Better Living Through Chemistry
Every day, industrialized societies release pollutants into the atmosphere such as greenhouse gases, chlorinated aromatics and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. While experts disagree about the degree of impact on the planet and the atmosphere, they generally acknowledge the value of restricting and trapping pollutants produced during fuel burning and manufacturing processes.
There is also increasing demand in the industrial sector for new materials and chemicals to develop products and high technology tools. Research on new chemical processes, catalyst technologies and high tech materials which can stimulate industrial growth while minimizing environmental damage is essential to economic and social well-being.
To help address these issues, the University of Windsor established the Centre for Catalysis and Materials Research. The Centre builds on the university's established expertise in catalysis and new materials to form a critical mass of researchers capable of having a significant academic and economic impact.
Dr. Stephen Loeb and other researchers at the Centre are seeking to uncover new catalysts for the production of polymers, bulk chemicals, specialty products and pharmaceuticals. The team will use funding from the Canada Research Chair to help develop approaches to the alteration of traditional polymers and the discovery of new polymers and solid-state materials. Supramolecular polymers have potential applications in electro-optics and photo-switching. Another focus of research will be layered and three-dimensional metal-organic solids with the potential for detection and adsorption (or adhesion) of small molecules such as pollutants.
The Canada Research Chair funds will also enable Dr. Loeb to accept more graduate students and to hire more post-doctoral fellows, which will aid significantly in the operation and management of the research group.
The production of chemicals is an integral component of the Canadian economy and the development of new technologies for the production of these materials is critical if Canadian manufacturers are to maintain a globally competitive position.