Photocatalytic Oxidation of Volatile Organic Compounds in Air

A new type of device that uses a combination of UV light, oxygen, flowing water, and titanium dioxide (a com-mon white pigment) is capable of removing volatile toxins from the air. This device will be investigated using a range of techniques that provide molecular insights into this process, and those insights will help in the rede-sign of the device to make it as effective as possible, in terms of energy efficiency, longevity, reusability, range of compounds removed, and speed of their removal.

Development and Understanding of ‘old’ and ‘new’ initiators for cationic polymerization

Butyl Rubber has become one of the most important polymers in the modern world, impacting everyone’s daily lives. Interestingly, the processes to make butyl rubber can be convoluted and while they are effective, it makes it difficult to fine tune the production to systematically improve yields. This project will use newly developed methods in our lab to explore this process in order to better elucidate the reaction in order to optimize the reaction conditions and develop new catalysts for the synthesis of butyl rubber.

Development of Lignin-based Polymers and Nanomaterials for High Performance Engineering Applications

Lignin, a substance in the cell walls of plants, is produced as a waste when wood is processed into pulps, papers, and similar products. In addition, this organic polymer exists in massive waste wood chips generated by various forestry and wood processing industry sectors. To advance the circular economy and diversify forestry products, there has been a recent surge of interest to isolate and reuse lignin, especially in manufacturing of novel bioplastics and lignin-based nanomaterials.

Extraction and identification of potential active ingredient from expired pharmaceutical drugs

Every year billions of doses of medications go unused by patients in North America. Some of these are returned to pharmacies for appropriate disposal, but the majority of these are discarded in landfills or flushed into municipal wastewater streams. Our goal for this initiative is to collect unused and expired pharmaceuticals and develop a sustainable method to extract the active compounds, and to establi

Tuning the Front End: Increasing Ion Generation for Enhanced Sensitivity in Mass Spectrometry with Multiple ESI Emitters

Mass spectrometry is a chemical analysis technique for determining the mass/charge ratio of molecules under study. The instruments used for this technique require the compounds be transformed into gas-phase ions. This process is extraordinarily difficult with Nobel prizes awarded for the two most common methods. One of these methods is electrospray ionization where dissolved compounds are pumped through a tapered needle or emitter that is held at an electrical potential difference from the mass spectrometer.

Achieving consistently flavoured sour beers through better chemical understanding

The popularity of sour beers is continuously increasing. Producing sour beers is time consuming and obtaining a consistent flavor profile over multiple batches can be challenging. This in addition to scaling up production to meet customer demands can negatively influence the quality and flavor of the beer. This project aims to develop advanced analytical techniques to help understand the relationship between chemical composition and flavor.

Adding value from coffee waste: low oxidized sterols in silverskin

Coffee production with imported beans has doubled in Canada since 2003. From this > 125,000 t of waste is generated most of which ends up in landfill. A significant component of the waste is as the pulp (cascara) and silverskin. In 2019, the Happy Goat Company roasted 50 t of green coffee beans yielding 300kg silverskin which will greatly increase in 2021. Silverskin teas have 3-6 times more caffeine than coffee beans and are rich in total phenolics, antioxidant capacity and phytosterols. There is good evidence of their safety.

Accelerating discovery through high-throughput experimentation and machine learning

Canonical methods of molecular discovery and reaction optimization rely on “trial-and-error” approaches and slow experimentation with low discovery rates. By harnessing high-throughput experimentation (HTE) with machine learning (ML) methods, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, we have the potential to dramatically accelerate the discovery and preparation of next generation molecules and materials. We will extract, unify, and transform data from literature into actionable intelligence, and generate a robust workflow for the automated synthesis of catalysts and resins at NOVA Chemicals.

End of Life Studies of Coated Cathode Materials for Lithium Ion Batteries

Electric vehicles have been adopted around the world as an alternative to combustion engine vehicles. It has been a focus for academic and industry research efforts to develop battery materials with reduced cobalt, but the removal of cobalt comes at a cost. Reduced cobalt often decreases the stability of these materials. Further improvements to the power and stability of materials with reduced amounts or no cobalt will require establishing scalable methods for incorporating custom coatings.

New therapeutics against T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

A protein named c-Myc is causally implicated in over 50% of all human cancers. Preliminary work supports two proteins (POZ domain protein and c-Myc cofactor Miz-1) as a new drug target to disable c-Myc function. We have identified small molecules which act on this target and will now serve develop a series of optimized and effective molecules as cancer therapeutics.
To optimize these molecules, a combination of computational design and medicinal chemistry (synthesis and biological evaluation) will be carried out.