the chemical from baby bottles and toddler sippy cups sold in the city as of January 1, 2011. A Health Canada study published in March that looked at canned soda pop found that many of the drinks tested contained BPA that had leached from the containers/ linings into the drink. The chemical which is used to make plastics­ clear and shatter-resistant, is found in water bottles, food containers, baby bottles, some dental fillings and the coatings­ for the inside of cans containing foods and beverages.­ The law passed in Chicago is one of the first in the country, with the state of Minnesota­and Suffolk County, NY enacting similar bans. BPP bans are pending in Congress and in a dozen state legislatures. Environment News Service

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Scientists at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Eastern Regional Research Center have filed a patent on technology that can protect pasteurized liquid eggs from bacteria and pathogens. Existing pasteurization technology removes heat-sensitive pathogens, but some heatresistant­­spoilage microorganisms can survive. The new technology is called “crossflow­microfiltration membrane separation” and removes more pathogens than thermal pasteurization without affecting the eggs’ ability to foam, coagulate and emulsify. A pilot study of the filtration technique was shown to remove about 99.9999 percent of inoculated Salmonella enteritidis from unpasteurized liquid egg whites. Additionally, microfiltration can protect milk from common bacterial pathogens, potentially extending its shelf life. The technology can also be used to remove Bacillus anthracis spores from egg whites. While the new technology holds promise, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration­still cautions against consuming raw, unpasteurized­eggs and products that contain them. Agricultural Research Service

NRC and DNP Developing Succinic Acid Technology The National Research Council Canada Biotechnology Research Institute (NRC-BRI­) is partnering­with DNP Green Technology to develop a second-generation technology for the production­of bio-based succinic acid, which is used in various industrial­ applications­. Succinic acid is used in the production­ of various valuable chemicals and is used in products such as de-icers, food and pharmaceutical­ chemicals, and solvents and­ polymers. Bioamber technology, part of DNP Green Techonology, is one of two shareholders in the company that provides a route to bio-based succinic acid, representing an

economical and environmentally friendly alternative to petrochemicals. “This research partnership with NRC-BRI will broaden our knowledge of microbial systems to manufacture bio-based succinic acid and derivatives,” said Roger Laurent Bernier, vice president R&D of New Jerseybased DNP Green Technology. Bioamber has already developed a first-generation technology for producing bio-based succinic acid that consumes CO2 as opposed to equivalent petrochemical­ processes that emit greenhouse gases. Bioamber expects to license the technology this year. DNP Green Technology

Manitoba Labs to Receive Funding Federal laboratories in Manitoba are getting a $34 million boost to modernize existing facilities from the Government of Canada over the next two years. “This program is modernizing our laboratories­ and will quickly bring economic stimulus to this region,” said Minister Vic Toews, president­ of the Treasury Board and minister for Manitoba. “This funding will provide jobs for workers ranging from replacing roofs and fume hoods and renovating receiving areas, to updating systems that control temperature environments for agriculture research. With this funding, our scientists and researchers will have healthier and more modern work environments that will enhance research and development, resulting in even better health and safety outcomes for Canadians.” The facilities getting an upgrade in the region are the Freshwater Institute, National Microbiology Laboratory, Manitoba Regional Library and Western Forensic Laboratory. Treasury Board of Canada

ACCN Send the latest

news to

News Nouvelles

DOW Highlights Benefits of Silicon Rubber Dow Corning experts discussed the benefits­ of silicon rubber in rapid prototyping moldmaking­ applications at RAPID 2009, North America’s largest annual rapid and additive manufacturing conference and exposition.­ The technology of rapid prototyping is used to create a three-dimensional model of an object from computerized data, taking away the need to machine or sculpt models by hand. “Rapid prototyping gives designers more time to incorporate innovative ideas during the product development process, explore alternatives, create and test prototypes, and troubleshoot problems” said Phil Grellier, global strategic marketing manager for Dow Corning’s moldmaking market. With the advent of new product lines using the technology, rapid prototyping is used by manufacturers from industries that include automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics and business machine manufacturers.

Dow Corning’s silicone products are well suited for rapid prototyping applications because of their low shrinkage, high inhibition­ resistance, fast cure speed, good tear strength and mold life. Dow Corning

BMS to Collaborate on AEVs Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) is gearing up to deliver affordable eco-friendly alternative energy vehicles (AEVs) by announcing its strategic collaboration with Velozzi, a startup­automotive OEM. Both companies will participate in the Progressive Autmotive X Prize competition with BMS facilitating the transition of AEVs from concept cars to the showroom floor. “BMS is committed to the AEV market and has a deep understanding of the role innovative­ materials play from concept through commercialization,” said David Loren, market lead, PCS Group, BMS.

“We are actively seeking collaborations­ with suppliers and OEMs to help them navigate­ through the complex AEV challenges­ such as vehicle weight and manufacturability­.” BMS will support both traditional and non-traditional OEMs, like Velozzi, with highperformance­­ materials including plastics, polyurethanes, carbon nanotubes, coatings, adhesives and sealants to manufacture lowweight­­, high-efficiency AEVs. Velozzi is designing multiple lightweight, plug-in, multi-fuel­ hybrid electric vehicles that will capitalize on materials and application technologies­from BMS. “Collaborating with BMS brings us a world of possibilities on the road to consumer acceptance,” said Roberto Velozzi, Vellozi CEO. “With the broad selection of innovative materials and technologies BMS offers, we can produce a vehicle that not only appeals to consumers’ desire for fuel economy but also their sense of style.” Bayer MaterialScience LLC june 2009 Canadian Chemical News  7

News Nouvelles

Promotional Items Can Influence Medical Students Medical students exposed to small promotional­ items from pharmaceutical companies, such as clipboards and notepads, appear to be unconsciously­influenced toward the marketed product, according to a recent report in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Conversely, students who attended medical schools that restricted marketing practices had less favourable attitudes toward the product after being exposed to the items. “Discussions about the influence of pharmaceutical­promotion on physicians often focus on gifts and payments of relatively large economic value,” the authors write as background information in the article. “The underlying assumption is that smaller gifts are unlikely to exert influence on prescribing decisions.” However, marketing and psychological research suggests that even trivial items can sway attitudes and behaviors.­ The study looked at 352 third and fourth year medical students, of whom 154 were enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (Penn), which has a policy of prohibiting most gifts, meals and samples from drug companies. The other 198 students attended the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (Miami), which permits these marketing practices. One hundred and eighty-one of the participants­ were randomly exposed to

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small branded promotional items for Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering medication. The remaining 171 received nothing. Fourth year students at Miami were found to demonstrate stronger preferences­toward Lipitor after receiving promotional­ items, whereas fourth year students at Penns exhibited­ the opposite response, with those in the exposure­ group showing weaker preferences­ toward Lipitor than the control group. There were no difference between the control and exposure groups among thirdyear­­ students. “Our results provide evidence that subtle branding exposures are important­ and influential­, as the psychology and marketing literature would suggest,” the researchers conclude. “Our findings are particularly notable because they are attributable to simple exposure­ to promotional items independent­ of other effects attributable to the social relationships­associated with gifts. Our study also suggests that institutional policies, by way of their influence on student attitudes toward marketing, could lead to different responses to branded promotional items.” JAMA/Archives

Panel Examines the Future of Groundwater Canada’s groundwater is at risk of contamination and depletion, a panel of experts from

the Council of Canadian Academies concluded last month. “A nationally adopted framework involving provincial, territorial and federal cooperation is needed to build the scientific knowledge and improve management and governance in the face of increasing demands, climate change, and other threats,” said James Bruce, chair of the panel. “Our governments are also being asked to report on the current state of quality and quantity of groundwater to periodically update progress towards improvements to ensure sustainability of this vital research.” The panel included leaders in the science of groundwater and experts in the social, economic and legal aspects relating to sustainable­groundwater management. The report was requested by Natural Resources Canada in response to the question ‘From a science perspective, what is needed to achieve sustainable management of Canada’s groundwater resources?’ Council of Canadian Academies

Dalton Pharma Teaming up to Provide Contract Services Dalton Pharma Services and ProCitius announce a strategic alliance to provide clients with contract chemistry services. Projects carried out by ProCitius in India will be controlled by senior Dalton project managers based at the company headquarters in Canada. Clients will deal directly with Dalton, which will assume full legal and operational responsibility for the satisfactory execution of the contract. “I believe this type of hybrid service fills an important need in our industry,” said Peter Pekos, president and CEO of Dalton Pharma Services. "Over the past two decades I have worked to adjust our service offering to meet the changing requirements of my clients and today's announcement is part of this continuing evolution­… In ProCitius we have the ideal partner: well-established; large FTE headcount; excellent facilities and infrastructure; robust documentation; and a reputation for high ethical and environmental standards." Dalton Pharma Services

Continuing Education for Chemical Professionals

Laboratory Safety course 2009 Schedule August 24–25


he Chemical Institute of Canada

(CIC) and the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology (CSCT) are

the knowledge and working experience of

• Safety Policies, Training and Audits

chemical technologists and chemists. All course

• Hazard Classification Systems

participants receive the CIC’s Laboratory Health

• WHMIS, NIOSH, and beyond

and Safety Guidelines, 4th edition. This course is

• Hazardous Materials

intended for those whose responsibilities include

• Flammable and Combustible Materials

improving the operational safety of chemical

September 21–22

audits of laboratories and chemical plants. During

plants or research facilities, conducting safety the course, participants are provided with an integrated overview of current best practices in laboratory safety.

