On-line solid phase extraction sample preparation for instrumental chemical analysis

The PhD student supported by this Mitacs Accelerate Grant will work in a collaborate project between Dr. David Chen’s group at UBC, Vancouver, BC and PromoChrom Technologies Ltd., Richmond, BC, to develop new instrumentations for combining novel solid phase extraction sample preparation systems (PromoChrom) with state of the art analytical technologies such as liquid chromatography mass spectrometry and capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry.

Thin Film Thermal Conductivity Sensor

Advancement of a thin film sensors for the characterization of heat transfer of solids, liquids, powders and pastes. 

The Development of Green Carbons from Biomass Torrefaction: Activated Carbon

B. W. BioEnergy Inc. has developed and characterized three major carbon samples from a renewable, cost-efficient feedstock, the Alder and Willow trees. B.W. BioEnergy Inc. has identified the need for facile methods of activating Torrified Alder tree biomass and probing the potential application of these biomasses to adsorb various industrial pollutants in the aqueous phase including heavy metals (Pb, Hg, Cd and Cu) and organics (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) as a major research objective.

Development of a new sample introduction system for inductively coupled plasma spectrometry

Numerous industries and government agencies carry out analyses every day using inductively coupled plasma (ICP) instruments that typically waste 95% of the sample. A greener approach would not generate any sample waste. During this project, an infrared heated pre-evaporation tube will be developed and coupled to nebulizers from the industrial partner so as to allow 100% sample introduction.

Fiber Optic Temperature Sensors: Phosphor Deposition and Processing Improvements

Photon Control Inc. is a Burnaby, British Columbia company that designs and manufactures a wide range of optical sensors & instruments to measure temperature, pressure, position, and flow in the semiconductor, oil and gas, power, life science, and manufacturing industries. The operating principle of many of their products is based on the optical response of phosphor materials and are well suited to applications in harsh environments.

Colorimetric test strips for oil/fuel/ethanol mixtures

There is a need for customers to use a simple test method to determine if the fuel blends they are using are of the proper composition for fuel efficiency, environment- friendliness and engine cylinder compatibility. But it is difficult to determine the composition of oil/fuel/ethanol mixtures without detailed and expensive chemical analysis. It is because the different hydrocarbons in oils or in fuels are hard to differentiate by physical change or by simple chemical reactions such as pH change.

The development of a safety assessment model for spent nuclear fuel disposal with special emphasis on radiolytic corrosion of the copper fuel waste container

The project will involve a partnership between the Western University, where the intern is enrolled in the Chemistry PhD program, and the Surface Science Western (SSW). The SSW is a commercial organization which does contract research and problem-solving for industrial companies and is contracted to the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) to support the development of corrosion models for copper waste containers.

Production of high-value hydrocarbons in photosynthetic microalgae

Steady increases in world population necessitate continued growth in staple food production, together with the production of dietary supplements such as vitamins. Chemical synthesis of supplement compounds is in many cases not commercially viable, and therefore alternative production methods must be sought. It has been shown that algae accumulate supplements, such as the high-value compound astaxanthin.

Development of Novel Chemistry for Copper Deposition by ALD

Copper is an important metal for microelectronics: it acts as interconnects (i.e., the wiring) between the devices in the microchip. As microchips get smaller, it is more difficult to make this wiring by traditional methods. Thus, a new technology (atomic layer deposition, ALD) is positioned to enable the deposition of copper when interconnects need to be formed on the nanoscale. Presently, there is no ALD process that adequately deposits copper with the necessary conductivity to act as an interconnect.

Selective removal of neutral nitrogen compounds from heavy gas oil

Heavy gas oil (HGO) obtained from Athabasca bitumen is very difficult to hydrotreat due to high sulfur and nitrogen content. It is proposed that removal of non-basic nitrogen species from HGO prior to hydrotreating will strongly enhance desulfurization process and improve the length of catalytic cycle.