October 18, 2011
TORONTO – Maxxam Analytics has joined forces with a world renowned researcher from the University of Waterloo to advance water sampling and analysis techniques.
Maxxam is working jointly with the University of Waterloo and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation to further the ground-breaking research being conducted by Dr. Janusz Pawliszyn, professor of chemistry at the University of Waterloo. Professor Pawliszyn’s research centres around the design of extremely sophisticated and automated instruments used in water analysis.
Maxxam will provide valuable in-kind research support over a five-year period with the objective of developing a water sampling technology with commercial potential.
Dr. Pawliszyn is the inventor of Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) technology which allows rapid sample collection and on-site extraction of contaminants of concern without the use of organic solvents. The result is a paradigm shift in sample preparation, producing faster and more reliable data. Dr. Pawliszyn is a prominent analytical chemist who has sponsored many grad students over the years and has written extensively on SPME. Among his many awards for research and innovation, he is also a past winner of the Maxxam Award, administered by the Canadian Society for Chemistry.
Although the technologies involved in water analysis are complex, they are vital to ensuring the world’s supply of safe drinking and recreational water sources. Current sampling practices involve collecting water samples and shipping them to testing facilities which are labour intensive and costly processes. Dr. Pawliszyn is developing new techniques to streamline sample activities both on-site and in the lab.
This research will result in more accurate and representative water quality data, and the overall process will be faster and more cost effective. Collectively, these will provide competitive advantages for Canadian water companies that will be able to use the new technology.
Dr. Pawliszyn said he is pleased that the support from Maxxam and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation will allow him to continue his work in this vital field.
“Although not generally realized by most in today’s society, sampling and sample preparation will become the most exciting area in the future research of analytical chemistry, particularly as it applies to water,” Dr. Pawliszyn said.
Bryan Chubb, Maxxam’s Vice President of Business Development, said “it is exciting to be involved with Dr. Pawliszyn’s work and Maxxam looks forward to the end result which will ultimately be tested in our laboratories.”
“There is probably nothing more important than ensuring the safety and supply of the world’s water resources and Dr. Pawliszyn’s research is putting Canada at the global forefront of leading technologies in this area,” said Chubb.
Currently Dr. Pawliszyn’s research is focusing on the elimination of organic solvents from the sample preparation step to facilitate on-site monitoring and in-vivo analysis. He is also exploring application of computational and modelling techniques to enhance the performance of sample preparation, chromatographic separations and detection. An additional area of his interest involves the development and application of imaging detection combined with microseparation approaches.Professor Pawliszyn is the author of over 400 scientific publications and books on SPME and has won awards around the world for his work.
This joint initiative also contains other key contributing partners from the instrumentation and consumables supply field. Gerstel, PAS Technologies and Supelco Analytical will bring this project to fruition with commercially available tools necessary to put these new technologies into practice.
Founded over 40 years ago, Maxxam is the market leader in analytical services and solutions to the energy, environmental, food and DNA industries. Maxxam’s 2,000 dedicated employees proudly lead the industry in depth of technical and scientific expertise and serve customers through the only national network of laboratories. In processing over 2,000,000 samples and generating in excess of 35,000,000 results annually, Maxxam skillfully combines efficiency and customer service with rigorous science and uncompromising quality management. Maxxam is committed to success with responsibility – to its stakeholders, to its communities, and to the environment.
Contact: Barbara Budarick