$550 CIC members $750 non-members $75 student members

• Toxic Materials • Reactive Materials • Insidious Hazards • Compressed Gases • Cryogenic Liquids • Radiation


• Physical Hazards

Instructor Eric Mead, FCIC, a former instructor with the chemical technology program at SIAST, has taught and practised laboratory workplace

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

safety for more than 30 years. A former chair profdev

• Corrosive Chemicals

 Day

Edmonton, AB Registration fees

• Introduction • Occupational Health and Safety Legislation

Montréal, QC

October 5–6


presenting a two—day course designed to enhance

laboratories, managing laboratories, chemical

Toronto, ON

 Day

of the Chemical Institute of Canada, Mead has been commended for his work on behalf of the chemical industry.

• Fire • Glassware • Electrical Hazards • Machinery • Storage • Chemical Storage • Chemical Inventory • Storage Methods for Specific Hazard Classifications • Chemical Spills and Waste Disposal • Spill Containment and Cleanup

“The chemical field and profession are

• Spill Control Kits

built on a foundation­of trust with society­.

• Properties of Wastes

An integral part of that trust is the safe

• Large Chemical Spills

operation­of facilities­including­laboratories­,

• Hazard Assessment and Control

whether industrial­, academic­or government.

• Identification and Control

The education­of engineers­, scientists and

• Eye and Face Protection

technologists­must reflect that level of trust.

• Head, Feet and Body Protection

We all share in the responsibility­for safe

• Hearing and Breathing Protection

and ethical research­, chemical processing

• Fume Hoods and HVAC

and analysis.­" —Eric Mead

• Machinery

Canadian Society for Chemical Technology

News Nouvelles

Industrial Briefs

SFU Professor Helps Combat Deadly Flu Viruses

The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) announces the election of Annette Bergeron, P.Eng., MBA, as its new president and chair. Bergeron is currently a lecturer at Queen’s University’s School of Business and has been a member of the OSPE’s Board since 2002.

A Simon Fraser University professor is part of a research team that has developed a new computational weapon that will destroy influenza­ viruses such as H1N1 (swine flu) and H5N1 (avian flu). Researchers from the British Columbia Cancer Agency’s (BCCA) Genome Sciences Centre and the University of Hong Kong’s Cytokine Biology Group in the Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine department comprise the team. Steven Jones, an SFU molecular biology and biochemistry professor and head of bioinformatics­at BCCA’s Genome Sciences Centre, is a team member. Jones says the team is using software to computationally screen and compare hundreds of thousands of molecular compounds with the influenza virus’ protein structures. The researchers have isolated 20  small molecule candidates, one of which can shut down both the H5N1 and H1N1 viruses in laboratory­ tests. Deadlier than the current news-headlining H1N1 virus, H5N1 has killed millions of birds and scores of people since its discovery in 1997 and is spreading rapidly in Southeast Asia. Jones says the international research team’s discovery will help speed up the development­of new therapeutics against the H1N1 and H5N1 viruses. It will also help assure that there is always a ready, reliable­arsenal of therapeutics to replace conventional­ ones­that are inevitably­rendered useless because of viruses adaptation­and resistance to them.

Pure Nickel Inc., a Toronto-based mineral exploration company releases details of its exploration plans for the MAN, Alaska project. Pure Nickel and its project partner, ITOCHU Corporation of Tokyo, met in Vancouver in April to finalize a US$4.4 million exploration budget for the project. The majority of the budget will be allocated to a 5,700-metre drill program.

Medicago Inc., a biotechnology company based in Québec City, has been selected to receive the Gold Leaf Award from BIOTECanada for “Early Stage Company of the Year.” The award is given every year to a company that has demonstrated technology innovation­ milestone achievements and financial success. Medicago Inc. develops vaccines based on proprietary manufacturing technologies and virus-like particles.

Simon Fraser University



articles en français!

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Juin 2009

Bri-Chem Corp., a Canadian wholesale distributor of industrial drilling fluids, steel products and services based in Alberta announces that its chief executive officer, Alan Campbell, retired on April 30, 2009. Don Caron, current chair of Bri-Chem Corp. will assume the role of president and chief executive officer. Campbell will continue to serve as an independent member of the company’s Board of Directors and Audit Committee. SemBioSys Genetics Inc. held its Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders this month at its corporate headquarters in Calgary, where the shareholders re-elected Richard Smith, Ian S. Brown, Alexander R. Giaquinto and Oye Olukotun, and elected William H. Smith, Q.C. to serve as directors of the company. James Szarko, CA was appointed to the board in January, when he was appointed president and CEO of SemBioSys. ERT, a provider of centralized ECG and eClinical technology, ePRO and services to the biopharmaceutical, medical device and related industries, launches its newly designed website at following an extensive company rebrand. The new website provides an online experience detailing information on ERT’s portfolio of clinical trial solutions as well as all the latest company news and events, which serve to educate customers and facilitate inquiries. Pfizer Canada increases its initial commitment from $1 million to an additional $2 million to the “Pfizer-CDRD Innovation Fund” at the Centre for Drug Research and Development­to help speed up the commercialization of research in B.C. The Innovation­ Fund, now totaling $3 million, supports six scientific opportunities in the area of cancer and diabetic ulcer healing.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. announces it will sponsor the 2009 Shanghai Symposium­ of Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine this month at the Shanghai Tong Ji University. The two-day event will be attended by members of the stem cell research community from China and abroad. Feature presentations by technical­experts at Thermo Fisher will showcase tools and techniques available for stem cell research. Oncolytics Biotech Inc., a Calgary-based company, announces that it has closed its previously announced prospectus offering. Oncolytics issued 3.45 million units, with each comprised of one common share of Oncolytics and one common share purchase warrants. The units were issued at a price of $2 per unit for gross proceeds of $6.9 million. Net proceeds after expenses are expected to be approximately $6.2 million and will be used by Oncolytics for its clinical trial program, manufacturing activities and for the company’s general corporate purposes.

june 2009 Canadian Chemical News  11

Chemfusion Joe Schwarcz, MCIC


The Case for Rubber

t's hard to fight an effective war without rubber. Fan belts, gaskets, gas masks and, of course, tires are critical to the war effort­. The young American army officer was well aware of this and welcomed his assignment­ in 1930 to search for alternative sources of rubber­. The First World War had brought home the risks of being cut off from the rubber­tree plantations of South East Asia, and it was becoming increasingly apparent that reliance on foreign sources was a dangerous business. His task was to investigate the possibility of using the latex of the guayule plant, which grew freely in Texas, as an alternate source of rubber. This was indeed viable, the officer found, and recommended that the plant be protected and reserved for emergencies. His advice was ignored. Then came Pearl Harbor. Within weeks of the attack, the Japanese had advanced into the Asian rubber producing countries and the U.S lost about ninety percent of its supply. The very success of the Allied cause being at stake, a hastily appointed Presidential Commission reported. Luckily, American ingenuity came to the fore and by 1942, U.S. chemical companies were producing over 200,000 tons of synthetic rubber, twice the amount the Germans were cranking out. German scientists had begun research on synthetic rubber in the 1930s, their country also having learned its lesson during the First World War when the Allies cut off its supplies. They had a head start because of the pioneering ideas of Hermann Staudinger who had proposed that rubber was a polymer, a giant molecule made up of repeating units called monomers. As early as 1826, Michael Faraday had distilled rubber and identified a small

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molecule called isoprene as one of its decomposition­ products. By 1879, the first synthetic rubbery materials had been produced by treating isoprene with hydrochloric­acid, but chemists were unable to explain what was actually happening until Staudinger introduced the concept of polymers­. Now it became clear that the secret of synthetic rubber lay in joining together isoprene units into long chains. But attempts to do this ended in failure. So the Germans experimented with molecules similar to isoprene and eventually found that a mixture of styrene and butadiene would yield a suitable­ rubbery “copolymer” when treated with a sodium catalyst. This “Buna-S” rubber (the name derives from butadiene, sodium (Na) and styrene) served Germany's needs, with massive amounts being produced, much of it by slave labor at a factory in Auschwitz. Making Buna-S was not a simple business­, as American scientists discovered. The polymerization­ worked best when the monomers­ were suspended in a solvent in the form of an emulsion, very much like fat droplets are suspended in water to form homogenized milk. Emulsifiers were needed to prevent the tiny droplets from coalescing and soap was an ideal candidate. After all, soap works by emulsifying oil and water. Ivory soap was selected because it was thought to be the purest such product available­. Remember the 99 and 44/100 percent pure slogan? But there was a problem. While the soap was an excellent emulsifier, it somehow inactivated the sodium catalyst. Victor Mills, a chemist working for Proctor and Gamble, had an idea. Maybe the problem was the small amount of perfume that was added to Ivory to mask the soapy smell. He made a special batch of soap without any scent and found that it now did the job perfectly. Normally, such discoveries would have been tightly guarded as industrial secrets, but the 1940s were no ordinary times. President Roosevelt had created the Office of Rubber Director under William Jeffers and rubber manufacturers were asked to pool their resources. Petroleum had been the classic source of styrene and butadiene, but now methods were found to make butadiene and styrene from alcohol that was produced by the fermentation of grain, potatoes and molasses. By 1944 the U.S. was producing 700,000 tons of synthetic rubber, far out stripping German capacity. Victor Mills's discovery undoubtedly helped win the war!

