View the July/August 2014 Canadian Chemical News (ACCN) print issue as a PDF.

Chemistry with a cherry on top

FOOD CHEMISTRY

A half-century ago, Doug Goff grew up in a home in Truro, NS where the freezer usually held seven or eight flavours of ice cream and a sleeve of cones was nearby. Today, Goff is known as Dr. Freeze around the world for his pioneering research into making consistently better ice cream.

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Research Chairs announced

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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Recipients from the field of chemistry of the Government of Canada’s biannual Canada Research Chair program — created to attract some of the world’s most accomplished scholars —include the following:

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Grapevine

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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Bruce Peachey, FCIC, and Christopher Yip were recognized as Honorary Fellows for exceptional contributions to engineering at the Engineering Institute of Canada’s (EIC) CCTC2015 conference and banquet held May 26 in Mo

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ACCN journalist wins award

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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Canadian Chemical News (ACCN) contributor Anita Lahey of Toronto is this year’s winner of Engineers Canada Award of Journalism Excellence in Engineering. The award was presented May 24 in Saint John at the organization’s gala. Lahey’s article “Alumina Upended,” published in the May-June 2013 issue of ACCN, features a game-changing chemical engineering innovation — the...

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Energy solutions for the developing world

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

While the industrialized countries of the world eagerly seek ways to cut back on their energy consumption, developing nations face a different challenge — ramping up their energy output as quickly and efficiently as possible. “It takes energy to improve people’s standard of living,” says Federico Rosei, a professor at Montreal’s Institut national de la...

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CSC awards certificates to Kuwaiti chemistry students

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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Canadian Society of Chemistry’s (CSC) certificates to undergraduate chemistry students were presented May 6 at Kuwait University in Kuwait City. The CSC awards certificates to students graduating from accredited academic programs in the Persian Gulf states that uphold Canadian academic standards. (L-R): Mohamed Hasan, chairman of the Kuwait University Chemistry Department, Colleen Mapendere, Charge d’Affaires,...

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Chemistry magic with Harry Potter

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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The legend of Harry Potter apparated in real life into the Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment (WSCE) in Huntsville, Ont. on April 29-30. The event was the first annual Harry Potter - Science and Magic! outreach program, organized by Brock..

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Making short work of long lignin molecules in pulp

POLYMERS

The stubborn polymer assortment of aromatic alcohols known as lignin continues to be a key factor limiting the efficiency of pulp and paper production. Although it gives physical strength to wood at the cellular level, lignin must be removed to produce secondary products such as paper or biofuel. The necessary processes demand harsh solvents and...

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It’s a heat wave

ENERGY

It is a dream that fell short of its early optimism and hype: use abundant hydrogen to supply the planet’s energy needs to eliminate the global dependence on fossil fuels and reduce the greenhouse gases (GHG) implicated in climate change.   But the trajectory towards the widespread use of hydrogen stumbled due to numerous marketing...

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Glorious graphene

MATERIALS CHEMISTRY

The paradoxical observation “less is more” applies perfectly to carbon, for if you think coal and diamonds are valuable, just wait to get your hands on a little bit of graphene. Ideally, this material consists of a single atomic layer of carbon atoms arranged with symmetrical bonds to form sheets. In their purest form, such...

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Recognition of “chemist” as a profession growing

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

On June 1 at the Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition in Vancouver, the provincial chemistry associations of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia created a new national body called the Federation of Canada’s Professional Chemists (FCPC). Paul West, President of the Association of the Chemical Profession of British Columbia (ACPBC) was elected...

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Students should be taught to craft their own destiny

EDUCATION

The world has changed rapidly and many constants are being questioned, even the value of post-secondary education. The assertion that jobs and skills are of paramount importance and that universities do not meet current expectations is rampant despite the backdrop of longer-term, favourable employment rates of university graduates and their greater lifetime earnings and tax...

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New US laws limit attempts to patent nature’s inventions

INTELLECTUAL MATTERS

I recently wrote how the Supreme Court of the United States had ruled that isolated DNA was not a patentable invention. The Court ruled that a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and is therefore not patentable subject matter simply because it had been isolated. At the time, I suggested that this...

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Marketers play to the public’s growing ‘chemophobia’

CHEMFUSION

“Hey, aren’t you somebody?” the teenager queried as I got into the elevator. While I was pondering an appropriate answer to this deeply philosophical question, his crony spilled the beans, “Yeah, he’s that guy who talks about chemistry on TV.” This was the ammunition the philosopher needed. “Oh no, we’re locked in an elevator with...

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Then and Now

HISTORY
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Back in the 1950s, Dow Chemical promoted its glycols by highlighting the humectant and softening effect in cigarettes. Although cigarette advertising is anathema in society today, glycols and the role they play in smoking may be regaining respect. Propylene glycol is a major component of the fluid used in e-cigarettes, which are helping people kick...

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Science Rendezvous at SFU draws thousands

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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On May 11, the faculties of Science and Applied Science at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby, British Columbia joined with the Vancouver Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada to celebrate a day of science and astronomy at Science...

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