Chemists play key role in Canada’s advanced manufacturing industry

CHEMISTRY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
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From commercial applications of graphene nanofilms to turning food waste into sustainable bioplastics, the expansion of Canada’s advanced manufacturing industry also means expanded opportunities for chemists. Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led organization behind Canada’s advanced manufacturing supercluster, is funding two such examples. In August, Waterloo, Ontario-based Evercloak – which makes thin, uniform nano-coatings...

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Microplastic pollution more complex than we think

CHEMISTRY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

Scientists began reporting microplastic pollution in the ocean as far back as the 1970s but our understanding of these tiny particles’ impact on fish is only just catching up.  Their harm is due to factors not generally considered in toxicology testing – the plastics’ size, shape and chemical makeup.

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Methane leaks from abandoned oil and gas wells underestimated

CHEMISTRY FOR ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

When Mary Kang landed an environmental policy fellowship at Princeton University in 2012, she decided to model methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells. It didn’t take long to discover a major roadblock. “I couldn’t find any data. And you need data for modelling,” recalls Kang, now a civil engineering professor at McGill University.

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Clean energy hub makes its debut

LEARN

Catalyst (noun): an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action. ‘Catalyst for change’ is such a well-worn phrase that it has lost much of its descriptive power. But in the case of a new materials research centre in Mississauga, it is apt on so many levels that it’s hard to avoid.

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Raising a stink

CHEMISTRY FOR ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

When something fails to pass the ‘sniff test’ – whether it’s a plan of action or the milk in the back of the fridge – it’s often best to leave it be. But when it comes to unpleasant odours in the air, we don’t have much choice. We have to breathe.

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