Charles Goodyear would have been astounded by these developments. Just about a hundred years earlier he had produced the first practical samples of rubber. Of course, he did not “invent” rubber. This exudate of the Hevea Brasiliensis tree was already being used by South American natives when European­ explorers arrived. Columbus described the natives playing games with rubber balls and even coating fabrics with the latex to make primitive galoshes. Europeans found few uses for the substance. Joseph Priestley, the discoverer­ of oxygen, found it could rub out pencil marks on paper and coined the term “rubber.” Charles Macintosh sandwiched a layer between sheets of fabric and created the first raincoat. But rubber got hard in winter and soft and tacky in summer. Goodyear­ dedicated­ his life to solving this problem. He tried mixing everything he could think of with the tree sap, including soup and cream cheese. Finances were a constant difficulty. Goodyear­even sold his children's school books to help fund his research. Then came a happy accident­. He had mixed the rubber with some sulfur and spilled the mix on the stove. When the rubber cooled, its elastic properties­ were maintained, but it was no longer sensitive­ to temperature. This “vulcanized­” rubber eventually­ took the world by storm, but Goodyear­, who had believed that God had given him the task of curing rubber, never benefited and died in debt. The use of both synthetic and natural rubbers has increased dramatically in recent years. So have allergies to rubber. Research into this received a boost when Everett Koop, the former U.S. Surgeon General developed an allergy to the elastic in his underwear. We now know that certain proteins, present in small amounts in the latex, are responsible. This has renewed interest in extracting rubber from the guayule plant which apparently does not have allergenic proteins. Perhaps researchers should have listened when that army officer recommended­ the use of the guayule back in 1930. They would have listened 22 years later when that army officer was sworn in as president­Dwight D. Eisenhower. ACCN Joe Schwarcz, MCIC, is the director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society. He hosts the Dr. Joe Show on Montréal’s radio station CJAD and Toronto’s CFRB. The broadcast is available at

ARticle: Green materials

The German automotive industry used more than 19,000 tons of hemp (Cannabis­ sativa) and flax (Linum usitatissimum) fibres in 2005.

Aspects of Lignocellulosic-Fibre Reinforced “GREEN” Materials By Alexis Baltazar-y-Jimenez and Mohini Sain


uch research and industrial development focus on the development­, processing and manufacturing, recycling and disposal of environmentally sound materials with increased recyclable and renewable content. This includes polymers, polymer blends, composites and other industrial products based on agricultural sources that are capable of competing with synthetic counterparts in terms of cost, impact, mechanical and thermal properties. In the case of the automotive industry, stringent environmental legislation­(EU Directive 2000/53/EC) has enforced demanding quotas for the recovery, reuse and recycling of end-of-life vehicle waste and has banned toxic substances from future passenger vehicles commercialized­ in the European Union (EU). The implications of such directives­ are manifold and affect original equipment manufacturers­ (OEMs) world wide. Other countries, like Japan, also have similar legislation that requires that end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) are depolluted, recycled and disposed of in an environmentally sound manner. In Canada, the National Vehicle Scrappage Programme encourages drivers to recycle vehi-

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cles older than model year 1995 in order to reduce air pollution and green house emissions (under the premise that these vehicles do not comply with currently low emission requirements), prevent ELVs from being abandoned­and toxic substances contained in specific vehicular applications­(e.g. cadmium, mercury, hexavalent­chromium, etc.) to be released into the environment­. Some statistics show that approximately five to six percent of the entire passenger vehicle fleet in Canada reaches the end of its useful life every year. This is between (approximately­) one million to 1.2 million vehicles­, of which (approximately) between 0.4 million to 0.5 million vehicles are generated­only in Ontario.1 However, the dimension of the issue worldwide­ is massive. To put it into perspective­, approximately­ two million ELVs are generated­every year in the United Kingdom, five million in Japan and more than 12 million in North America.1, 2, 3 Even though more than 75 percent, by weight, of the vehicle can be recycled by traditional means, there is a relatively small amount which cannot be recycled or recovered; in the case of North America, this accounts or more than three million tons of waste per year.1 This puts enormous­

pressure­ on the environment­ because ASR is generally­ landfilled­. On one hand, this opens the opportunity­to produce greener automotive materials­that are cost-effective to dismantle and dispose of (either by recycling, incineration­, compostability­, pyrolisys­, or other means). On  the other, it raises new challenges­ to increase the performance­ and cost competitiveness­ of current “green” materials­, set up a wider network of infrastructure­ for the reception, de-polution, dismantling­, sorting and disposal of ELVs, create competitive markets for the recovered/recycled materials from ELVs and enforce a common environmental­ legislation­ platform which assist OEMs to satisfy national and international­legislation­in terms of end-oflife waste disposal.

Lignocellulosic Fibre-Reinforced “Green” and “Truly Green” Composites “Green” and “truly green” composites are being developed worldwide. It is generally­ accepted that “green” composites consist of natural fibres and biopolymers, with the latter usually produced from petrochemical­or renewable­sources.­4, 5­“Truly green” composites­ incorporate­ renewable­ sourced biopolymers produced from celluloseand soy-based plastics­, starch, lactic acid, polyhydroxyalkanoates­, bacterial­cellulose, soy-based plastics, among others5, usually reinforced with plant fibres, specifically­lignocellulosic­fibres. According to its origin, natural fibres can be classified as vegetable, animal or mineral. Vegetable­ fibres may be extracted from wood (e.g. softwood and hardwood), husk (e.g.  maize, rice and wheat), fruit (e.g. coir, luffa), seed (e.g. cotton), leaf (e.g. henequen, sisal), stalk/bast (e.g. abaca, flax and hemp), cane or grass (e.g. bamboo). Lignocellulosic fibres, are composed of cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin with small amounts of different free sugars, hollocelluloses, starch, pectins, proteins, several mineral salts and extractives, such as waxes, fatty alcohols, fatty acids and different esters.­ The wide availability, low cost, renewable­ and thermally recyclable properties, low carbon foot print and sound damping properties­ of lignocellulosic fibres underpin its use in fibre-reinforced composite applications.­ Lignocellulosic fibres have lower mechanical­

The wide availability, low cost, renewable and thermally recyclable properties, low carbon foot print and sound damping properties of lignocellulosic fibres underpin its use in fibre-reinforced composite applications.

Some statistics show that approximately five to six percent of the entire passenger vehicle fleet in Canada reaches end of its useful life every year. properties than competing synthetic reinforcing­ fibres; however, their lower density and thus specific properties, are comparable to those of glass fibres. Lignocellulosic­ fibres have extraordinarily­ high potential as reinforcing elements in composite materials because the tensile strength and Young’s modulus of the I-cellulose crystal that forms the crystalline­ regions of cellulose reaches values that are either similar or superior to those of glass fibres (~10 GPa6 and between ~78 to 128 GPa7, 8 respectively). According to some studies, the substitution of glass fibres for hemp fibres in automotive fibre-reinforced­ composites­ has the potential to save approximately­ 1.4 kilogram­ of carbon dioxide per each kilogram­ of glass fibres replaced, during the whole life cycle of the part until its disposal.9 A number of potential applications for lignocellulosic-based materials are found in interior and exterior automotive applications­ where stiffness­ and low cost are among the required criteria,10 e.g. ­ther­mo-acoustic­­ insulation­ panels in undermats­, door panels, tailgates­ and composite systems. New higher performance­applications­will be developed as “green” and “truly green” lignocellulosic­fibrereinforced­­­materials­improve several technical­ issues, mostly inherent to lignocellulosic­ fibres, including low fibre-matrix wettability­ and adhesion, hydrophilic­ behaviour­ and

quality variability. Regular increases in the use of lignocellulosic­ fibres as fillers and reinforcements­ for thermoplastics and thermosets­ in the automotive industry can be expected for years to come. For example, the German automotive industry used more than 19,000 tons of hemp (Cannabis sativa) and flax (Linum usitatissimum) fibres in 2005, whereas in 1999 this amount accounted only for 9,600 tons.9

Variability of Lignocellulosic Fibres One of the major drawbacks of lignocellulosic­ fibres is their quality variability­, which is in part due to the presence of non-cellulose­­ compounds.11 The removal of non-cellulose­ compound from lignocellulosic fibres improves their compatibility with dyes, thermal resistance­, chemical composition and mechanical­ properties. This is achieved by traditional mechanical, bacterial/enzymatic, physical or chemical processes, including fibre surface modification methods. Alternative methods are also being developed­, for example, to reduce the amount of lignin using genetic manipulation.12 During the growth and harvest of the lignocellulosic crop factors such as the fibre crop variety, soil conditions­, climate, location, the section of the crop from which the fibres are extracted from and the harvest june 2009 Canadian Chemical News  15

ARticle: Green materials machinery used to harvest the crop also have an effect on the final properties of the lignocellulosic fibres.5 The maturity­of the crop at the time of harvest is also significant­in terms of fibre quality and yield. In the case of crops for fibre production, like hemp, the fibre yield is maximized three to four weeks after the crop has flowered­. However, as the crop ripens and the mechanical strength of

low in lignin (approximately­) (five percent) and hemicellulose­ (six percent), and high in cellulose­ (78 percent) content, whereas flax shives contain more lignin (23–31 percent), more hemicellulose (13–26 percent) and less cellulose (34–53  percent) than flax stalk and flax fibres. In addition­, because flax shives and fibres are lower in lignin and higher in hemicelluloses they can absorb moisture­more easily.

