Industry Canada

Industry Canada

August 12, 2005 13:01 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Nanotechnology to Develop Cleaner and More Efficient Manufacturing Processes

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 12, 2005) - The Honourable Anne McLellan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of the Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry, today announced an investment of up to $3.5 million for the research and development of new nanotechnology-based coatings to be used in the production of olefins - the building blocks of plastics, textiles, consumer goods and other chemicals.

This Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) investment is part of a $12.2-million research and development initiative being undertaken by a Canadian consortium led by Edmonton-based Quantiam Technologies Inc.

"The Government of Canada is committed to working with companies such as

Quantiam Technologies to support the development of technologies that benefit Canadians on many levels," said Minister Emerson. "Through such an investment, we are on our way to helping industry develop breakthrough technologies that will help Canada achieve a healthier environment while building the 21st century economy."

"This initiative brings together two dynamic Canadian companies, working together in an effort to make significant advancements in the emerging field of nanotechnology," said
Minister McLellan. "This project will help reduce environmentally harmful emissions while generating many beneficial energy and production efficiencies."

The production of olefins, primarily ethylene and propylene, is an over $80-billion per year industry and it is growing. Worldwide demand is higher for this chemical group than for any other.

Under this initiative, Quantiam Technologies Inc., working with NOVA Chemicals Corporation, a leading olefins producer, will research, develop, and demonstrate the benefits of coatings aimed at reducing energy requirements for manufacturing olefins, and significantly reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. In particular, these coatings will enhance the olefins manufacturing process and protect against carbon deposits that negatively affect process results, equipment performance and plant energy efficiency.

"The technology has the potential to bring about a more efficient and environmentally sound process to manufacture olefins," says Dr. Steve Petrone, Quantiam Technologies Inc.'s President and Founder. "This investment will help us to bring this important innovation to market while helping us to reduce manufacturing costs and emissions."

Technology Partnerships Canada is a key instrument for advancing research and development toward commercialization. Working in partnership with innovative companies across Canada, TPC shares in the cost of private sector technology projects in aerospace and defence, in environmental technologies, and in enabling technologies like information and communications technologies, and biotechnology.


Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) is making an investment in the development of new nanomaterials and coatings for use in the manufacture of olefins - petrochemicals that serve an important role as the building blocks of plastics, textiles, consumer goods, and other chemicals. Through a $3.5-million investment in a multi-year $12.2-million project, Quantiam Technologies Inc. will proceed with the research and development of these nanotechnology-based coatings.

Current olefins manufacturing processes operate at very high temperatures and at the limits of current furnace materials. These limitations result in process inefficiencies including carbon deposits accumulating on the surfaces of furnace components. The deposits negatively affect process results, equipment performance, and plant energy efficiency and result in increased emissions of greenhouse gases and other air contaminants. It is estimated that in 2004 the treatment of refinery-processed raw material, including the manufacture of olefins, released 180 million tonnes of CO2 worldwide. A major need exists worldwide for a lower temperature, more energy efficient, and environmentally friendly approach to producing olefins.

Quantiam Technologies Inc. and its consortium partner NOVA Chemicals Corporation, a leading olefins producer, will develop and demonstrate the benefits of new nanomaterials that will coat the internal and/or external surfaces of olefins furnace coils - aiming to reduce operating temperatures, inhibit the deposition of carbon, enhance heat transfer and chemical feedstock conversion, lower energy requirements and greenhouse gas formation, and improve plant productivity. Overall, this innovation will allow manufacturers to reduce emissions, thus helping them meet global climate change mitigation objectives, while also enabling them to cut production costs.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting leading-edge technologies that support its priorities of building a 21st century economy while promoting sustainable development.

Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Quantiam Technologies Inc. is a worldwide leader in the development of novel nanomaterials and coating technologies. It employed 15 people in 2004, of which 13 were directly involved in research and development.

The news release, backgrounder, and other documents are available on the Technology Partnerships Canada website at

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable David L. Emerson
    Christiane Fox
    Minister of Industry
    (613) 995-9001
    Office of the Honourable Anne McLellan,
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety
    and Emergency Preparedness
    Alex Swann
    Director of Communications
    (613) 991-2924
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    (613) 943-2502