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Discovery joins list of Canada’s chemical breakthroughs


Research into a “green” chemical method for separating oil and water, by chemistry researcher Philip Jessop and his research team is highlighted by the Chemical Institute of Canada as one of the top Canadian Chemical Discoveries of the past 100 years.

Dr. Jessop’s reversible method of separating oil and water using a C02-activated, air-deactivated surface active agent, was one of 20 chemical breakthroughs – eight of them Nobel Prize winners – listed in Canadian Chemical News magazine’s May 2008 issue. Other notable researchers in the list included Drs. Frederick Banting, Gerhard Herzberg, John Polanyi and Michael Smith.

“To find my discovery listed on the same page as those historic great discoveries was both very flattering and seemingly incongruous,” says Dr. Jessop. “If I had imagined such a list, I would have never, not in a million years, thought of including myself.”

Dr. Jessop’s technology has potential as an environmentally safe alternative to existing oil recovery and manufacturing processes, which produce large quantities of toxic byproducts

“This is quite an honour for Dr. Jessop and also for Queen’s University,” says Vice-Principal (Research) Kerry Rowe. “Dr. Jessop’s creative and ground-breaking research on a variety of ”green“ chemistries has captured our attention, and certainly makes him deserving of this recognition.”

Also on the research team from Queen’s are Chemistry graduate student Yingxin Liu and Chemical Engineering Professor Michael Cunningham, and from the Georgia Institute of Technology Drs. Charles Eckert and Charles Liotta.


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