Even though more than 75 percent, by weight, of the vehicle can be recycled by traditional means, there is a relatively small amount which cannot be recycled or recovered; in the case of North America, this accounts or more than three million tons of waste per year. the fibres increases, a lignification effect occurs, which in time produces coarser fibres which adhere more strongly to each other and to the woody core. Lignification makes the breaking and separation­ of the fibres much more difficult.­5 In the case of crops for fibres and seed production, the optimum harvest time is about six weeks after flowering. Producing fibres that are stiffer, coarser and more brittle. The physical form of the fibres varies according to the fibre separation and extraction method used, including dew, stand, cold water, warm water, ultrasound, enzyme, chemical and surfactantretting. Decortication­(breaking), scutching and hackling­operations can produce lignocellulosic­ fibres that range from fibre bundles, technical fibres (50–100 µm in diameter) to elementary fibres (20 µm in diameter), or even smaller, micro fibrils (4–10 nm).12 The selection of the retting method is of the most economic importance as this has a direct impact on final fibre quality, chemical composition, physical appearance­, mechanical­ properties, yield and the environment­. Different parts of the same crop produce fibres with different chemical compositions.­13,  14,  15­ Flax stalks contain approximately 54  percent cellulose­, with smaller amounts of hemicelluloses­(17 percent), lignin (23 percent) and ash (3.6 percent). After retting and decortication­, flax fibres are separated­ from the woody core of the bast into what is known as flax shives. There are significant­ differences­ in the chemical­ composition­ of flax fibres and flax shives. Flax fibres are

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Environmental and Economic Sustainability Besides the intrinsic properties of lignocellulosic­ fibres, their overall environmental­ and economical­sustainability has to be analysed. Modern yield-orientate­d agriculture practices­ for the production of fibre crops require large amounts of water, pesticide­s , fungicides­, herbicide­s and fertilizers,­which may disrupt ecological balance in certain areas. Thus ,sustainability­ of lignocellulos­ic crops is of major importance­from an environmental and economical­perspective.­ In the case of the EU, specifically­ the United Kingdom, changes in the subsidies policy for flax crop cultivation­ encouraged­ the development­ of new techniques­ for the production­ of high-quality­ flax fibreyarns­ for high volume manufacture of fine fabrics.16 However, this development required the application­ of a translocating herbicide­at different stages of plant maturity­ for optimum fine fibre production­. The high water requirements­ and use of substantial­ amounts of fertilisers and pesticides­ for lignocellulosic­ and non-food crop production­ has prompted the evaluation of the environmental­ impact of two of the most used lignocellulosic crops, hemp and flax, using life cycle analysis (LCA). LCA is a method to assess the impact associated­with a product by quantifying­ and evaluating the resources consumed and the emissions to the

environment­at all stages of the product's­life cycle. The analysis17 compared traditional­ hemp warm water retting to bio-retting (i.e. hemp green scutching followed by water retting) and dew retting of flax. The results, which did not account for fibre quality, suggest that traditional­ hemp warm water and dew retting of flax are similar in terms of environmental­impact, except for pesticide use (i.e. higher for flax) and water use during processing (i.e. higher for hemp), whereas bio-retting­had higher environmental­impact than traditional­ hemp warm water retting because of higher energy requirements during fibre processing.17 Based on the findings, the authors suggested that any reduction in the environmental­impact of these crops for high quality fibre yarn production­should focus on a reduction­ in energy consumption during fibre processing and yarn production and on a reduction of the presence of macronutrients in the environmen­t, in particular nitrogen and phosphoro­us.

Conclusions The development of “green” and “truly green” lignocellulosic fibre-reinforced composites, biopolymers and any other environmentally­ friendly material should not only focus on maximising technical performance­, cost effectivenes­s, dismantling­ a n d f i n a l f e a s i b i l i t y­, b u t a l s o s h o u l d encourage economic, environmental­ and social sustainability­.

References 1. 1877 End-of-life Vehicles, Green Vehicle­ Disposal. Website link available in: 2. UK Environmental Agency, End of Life Vehicles­ Directive. Website link in: http:// s/444217/444663/591015/?version=1&lan g=_e. 3. Japan for Sustainability, The Recycling of End-of-Life Vehicles in Japan. Website link available in: http://www.japanfs. org/en/mailmagazine/newsletter/pages/ 027816.html. 4. A. K. Mohanty, M. Misra and L. T. Drzal, “Sustainable Bio-Composites from Renewable­ Resources: Opportunities and Challenges in the Green Materials World,”

Chemical Institute of Canada

Nominations are now open for the

Chemical­Institute of Canada­

2010AWARDSAct now!

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

The Chemical Institute of Canada­Medal is presented as a mark of distinction­and recognition to a person­who has made an outstanding contribution­to the science of chemistry­or chemical engineering in Canada­. Sponsored by the Chemical Institute of Canada. Award: A silver medal, a framed scroll and travel expenses. The Montréal Medal is presented as a mark of distinction and honour to a resident­in Canada who has shown significant leadership in or has made an outstanding­contribution to the profession­of chemistry­or chemical engineering­in 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. Sponsored­by the Montréal CIC Local Section. Award: A medal, a framed scroll and travel expenses.

Macromolecular Science and Engineering­Award is presented


The deadline for all CIC awards is


July 2, 2009 for the 2010 selection.

to an individual who, while residing­ in Canada, has made a distinguished­ contribution to macromolecular­science or engineering. Sponsored by NOVA Chemicals Corporation. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses.

Nomination Procedure

The CIC Award for Chemical Education­ is presented as a mark of recognition­to a person­who has made an outstanding contribution in Canada to education at the post-secondary level in the field of chemistry­ or chemical­engineering­. Sponsored­by the CIC Chemical­ Education­ Fund. Award: A framed scroll and a cash prize.

Submit your nominations to: Awards Manager Chemical Institute of Canada 130 Slater Street, Suite 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 T. 613-232-6252, ext. 223 F. 613-232-5862

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

june 2009 Canadian Chemical News  17

ARticle: Green materials Journal of Polymers and the Environment 10, 1 (2002), pp. 19–26. 5. A. Bismarck, S. Mishra and T. Lampke, Plant Fibres as Reinforcement for Green Composites, (Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2005), pp. 37–108. 6. M. A. Said-Azizi-Samir, F. Alloin, M. Paille­t and A. Dufresne, "Tangling Effect­ in Fibrillated Cellulose Reinforced Nanocomposites­," Macromolecules 37, 11 (2004), pp. 4313–4316. 7. G. Guhados, W. K. Wan and J. L. Hutter­, "Measurement of the Elastic Modulus of Single Bacterial Cellulose Fibres Using Atomic Force Microscopy," Langmuir 21, 14 (2005), pp. 6642–6646. 8. T. Nishino, K. Takano and K. Nakamae, "Elastic modulus of the crystalline regions­ of cellulose polymorphs," Journal of Polymer­ Science Part B: Polymer Physics 33, 11 (1995), pp. 1647–1651. 9. M. Karus and M. Kaup, "Natural fibres in the European automotive industry," Journal­ of Industrial Hemp 7, 1 (2002), pp. 119–131. 10. R. Kozlowski and M. Wladyka-Przybylak­, Uses of natural fibre reinforced plastics,

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(USA: Kluwer Academic­Publishers­, 2004), p. 249–274. 11. R.B. Dodd and D.E. Akin, Recent Developments­in Retting and Measurement­ of Fibre Quality in Natural Fibres: Pro and Cons, (Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2005), p.141–157. 12. H. Bos, M. Van Den Oever and O. Peters­, "Tensile and compressive properties of flax fibres for natural fibre reinforced composites­," Journal of Materials Science 37, 8 (2002), pp. 1683–1692. 13. M. Sain and D. Fortier, "Flax shives refining, chemical modification and hydrophobisation­ for paper production­," Industrial Crops and Products 15, 1 (2002), pp. 1–13. 14. J. Young, "Canadian nonwood pulp mill to start up in early 1993," Pulp Paper 66, 9 (1992), pp. 144–145. 15. A. U. Buranov and G. Mazza, "Lignin­ in straw of herbaceous crops," Industrial­ Crops and Products 28, 3 (2008), pp. 237–259. 16. J. Harwood, P. McCormick, D. Waldron­ and R. Bonadei, "Evaluation of flax

accessions­for high value textile end uses," Industrial Crops and Products 27, 1 (2008), pp. 22–28. 17. H. M. G. van der Werf and L. Turunen, "The environmental impacts of the production­of hemp and flax textile yarn," Industrial Crops and Products 27, 1 (2008), pp. 1–10. ACCN Mohini Sain is a professor and director of the Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing at the University of Toronto. He is currently working on the research and development of bio-plastics, cellulose-based micro- and nano-composite technology, industrial biomaterials and biocomposites manufacturing, and biomass technology. Alexis Baltazar-y-Jimenez is a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing at the University of Toronto. He is working on the development, characterisation and processing optimisation of hybrid (nano)fibre-reinforced composites produced from renewable sources for high performance applications.

or a Changing Challenges f


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

MontrÊal, QuEbec, Canada • August 23-27,


ARticle: Whole grains

WHOLE GRAIN A Potential Source of Antioxidants

By Trust Beta

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Whole grains and phytochemicals of interest


anada is a world leader in the production­ of cereals (wheat, barley­, maize, oats), and one of the five major grain exporting countries worldwide. The new version of Canada's Food Guide Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide (Health Canada 2007) recommends­an increased­consumption­ of whole grains. The contribution­ of whole grains to human nutrition­ is the subject of an ongoing­ and intense­ debate among scientists­. Consumption­ of whole grains is now associated­ with reduced­ risk of chronic disease­ because of their unique phytochemicals­ (plant chemicals) that are referred­to as bioactive­compound­s. Although­ proteins and carbohydrate­s are grain constituents­ of nutritiona­l and technological­ importance, cerea­ls also contain­ a variety­ of compounds­, some of which exhibit antioxidant­activity. Antioxidant­components­, located mostly in the grain outer layers (bran), may act synerg­istical­­ly­ with fibre in imparting health benefits.

