Features

John C. Polanyi, HFCIC, in his University of Toronto laboratory in 1986, the same year he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for research into chemical kinetics.
Spring 2017
John C. Polyani of the University of Toronto says that our nation’s “generous welcome to immigrants” plays a part in this nation’s illustrious Nobel Prize in Chemistry history

In chemistry, as in every branch of science, major breakthroughs happen rarely. Knowledge creation more typically comes from the incremental advances of diligent scientists toiling in obscurity.

Sparks of Genius
Spring 2017
Canadian universities have nurtured home-grown research­ that changed the world of chemistry forever

Chemistry research in Canada pre-dates Canada itself. In the 1840s, decades before confederation, British ex-pat Henry Holmes Croft became the first chemistry professor at the University of King’s College, the precursor to the University of Toronto. Croft developed a method of removing sulphur from Sarnia oil wells, making the oil safe for household lamps. He was a pioneer in forensic chemistry...

Glenbow Archives 11-1-5
Spring 2017
Oil turned Sarnia and other parts of southern Ontario into boomtowns. But it was the Second World War, and the dire need for synthetic rubber, that turned Sarnia-Lambton into a thriving petrochemical mecca.

Hewers of wood and drawers of water is the oft-repeated narrative used to describe Canada’s historical reliance on natural resources. 

Methan capture
Winter 2017
Governments have imposed ambitious targets to stop the emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from oil and gas operations. What will it take to meet them?

Decades before climate change became an environmental crisis, Canada’s petroleum industry disposed of then-unmarketable natural gas, or methane, simply by burning it. In Alberta’s Turner Valley oilfield in the 1920s, large gas flares would light up the sky.

Bright future, Chemistry, Solar Panels
Winter 2017
Materials chemist Cheng Lu and his mentor, U of T chemistry professor Cynthia­ Goh, are helping advance­ the solar panel industry thanks to the creative­ use of photocatalysis in surface coatings.

The city of Suzhou in Jiangsu province in China lies about 100 kilometres northwest from Shanghai, China’s largest economic and trading centre.

Professor Philip Jessop of Queen’s University’s Department of Chemistry
Winter 2017
Queen's University chemistry professor Philip Jessop­ is using a switchable solute to drive a forward osmosis process for cleaning industrial wastewater.

For most of human history, fresh water was wherever we could find it. Communities were set up on flood plains...