Content

ACCN features exciting new scientific discoveries and innovations.  It reports news from the Canadian chemical science and its impact on government, people, companies and academia. 

2016 ACCN Lineup

JANUARY/FEBRUARY  2016

Chemical Engineering
What are the risks to the environment of a potential tanker spill of liquefied natural gas in the ocean or a serious accident at an LNG processing plant on Canada’s West Coast? This feature probes the chemical risks to humans, wildlife and the environment, as well as the prevention and management of such an incident.

Chemistry
This past summer, Canadian high school students brought home two silver and two bronze medals from the annual International Chemistry Olympiad in Azerbaijan. These outstanding young chemists detail the preparation, stress and fun of competing at this prestigious event. 

Business
The Urban Death Project (UDP) utilizes the process of composting to safely and gently turn deceased loved ones into soil-building material, creating a meaningful, equitable and ecological urban alternative to existing options for the disposal of the dead. 

MARCH/APRIL 2016

Chemistry
The University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Medicine and Chemical Engineering has created a group of “flavour architects” who blend science, design and technology to investigate the relationship between molecules and taste buds.

Chemical Engineering
The University of British Columbia’s Daan Maijer runs a materials engineering lab that has undertaken a novel approach to casting hard-working engine parts for the automotive industry.

Business
The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto is researching cybersecurity and the devastating repercussions of intellectual property theft and the distortion of trade in strategic commodities. Internet security is also crucial to tracking countries’ adherence to chemical weapons bans by monitoring the international trade in such weapons.

MAY/JUNE 2016

Chemistry
Scientists say that fossil fuel emissions, specifically CO2, are altering the ocean ecosystem, causing acidification and dramatic shifts in water temperatures.

Chemical Engineering
As the possibility of mining asteroids comes closer to reality, it turns out that the most precious substance on space rocks may not be metals like rhodium and platinum but water. The big challenge, of course, is developing the technology to exploit such riches.

Business
Mike Organ from York University is both a discoverer and an innovator. Lauded for the "most notable discovery in synthetic chemistry worldwide in 2014" for formulating a new understanding of the Negishi cross-coupling reaction, Organ is also noted for having patented and commercialized a palladium catalyst system. 

JULY/AUGUST 2106

Chemistry
The University of Alberta’s Veinot Research group is developing sensors for vitamin detection, disease biomarkers and a new class of “biolasing sensors.” Other targets include explosives for security applications and environmental pollutants.

Chemical Engineering
The never-ending controversy over fluoride in drinking water has long fascinated Allan Freeze, a hydrogeologist with the University of British Columbia who wrote a book detailing the “fluoride wars.”

Business
Performance BioFilaments is a joint venture between Mercer International Inc. and Resolute Forest Products that focuses on the development of commercial applications of the cellulose filaments. 

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

Chemistry
Geoffrey Ozin of the University of Toronto was awarded the 2015 Royal Society of Chemistry Centenary Prize for his work in defining, enabling and popularizing a chemical approach to nanomaterials for innovative nanotechnology in advanced materials and biomedical science.

Chemical Engineering
Innovation in solar technology is making rapid advancements in a variety of areas: monocrystalline silicon to convert sunlight into electricity, a unique polymerization method to develop efficient and printable polymeric semiconductors and the development of solar cells and light sensors based on solution-processed semiconductors.

Business
The Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Council (COSIA) has committed to research in the four Environmental Priority Areas (EPA) of Land, Water, Tailings and Greenhouse Gases (GHG). What is the impact of this progressive new environmental initiative?  

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016

Chemistry
The novel flame retardants in plastics are proving to be environmentally unstable, despite industry claims to the contrary. Robert J. Letcher of Environment Canada and Carleton University has documented the impact of new brominated flame retardant contaminants in birds, specifically the herring gulls of the Great Lakes.

Chemical Engineering
Organic chemist Victor Snieckus of Queen’s University is a leader in discovery research and industrial R&D. He heads Snieckus Innovations, a custom synthesis group that provides cutting-edge chemistry to pharmaceutical and agrochemical companies. 

Business
Synthetic gasoline and jet fuel made from waste CO2 and renewable hydrogen is the future of the liquid fuels business in Canada. Companies like Blue Fuel Energy in northern British Columbia and Calgary-based Carbon Engineering are examples of how Canada’s oil industries could transition in a post-Paris world while leveraging existing skills and assets.

All stories are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances and at the editor’s discretion.