Research Basic research questions concern grain efficacy, that is the effectiveness of grain phytochemicals in conferring health benefits­ through the mechanisms of antioxidant activity, scavenging of free radicals, decrease in lipid oxidation, lowering of cholesterol, and inhibition of cancer cell proliferation. Investigations include: 1) the type and level of antioxidant components in grains; 2) the effects of postharvest handling and grain processing on phytochemicals; and 3) the level of grain intake needed for effectiveness­ in attaining specific health outcomes using in vitro, animal, and clinical studies. Because of the different types of grains, the variety of bioactive compounds and the diversity­ of likely biological effects, numerous and diverse experimental approaches must be taken to acquire a good understanding of the biology of bioactive compounds. Among tens of thousands of phytochemicals found in our diets, phenolic compounds, carotenoi­ds, tocopherols and tocotrienols are the most important group of natural antioxidants­. The identification­of these components remains a challenge as cereal grains and grain products

differ in the levels and variety of the molecular­ c o m p o u n d s. I n a d d i t i o n , a p p ro p r i a t e­ biomarkers within and across grain species have yet to be identifie­d to understand the functionality of grain phytoche­m icals as antioxidant­s.

Challenges Research efforts are focused on understanding­ the molecular structure-antioxidan­t­relations of phenolic compounds. The latter are the major antioxidant phytochemicals­of grains. Research findings on grains (wheat, barley, maize, sorghum and oats) indicate that there is a broad range of chemical diversity in these phenolic phytochemicals, and that collectively these compounds are good antioxidants. Several of these compounds have been identified by using commercially available standards. However, the molecular structures of the majority of the species isolated from these grains are yet to be determined. Without this understanding of the molecular structure of individual compounds, it is impossible to determine the mechanisms of antioxidant behaviour, and thus impossible to identify the basis of grain efficacy in clinical studies.

Opportunities­ Fund enabled acquisition of major units for assaying of antioxidant capacity, preparative­ and analytical HPLC units and a quadrupole­ time-of-flight mass spectrometer for isolation­and identification of antioxidant constituents­. Several research activities were undertaken in the past six years related to the measurement­of phenolic compounds and antioxidant capacity of cereal grains as summarized below: Genotype and environmental effects on grain phenolics: The health promoting effects of whole grains likely derive from phenolic compounds and other antioxidants. Wheat is a major cereal of massive economic importance­that is grown in Western Canada under a diverse range of environments. If we are to exploit wheat grains fully so that they can become a rich source of functional food ingredients, it is important to understand the effect of environment on levels of phenolics in the grains. Our research findings have shown that genotype and the environment­in which the crop is grown strongly influence the levels of phenolic compounds present in the grains, with levels of phenolic antioxidant­s in some growing locations being 30 percent higher than others. Plant resistance to biotic

Whole wheat spaghetti exhibited significantly higher levels of total phenolic content (TPC) than regular wheat spaghetti; however, TPC in both regular and whole wheat spaghetti was 48–78 percent of the original content after cooking. The separation and detection of antioxidant­ phytochemicals is a challenging task further complicated by the chemical changes inevitable­ during postharvest-handling and grain processing.

Short-term goals The objectives in the short-term are to determine the mechanisms of grain efficacy­based on an assessment of the types of phenolic constituents present and the effects of postharvest-handling and processing on their levels and bioactivity. The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) through the New Opportunities Fund and the Leaders

and abiotic stresses is often regulated by the metabolism of phenolic compounds in the unique environments that wheat is grown. Of significance is the fact that genotype­ variations­for antioxidant properties indicate­ it would be possible to select for these quantitative­ traits in a breeding program. Our results on genotype and environmental variation in phenolic content, phenolic acid composition and antioxidant activity of hard spring wheat were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, volume 54, pp. 1265–1270 (2006). Phenolics and primary grain processing: In cereals, the phenolic compounds are concentrated­ mainly in outer layers of the June 2009 Canadian Chemical News  21

grain (bran). In traditional processes, the bran is removed either by roller milling or pearling (debranning). In recent years, significant changes to milling technology have occurred, and debranning of wheat prior to milling is becoming increasingly accepted by the milling industry as a means of improving wheat roller milling performance. This industry change has given us an excellent opportunity to add value to this by-product of the milling process, but only if the requisite research is performed that we can understand how to obtain antioxidant-

grained Chinese wheat was 39 to 70 percent higher in total phenolic content compared to Canadian common wheats. The results have been published in Cereal Chemistry, volume 82, pages 390–393 (2005) and Journal of Agricultural­and Food Chemistry, volume 53, pages 8533–8536 (2005). Phenolics and secondary grain processing: The antioxidant capacities of whole grain products, their role in disease prevention and levels to be consumed remain subjects of intense interest. Grain antioxidants are lost in significant amounts as a result of

Consumption of whole grains is now associated with reduced risk of chronic disease because of their unique phytochemicals (plant chemicals) that are referred to as bioactive compounds. enriched­­­ milling streams. By investigating the distribution­of phenolics and antioxidant activities in fractions derived from pearling and roller milling of Canadian wheats, we demonstrated the uniqueness of bran fractions­ obtained from the two techniques. Of significance­ is that pearling represents an effective­ and inexpensive­ technique­ to obtain wheat bran fractions enriched in phenolic antioxidants, thereby allowing us to maximize health benefits­ associated­ with wheat-based products. Further investigations using unique coloured wheats from China confirmed that bran fraction­s were superior in phenolic content and free radical scavenging activities. The bran of the black-

processing. Two articles published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistr­y volume 55, pages 8958–8966 (2007) and in Food Chemistry volume 104, pages 1080–1086 (2007) demonstrated the effect of secondary processing on antioxidant activity of purple wheat anthobeers and purple wheat muffins, respectively. Antioxidant activity is retained to varying degrees after processing; however, the antioxidant components likely undergo a chemical transformation. Recently, we conducted an evaluation of antioxidan­t capacity among the regular and whole wheat spaghetti brands available in major supermarkets­ in Manitoba. Whole wheat spaghetti exhibited significantly higher levels

of total phenolic content (TPC) than regular wheat spaghetti; however, TPC in both regular and whole wheat spaghetti was 48–78 percent of the original content after cooking. Whole wheat spaghetti had significantly higher ferulic acid than regular spaghetti. Ferulic acid is a major phenolic acids found in wheat. TPC and ferulic acid content were found to be good indicators of the antioxidant capacity of spaghetti with both indices demonstrating the superiority of whole wheat over regular pasta products. The current findings on spaghetti add to the mounting evidence on the potential health benefits to be derived from consuming whole grain products.

Long-term goals The long-term goals are to explain grain efficacy using animal models and human clinic­al studies. Effectiveness of whole grains in human health will need to be demonstrated­ using outcome variables including reduction­ i n c a rd i ova s c u l a r d i s e a s e s a n d c o l o n cancers. Research in the area of whole grain functional­ foods is anticipated to address health issues related to obesity, heart diseases and various cancers. Elucidation­ of mechanist­i c relationships­ between the molecular­ structures­ of bioactive components and specific health promoting effects involving antioxidant activity will lay the foundation for developmen­t of grain-based functional foods and formulation of dietary recommendations. ACCN Trust Beta is a Canada Research Chair in grain-based functional foods at the University of Manitoba.



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22   L’Actualité chimique canadienne

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june 2009 Canadian Chemical News  23

ARticle: bioplastics

Bioplastics From Potatoes

By Debbie Locrey-Wessel


hat do disposable food and beverage containers, disposable­ cutlery, Frisbees, golf tees, greenhouse pots and boomerangs­ have in common? They can all be manufactured­ as biodegradable­ products using potato starch. For years, we have recognized the environmental effects of nondegradable materials. Some countries have been actively encouraging­ the research and development of degradable substitutes and various alternative materials have been proposed for the production­ of disposable­ containers and packaging materials made from degradable­ materials. Now research in Canada on bioplastics from potatoes is getting a boost through the newly-created BioPotato Network. This federally­funded­network brings together scientists from governments, academia and industry to collaborate on five areas: commercializing­ potato extracts, healthier potato varieties, pharmaceutical uses, new generation­ bioplastics and biopesticides for insect control. The $5.3 million investment in a BioPotato Network by the government­of Canada will work to develop and harness new markets for potato farmers. The bioplastics research brings together the expertise of plant breeders, food scientists, molecular biologists and plant production­ specialists from across Canada. Collaboratively these scientists are developing new potato varieties to boost the starch available for industrial­applications. There are many, many non-food uses for the potato. The beauty of it is that the potato is a starch factory so there is a lot of raw material from this plentiful crop! Originating in the Andes of South America over 8,000 years ago, the potato is the world’s fourth largest food crop and a staple food for much of the world. In Canada, this crop grows in every province and contributes nearly $6 billion to the national economy. Potato starch is currently used by the food processing industry as a general thickener, binder, texturizer, anti-caking or gelling agent. It also shows up in finished products such as snack foods, processed

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meats, baked goods, noodles, pet foods, shredded cheese, sauces, gravies and soups. Potato starches are also used in yeast filtration and as additives in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. Potato starch is considered an industrial by-product from potato-processing plants. It is from this by-product that potato starch- base­d polymers and blends are currently used to

Scientists believe that further research can improve bioplastics, help broaden their applications and create bioplastics with greater water resistance, stronger mechanical properties and greater processability.

