View the March/April 2016 Canadian Chemical News (ACCN) print issue as a PDF.

Grapevine

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
BY:

Hatch’s global lead for water and tailings management, Emily Moore, has been named one of 100 inspirational women in mining from around the globe.

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Greenhouse gases made to measure with new technology

ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

After decades of deliberation and debate, humanity’s efforts to confront climate change remain tangled with a familiar business maxim: you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Although rising levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) within the Earth’s atmosphere have been repeatedly linked to changing weather...

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Reinventing the Wheel

MATERIALS CHEMISTRY

Daan Maijer points to the wheel mounted behind glass outside his University of British Columbia office and tells me why, exactly, it looks the way it does. All those cutouts and bevels and shapes have practically nothing to do with function and everything to do with looks. “About 20 percent of a person’s reaction to...

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Cyber Hack Attack

SAFETY

It was a steel plant operator’s worst nightmare — a blast furnace that could not be shut down properly. The resulting damage throughout the plant was significant, although its full extent has not been made public. The details were withheld by Germany’s federal office for information security: Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI), which...

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Numbers guru

POLICY PUNDIT

Ron Freedman contemplates reform of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development program, which hands out $4 billion in tax credits annually to companies undertaking R&D.  In the research and development community of Canada, Ron Freedman is known as the numbers guru. In 1999 Freedman and a partner began tracking research and development in the corporate...

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Fossil fuel future dependent upon innovation

PETROCHEMISTRY

Fossil carbons — coal, oil, and natural gas — have become a mainstay of modern life.  Their principal advantage is they are readily converted into energy (heat and electricity), transportation fuels (gasoline, diesel, etc.) and chemicals (principally fertilizers and petrochemicals). They occur in highly concentrated form but typically in remote and environmentally sensitive regions.  With...

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Tough Times

CLASS DISTINCTION

Annicia Phu sports a cauliflower ear, a souvenir from her years as a competitive wrestler in high school in Calgary. Jammed fingers and bruises were also commonplace — not only in wrestling but rugby, another full-contact sport she embraced as a student. Besides being “a great way to relieve stress,” the competitions also forced Phu...

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Drug pricing can create an ethical conundrum

INTELLECTUAL MATTERS

In my previous column, I wrote that inventors are generally free to exploit their invention as a result of the state-granted monopoly that patents guarantee. In the field of medicine, however, many jurisdictions have laws or regulations that either limit the price for which the inventor can charge for the medicine or, in some cases,...

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Then and Now

HISTORY

B A. Shawinigan Ltd. may have taken creative liberties with our nation’s iconic beaver, depicting it as a dual-toned animal with a penchant for hard hats, but it was still a Canadian company through and through.  Its roots lay with the British American Oil Company Ltd., created by 29-year-old Albert Leroy Ellsworth of Welland, Ont.,...

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With apples, ethylene gas can be rotten to the core

CHEMFUSION

A rotten apple spoils the whole barrel. That’s not just an old adage, it’s a scientific fact. And it all has to do with ethylene, a gas produced internally by a fruit to stimulate ripening. Basically, ethylene is a plant hormone. Our word “hormone” derives from the Greek “hormon” meaning “to set in motion” and...

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