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make bioplastics. Using a patented process, the potato starch is converted into a plastic- like resin that can be heated and shaped into a variety of products through an injection molding process. The resulting material is completely degradable­ by composting and is also very good as food packaging because it allows the food to breathe. Food packaging­made with a blend of potato, wheat and tapioca starch has

proven durable enough to be baked in an oven and heated in a microwave­. A few companies have already started selling these bioplastics in Canada. However, scientists believe that further research can improve bioplastics, help broaden their applications and create bioplastics with greater water resistance, stronger mechanical properties and greater processability. With funding through the BioPotato Network, scientists are working to develop potato polysaccharide-based bioplastic film and foam (based on complex carbohydrates found in plants) and improve the performance of potato-based bioplastic. Through this network scientists are working with plant breeders to evaluate the physicochemical­and structural properties of potato starch and non-starch polysaccharides and select potato germplasm for starch and non-starch polysaccharide production. It’s the best way to find the perfect potato with a starch content ideal for producing bioplastics­. On the industrial side, scientists are developing­methods for blending potato starch and non-starch polysaccharides with synthetic biopolymers, biopolymers resins and additives, evaluating­of functional properties of improved bioplastic blends and applying bioplastics­ to packaging­and delivery material. By examining every aspect of potato starch from molecular properties to the final product, scientists are working together to create a new generation of degradable­ bioplastics for the benefit of the future generations.­ ACCN Debbie Lockrey-Wessel is a science communications advisor with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

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june 2009 Canadian Chemical News  25

ARticle: fuel efficiency

Is There a Future for the Internal Combustion Engine?

By Klaus L. E. Kaiser, FCIC


ou may recall, about 10 years ago, hydrogen-fuelled cars were to solve all our driving needs. They were supposed to be in car dealers’ showrooms by 2001, ready “to drive away”. Well, it did not happen, and lately, who has heard of hydrogen? We are on to better things now, such as the “electric car” or is this another futile concept? There are many people who wholeheartedly believe statements like, “successful application of new technologies such as fuel cells or electric­vehicles will be the replacement of the current automotive fleets”. This perception drives much of the current interest in hybrid and electric cars, both by manufacturers and consumers. One of the reasons we like to think that electric cars will be the future seems to be the underlying assumption that electricity “is free”

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(or at least nearly so). And with “free” renewable electricity from wind power or photovoltaic cells, our new “smart [electricity] meters” will allow us to recharge any electric car battery “at the cost of a few pennies”. Of course, at night, winds are commonly diminished and the sun rarely shines. Unfortunately, the energy required to move a car is simply in orders of magnitude higher than what a typical household needs to run a few lights and small appliances — roughly one kW during part of the day. Very roughly again, one kW is close to one horsepower. So, if you drive a 150 hp car, you may use the equivalent of a 100+ households’ electricity­needs. Of course, to “fill up” your car with the equivalent of, say 50 L of gasoline, you would also need approximately 500 kWh of electricity.

One of the reasons we like to think that electric cars will be the future seems to be the underlying assumption that electricity is “free”.

Even at an “off-peak hour” rate of three c/kWh (proposed for Ontario), that is still $15, not just a few pennies. Why else then does the electric car seem so appealing? In part, it seems to be the thought that it is cleaner, or “greener”, i.e. has a smaller greenhouse gas (GHG) or carbon dioxide footprint. This is only true if the electricity­ to charge it is generated from sources other than fossil fuels (in North America presently about 50 percent). In terms of CO2 emission, it makes no difference­ whether hydrocarbons are burned in an internal combustion engine, or in a (yet to be developed) fuel cell, or in a fossil-fuelpowered­ electricity generation station, the end products are the same, namely identical amounts of carbon dioxide and water. Storing the electricity in a car is the really steep hurdle. You can see it in the battery costs: for a laptop computer, the cost of the battery alone is about $100, for a hybrid car $5,000, and for a full battery-powered car, such as the Tesla, close to $100,000. Such batteries also suffer from premature fatigue, loss of power on storage, and barely work at temperatures below freezing. In contrast, a car’s gasoline tank is about $200. Solely from an energy storage cost perspective, gasoline is miles ahead. The present (and foreseeable) storage capacity of even the best lithium ion batteries (0.5 MJ/kg) or the (yet to be commercially produced) super capacitors (1.2 MJ/kg) are only about 1/40th of that of an equal weight of common gasoline (48 MJ/kg). In other words, you would need a capacitor

weight of about 1,600 kg to store the energy of 50 L gasoline. Therefore, also from a weight perspective, gasoline wins handily. Altogethe­r, between the energy density, cost of storage devices, ease of handling, ability to use at low temperature, as well as other technical considerations fossil fuels, such as gasoline, are simply the energy carrier of choice. This then leads to the question: how can we reduce GHG emissions and use the electric­ energy from wind and solar power

If you drive a 150 hp electric car, you may use the equivalent of a 100+ households’ electricity needs. installations­ and continue to keep gasoline as fuel for our internal combustion engine cars? The answer is surprisingly simple: by making gasoline! The best way to “store” electric power, generated, for example, from wind turbines or solar cells, is through its conversion to gasoline. This can easily be achieved by electrolysis­ of water to hydrogen, and the reaction of hydrogen with carbon dioxide to create gasoline-type hydrocarbons, a well-known process (Fischer-Tropsch synthesis). Furthermore, carbon dioxide is

a large-scale waste product (at the tar sands plants in Alberta, for example). This kind of storage-process would require neither the development of new electric power storage technologies (e.g. super capacitors), or “electric­” cars, or any different infrastructure to “fill up”. In fact, the same process of storing electricity­ could be used to make gasoline­ from limestone (essentially calcium carbonate), water and electric power. The remnants of 19th century lime kilns in southern Ontario are evidence to part of this process. Of course, at that time, the product of interest was the calcium oxide, not the carbon dioxide which escaped into the air. Perhaps we should look at it now as the future source for gasoline. The internal combustion engine has served mankind well over a hundred years. While its energy efficiency is only about 25 percent, it is robust and works under all kinds of climatic conditions. It would be a worthwhile research goal to increase its efficiency. Despite that shortcoming though, unless novel electricity­ storage devices can be develope­d with an energy density similar to that of gasoline­, and at a cost of about 1/100th of the present storage technology, the combustion engine does not need to fear its demise. ACCN Klaus L. E. Kaiser FCIC is the director of research and a principal of TerraBase, Inc.

june 2009 Canadian Chemical News  27

ARticle: automotive bioplastics

Automotive Bioplastics Back to the Future

By Craig Crawford


s far back as the 1930's, Henry Ford used up to 60 pounds of soybeans­ in paints, enamels and molded plastic parts in his Model T. Plant-based plastics were used to make glove box doors, gear shift knobs, horn buttons, accelerator pedals, distributor heads, interior trim, steering wheels, dashboards and body panels. Ford also used fibres from hemp, wood pulp, cotton, flax and ramie as plastic fillers and reinforcement material. Over time, bioplastics were eventually replaced by petroleum-based­ products because they were cheaper and better performing. However, the recent high cost of petroleum-based raw materials used in the production of plastics, and the advancement of new technologies like biotechnology, nanotechnology, green chemistry and material science, are paving the way for the resurgence of bio-based­ materials. Ford and other automotive companies are making a major effort to reintroduce­plant-based plastics as a way of reducing their reliance on foreign oil and improving their environmental footprint. Ford showcased soy-based polyurethane in their 2003 Model U concept car where it was used to make foam seat cushions and a rigid polyurethane­tailgate. Soy foam seating was first commercialized in the 2007 Ford Mustang and later included in the 2008 Ford Escape. With

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technology­breakthroughs and new formulations, soy foam can now be used to make seat cushions, seat backs, head restraints, arm rests, headliners,­and other interior parts that are cost competitive and meet industry specifications. Another leader in bio-based plastics is Toyota Motor Corporation. They plan to replace 20 percent of the plastics used in their automobiles with bio-plastics by 2015. At present, petroleum-based polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene account for about 80 percent of the plastics used in their vehicles. Toyota plans to replace these materials with bioplastics, starting with interior parts. Toyota first began working with bioplastics in 2001 when they produced a small concept car called the ES3 with a bioplastics body and interior components made from sweet potatoes and sugar cane. They were the first to commercialize­the use of bioplastics in 2003 when they made the spare tire cover and floor mat of the Raum out of a composite material made of starch-based­polylactic acid and kenaf. More recently Toyota announced that their 2010 Lexus HS250h will contain plant-based, carbon-neutral ecological plastics (bioplastics) for interior components including luggage-trim­­upholstery, cowl-side

"Photo courtesy of The Woodbridge Group"

trim, door scuff plate, tool box area, floorfinish plate, seat cushions and the package tray behind the rear seats. Approximately­ 30 percent of the interior and luggage area will be covered with ecological­ plastics. Mazda is working on their version of a bio-car as well. In 2008 they announced they were successful in developing a bioplastic console and seat fabric for the Mazda  5  Hydrogen RE Hybrid. They also launched the “Bioplastic Project” to develop

Process Research ORTECH (a pilot plant operation­) and four Ontario universities (Windsor, Waterloo, Guelph and Toronto) are participating in the $18 million Ontario BioCar Research Initiative. The goal of the Council is to become a global leader in the use of renewable biomaterials, like bioplastics and biocomposites, in automotive­and related sectors by 2010. The BioAuto Council’s interest in renewable­ biomaterials extends beyond automotive

If technologies can be successfully introduced into the highly priced and performance sensitive automotive sector, they can be transferred more easily to new product applications in other markets where price/ performance demands may be less stringent. a green polypropylene­ from non-food-based cellulosic biomass like plant waste or wood shavings. The project aims to have these bioplastics ready for use in vehicles by 2013.

Ontario BioAuto Council Canada’s Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association and leading Ontario-based­global auto parts suppliers like Magna, Woodbridge Group and Canadian General Tower were quick to respond to the changing market demands for green bioplastics. In 2007, they joined with agricultural, forestry, and chemical organizations to create the Ontario BioAuto Council. The Council is a unique organization that brings together all the major stakeholders in the bio-based supply chain from renewable raw material producers like corn and soybean farmers and pulp mill owners to automotive assemblers like Ford and Chrysler. The Council links these stakeholders to leading sources of research and innovation including the Ontario Centres of Excellence and Auto21, a national network of centres of excellence for automotive innovation. Other members of the Council with extensive R&D capacity include FP Innovations (the largest private sector forest research organization in the world), Canada’s National Research Council, Bodycote (a global material testing company),

applications­. Because of the restructuring taking place in the auto sector, and the significant­ decline in global sales, many parts suppliers are now seeking to diversify­into other markets like construction­, packaging­, industrial­ and consumer products. If technologies­ can be successfully introduced into the highly priced and performance­ sensitive­ automotive sector, they can be transferred­ more easily to new product applications in other markets where price/performance demands may be less stringent­. It is also in the interest of the automotive­ industry to work cooperatively with other manufacturing sectors to aggregate demand for bioplastics and biocomposites in order to more quickly achieve economies of scale for biochemical and bioplastics production and better position Canada to attract inbound technology­ investments through expanded market opportunities.­

The Council’s Commercialization Fund Although governments have invested heavily in university infrastructure and R&D, and provided generous tax incentives for business R&D, these investments have not translated well into new bio-based products, jobs and wealth creation. The Council believes Canada needs a private-sector-focused and market-driven

approach to the commercialization of biobased­ products. In the Council’s view, targeted incentives to industry are required to help offset the costs of innovation and accelerate the commercialization of biobased products. These costs can include extensive material testing to ensure biobased products meet industry standards for quality, performance and safety; new material and equipment purchases; production trials; staff training; new quality control systems; and product development and marketing. With start-up funding from the province­ of Ontario, the Council established a Commercialization­ Fund that offers up to $1  million in matching funding to manufacturers­ who have near-market-ready technologies or products­. Applicants for funding have to commit to commercializing new products within a two-year window. As part of the due diligence process, applicants are required to file a business plan that clearly sets out the company’s strategy to take a new product or technology to market. Applications­ are accepted at the first of each month and, if the application is complete, the Council guarantees­ the applicant will be notified in writing of acceptance or rejection by the Board within 60 days. The Council has now approved funding for six major commercialization projects valued at $3.5 million and leveraged $7 million in matching industry funding. The Council expects the six projects will result in the market introduction of over 50 new products by March 2010. Assuming technical feasibility, and a successful business case, the Council also expects the companies receiving grants to introduce a further 250 new products through additional product formulations.

Grant recipients include: • GreenCore Composites, which is developing­ a pulp mill micro-fibre technology­ to reduce­ the cost and improve­ the performance­ of biocomposites. Potential­ applications include automotive,­ construction and consumer­ products markets­. • Valle Foam, which is developing soybased­foam applications for the furniture, bedding­ and carpet underlay sectors. • Woodbridge Group, which is developing a soy-based foam automotive headliner june 2009 Canadian Chemical News  29

ARticle: automotive bioplastics system­ using natural fibre reinforcement. The product will not only be lighter but also have improved acoustical properties. • Canadian General Tower, which is replacing­ petroleum-based phthalate plasticizers­with non-toxic plant oils from soybeans and castor beans in automotive seat coverstock and a wide range of other industrial products. • Decoma (Magna), which is developing a new light-weight load floor for SUVs, vans and cross-over vehicles using a recycled honeycomb cardboard core sandwiched­between two layers of natural fibre-reinforced­­ soy-based polyurethane. The new light-weight load floor will help improve fuel consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. • A global polyurethane manufacturer (soon to be publicly announced), which is developing formulations for soybased polyurethane foam applications in the high-end,­ high-value, Ontario bedding­ sector.­ In general, these projects are closely aligned with consumer needs and public policy priorities.­ They are intended to reduce greenhouse­ gas emissions (through light-weighting products) and replace petroleum­-based chemicals with renewable, less toxic materials and production processes. The BioAuto Council is currently seeking additional funding from Government to “reload” the Commercialization Fund, which has now been fully committed. There are more than 20 potential applications for commercialization­ assistance in the pipeline for next year. New product applications are expected for the automotive, construction, industrial and consumer products sectors. Continued funding for bio-product innovation­ in the manufacturing sector is essential to Canada’s economy. Opportunities­ for job and wealth creation are significant. According to the National Research Council, “the global market for biochemicals and bio-plastics was US$60 billion in 2003, and McKinsey & Associates and U.S. Department­ of Energy estimate this market will be US$140–210 billion by 2010 (which amounts to 10–15% of the US$1.4 trillion global chemicals market).” In addition, advanced technologies like biotechnology, nanotechnology, green chemistry and material science can help improve the global competitive position of Canada’s manufacturing sector.

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According to Statistics Canada (2007), there are 1,510 establishments­ employing 92,220 people shipping $19.69 billion in plastic products­ in Canada that could benefit from these technologies.­

Ontario’s Automotive Parts Suppliers Leading the Way Woodbridge Group The Woodbridge Group, headquartered in Ontario, is the largest automotive supplier of polyurethane foam in the world. They have over 60 factories in more than 20 countries and supply product to automotive companies around the world. Woodbridge now uses a soy-based polyol manufactured by Cargill to make foam products for Ford, Fiat and other automotive companies. Fiat, for example, has announced that all its vehicles in Brazil will switch to using renewable polyurethane foam. The Cargill polyol used by Woodbridge won the 2007 Presidential Green Chemistry

have been identified as toxic chemicals in North America. About 30 pounds of petroleum-based foam is used in each vehicle. Since the U.S. market for automotive foam is estimated to be 3 billion pounds and 9 billion worldwide, the opportunit­y to reduce the environmental footprint­with soy-based foams is significant.

Canadian General (CG) Tower Canadian General Tower, headquartered in Cambridge, Ontario, and dating back to 1863, is a world leader in synthetic coverstock. It is the largest supplier in North America for seat covering and covering of moldable inserts, door panels and instrument panels. The company supplies 85 percent of North American built vehicles including Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi. CG Tower has manufacturing facilities in Cambridge, ON, Toledo, OH, Shanghai, China (two sites), and is exploring sites in Mexico, Eastern Europe and Russia. They also have a design studio and sales office in Detroit, MI.

Ford and other automotive companies are making a major effort to reintroduce plant-based plastics as a way of reducing their reliance on foreign oil and improving their environmental footprint. Challenge­ Award in the Designing Green Chemicals category. The award is sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the awards are judged by an independent panel selected by the American Chemical Society. Cargill’s soy polyol also earned the 2006 Technology­ Innovation Award from the Alliance­ for the Polyurethanes Industry and the 2007 Sustainability Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers. A life cycle analysis indicates replacement of petroleum-based polyols with Cargill’s product results in 36 percent fewer global warming emissions, a 61 percent reduction in non-renewable energy use and a 23 percent reduction in total energy demand. In addition­, the Cargill production­ process does not use either ethylene or propylene oxide, both of which

The Advanced Technology Group at Canadian­ General Tower is developing new and innovative products that are eco-friendly and technologically advanced. Their AEOLIS™ “biomimetic” technology uses a silk protein top finish for seat covers to promote surface dryness and micro-pores to facilitate breathing and improved comfort. This technology reduces product cost compared to natural leather and improves product recycling­. Their VEHREO™ coated fabric product line uses plasticizers made from plant oils from soybeans and castor beans, instead of petroleum­-based oils, and a fabric that uses recycled PET bottles. ACCN Craig Crawford is the CEO of the Ontario BioAuto Council.

Canadian Society for Chemistry

Nominations are now open for the

Canadian­Society for Chemistry

2010AWARDSAct now!

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

The Rio Tinto Alcan Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution­in the fields of inorganic chemistry or electrochemistry while working in Canada. Sponsored by Rio Tinto Alcan. 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 by a scientist who is currently working 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 contribution­to 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 Inc. Award: A framed scroll and travel expenses for a lecture tour. The Boehringer Ingelheim Award is presented to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant whose PhD thesis in the field of organic or bioorganic chemistry was formally­accepted by a Canadian university in the 12-month period preceding the nomination­deadline 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. 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 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 analytical­chemistry 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 and who is currently working in Canada. Sponsored by the Organic Chemistry Division. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses. The Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research 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. The Bernard Belleau Award is presented 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 John C. Polanyi Award is presented to a scientist for excellence in research in physical, theoretical or computational chemistry or chemical physics carried out in Canada. Award: A framed scroll.

The Fred Beamish Award is presented to 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 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 contribution­in the field of physical chemistry while working in Canada­. The award recognizes early achievement­in the awardee­’s independent research career. Sponsored by the Physical, Theoretical and Computational Division. Award: A framed scroll. The W. A. E. McBryde Medal is presented to a young scientist working in Canada who has made a significant achievement in pure or applied­analytical chemistry. Sponsored by Sciex Inc., Division of MDS Health Group. Award: A medal and a cash prize.


The deadline for all CSC awards is July 2, 2009 for the 2010 selection.

Nomination Procedure Submit your nominations to: Awards Manager Canadian Society for Chemistry 130 Slater Street, Suite 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 T. 613-232-6252, ext. 223 F. 613-232-5862

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

june 2009 Canadian Chemical News  31

Recognition reconnaissance 

Canadian Society for Chemistry

The CCUCC Chemistry Doctoral Award Sponsored by the Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs (CCUCC)

The CCUCC Chemistry Doctoral Award is presented for outstanding achievement and potential in research by a graduate­student whose PhD thesis in chemistry was formally accepted by a Canadian university­in the 12-month period preceding the nomination­ deadline.­ Award: A framed scroll and cash prize.

Nominations are now open for the 2010 award. Submit your nominations to: Awards Manager Canadian Society for Chemistry 130 Slater Street, Suite 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 Tel: 613-232-6252, ext. 223 Fax: 613-232-5862

Deadline: September 15, 2009 The full Terms of Reference for this award are available at www.cheminst.­ca/awards.

Le Prix du doctorat en chimie du CDDCUC Parrainé par le Conseil des directeurs de département de chimie des universités­ canadiennes­(CDDCUC)

Le prix du doctorat en chimie du CDDCUC est présenté à un étudiant des cycles supérieurs­dont la thèse de doctorat en chimie a été formellement­acceptée par une université­canadienne­au cours des 12 mois précédant la date d’échéance des mises en candidatures. Ce prix souligne une contribution­et un potentiel en recherche exceptionnels­. Prix : Un parchemin encadré et un prix en argent comptant.­

La période de mise en candidature est maintenant ouverte pour le prix 2010. Veuillez faire parvenir vos mises en candidature à : Directrice des prix Société canadienne de chimie 130, rue Slater, bureau 550 Ottawa (Ontario) K1P 6E2 Tél. : 613-232-6252, poste 223 Téléc. : 613-232-5862

Date limite : le 15 Septembre 2009 Le cadre de référence complet pour ce prix est disponible au

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John C. Vederas, FCIC, University­ Professor of chemistry at the University­ of Alberta, was named Fellow of the Royal Society. This year, 44 scientists­ have been recognized for their exceptional­ contributions to society. As Fellows of the U.K.'s national academy of science, these leaders in the fields of science, engineering and medicine join the likes of Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Stephen Hawking. Martin Rees, president­of the Royal Society, said “Our new Fellows are at the cutting edge of science worldwide. Their achievements represent the vast contribution science makes to society. They join an outstanding group of over 1,400 Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society, and all rank among the international­leaders in their field.”

Axel Meisen, FCIC, CM, received the Order of Canada on May 15, 2009 receiving the companion member honour. A renowned chemical engineer and academic administrator, Axel Meisen has made significant contributions to education­ in Canada. Among his many accomplishments as dean of the Faculty of Applied Science at the University of British Columbia, he led the creation of a new doctoral program in nursing and the establishment of five chairs in engineering. As president of Memorial University of Newfoundland, he was an agent of renewal. Thriving under his presidency, Memorial saw a significant increase in enrolment, unprecedented funding and enhanced research capacity in all academic disciplines­. Realizing­ Memorial’s important place in the province’s economy, he also helped build bridges and strengthen links between the university and business, industry and community groups. Meisen is a past president of the CSChE.

André Bandrauk, FCIC, professeur au Département de chimie de la Faculté des sciences, a reçu le 1er mai, le titre de Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics­ (SIAM) pour ses contributions majeures en sciences photoniques­. Cette distinction accordée à 183 chercheurs­de hauts calibres sur cinq continents reflète, d'après le président­ de la SIAM, l'avancement des frontières de la recherche en mathématiques.

Donald B. Mutton, FCIC, has been presented with the John S. Bates Memorial Gold Medal. This award, the most prestigious presented by the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada (PAPTAC), is given each year to recognize long-term contribution­ to the sciences and technology of the pulp and paper industry. Mutton is a past chair of the Chemical­Institute of Canada. ACCN

Chemical Institute of Canada

june 2009 Canadian Chemical News  33

Recognition reconnaissance

Events Événements

The Catalysis Award— Call for Nominations­


The Catalysis Award, sponsored by the Canadian Catalysis Foundation, is awarded biannually­to an individual who, while resident in Canada, has made a distinguished contribution­to the field of catalysis. The recipient of the Award receives a rhodium-plated­­silver medal and travel expenses to present the award lecture at the Canadian Symposium­on Catalysis or the annual conference of the Canadian Society for Chemistry or the Canadian­Society for Chemical Engineering. Nominations for the award must be submitted in writing to the Awards Manager by October­1, 2009, using the CIC nomination form found at Previous winners of the Catalysis Award are R.J. Cvetanovic and Y. Amenomiya (1977), R. B. Anderson­(1979), C. H. Amberg (1982), H. Alper (1984), H. W. Habgood (1986), J. B. Moffat­ (1988), B. R. James (1990), B. Wojciechowski (1992), I. Dalla Lana (1994), M. Ternan (1996), S. Kaliaguine­(1998), G. L. Rempel (2000), M. C. Baird (2002), C. A. Fyfe (2004), S. Brown (2006) and Flora T. T. Ng (2008). For more information, please contact the Division Chair, Flora Ng, FCIC, Department­ of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1; Tel: 519-885-1211­, ext. 33979, Fax: 519-746-4979, email : or Gale Thirlwall­, Awards Manager, Chemical Institute of Canada, 130 Slater Street, Suite 550, Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2; Tel: 613-232-6252, ext 223; Fax: 613-232-5862; E-mail: gthirlwall­

July 5–9, 2009. 13th International IUPAC Conference on Polymers and Organic Chemistry­(POC09), Montréal, QC,

Ajay Dalai, MCIC


Vice-Chair, Catalysis Division

Appel de candidatures pour le Prix de catalyse Le Prix de catalyse, parrainé par la Fondation canadienne de catalyse, est remis bisannuellement­à un chercheur dont la contribution au domaine de la catalyse est considérée­comme exceptionnelle, et ce, pour la recherché effectuée au Canada. Le récipiendaire­du prix reçoit une médaille d’argent plaquée rhodium et le remboursement­de ses frais de déplacement pour presenter la Conférence du Prix de catalyse au Symposium­canadien de catalyse ou au congrès annuel de la Société canadienne de chimie ou de la Société­canadienne de génie chimique. Les mise en candidatures pour le Prix doivent être soumises par écrit à la directrice des prix d’ici le 1er octobre 2009 à l'aide du formulaire de mise en candidature pour les prix de l’ICC. Les récipiendaires précédents du Prix sont R. J. Cvetanovic et Y. Amenomiya (1977), R. B. Anderson­(1979), C. H. Amberg (1982), H. Alper (1984), H. W. Habgood (1986), J. B. Moffat (1988), B. R. James (1990), B. Wojciechowski (1992), I. Dalla Lana (1994), M. Ternan (1996), S. Kaliaguine (1998), G. L. Rempel (2000), M. C. Baird (2002), C. A. Fyfe (2004), S. Brown (2006) et Flora T. T. Ng (2008). Pour tout renseignement supplémentaire, veuiller contacter la présidente de la division­,   Flora Ng, FCIC, département de génie chimique, University of Waterloo, Waterloo­ (Ontario)­ N2L 3G1; tél. : 519-885-1211, poste 33979, téléc. : 613-232-5862, courriel : ou Gale Thirlwall, Directrice des prix, Institut­ de chimie­ du Canada­, 130, rue Slater, bureau 550, Ottawa (Ontario) K1P 6E2; tél. : 613-232-6252, poste 223; téléc­. : 613-232-5862; courriel : Ajay Dalai, MCIC Vice-président, Division de catalyse

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July 20–24, 2009. 7th Canadian­Computational Chemistry Conference­, Halifax, NS, August 23–27, 2009. 8th World Congress of Chemical Engineering­, Montréal, QC, August 15–19, 2010. 3rd International IUPAC Conference on Green Chemistry, Ottawa, ON,

U.S. and Overseas August 1–9, 2009. IUPAC 42nd Congress and 45th General Assembly, Glasgow, U.K., September 27–30, 2009. Engineering our Future, Perth, Australia, December 15–20, 2010. Pacifichem 2010, Honolulu, Hawaii,

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

Continuing Education for Chemical Professionals

Risk assessment course


he Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) and the Canadian Society

2009 Schedule October 19–20

for Chemical Engineering (CSChE)

are presenting a two-day course designed to enhance the knowledge and working experience of safety, environmental and process safety professionals. This course is geared to those whose responsibilities include: risk assessment, development of

Toronto, ON

management systems, and providing advice

October 26–27

is to reach a thorough understanding of

Edmonton, AB

Registration fees

$845 CIC members $995 non-members $100 student members For more information about the course and locations, and to access the registration form, visit: profdev

to decision makers. The learning objective integrated risk assessment and management principles and techniques. During the course, participants will be provided with a broad overview of the technical tools available to assess risk in industrial environments and shown how these tools fit in the broader risk management systems.

Instructor Ertugrul Alp, PhD, PEng, MCIC, principal, Alp & Associates Incorporated, has over 20 years experience in assessment and management of risks to environment,


• Introduction • Major Historical Accidents in Process Industries • Risk Concepts: How to Estimate Risk and Evaluate it’s Acceptability • Integrated Risk Management: Success Factors for High Performance • Risk Management Process • Techniques for Risk Analysis • Qualitative Techniques: Hazard Identification with hands-on applications • Index Methods • Frequency Analysis Techniques, SVA, LOPA (Fault and Event Trees) • Practical Hazard Awareness in Operating Plants

Day • • • • • • • • • • •

health, safety, property and reputation. His experience covers a number of industrial sectors including: chemical, energy, pulp and paper, mining, steel, transportation, and government.


• • • •


Quantitative Techniques Fault and Event Trees Fire, Explosion, Dispersion Modeling Damage/Vulnerability Modeling Risk Estimation and Risk Presentation Applications to Plant Layout Design Health Risk Analysis Risk Evaluation and Decision-Making Risk Cost Benefit Analysis Elements for Process Safety Management with Reference to US OSHA PSM Regulations Emergency Management with Reference to Environment Canada and other Canadian Legislation Land Use Planning Risk Monitoring Stakeholder Participation Summary and Conclusion

Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering june 2009 Canadian Chemical News  35


36   L’Actualité chimique canadienne

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June 2009  

l’actualité chimique canadienne canadian chemical news ACCN JUNe|JUIN • 2009 • Vol. 61, No./n o 6 A Publication of the Chemical Institute of...