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ACS Award In Chromatography

by Rick Mullin
January 21, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 3

Credit: Courtesy of Paul Haddad
Photo of Paul R. Haddad, professor of chemistry at the University of Tasmania (UTAS), in Australia.
Credit: Courtesy of Paul Haddad

Sponsored by Sigma-Aldrich/Supelco

Paul R. Haddad is an acknowledged authority on separation science with a special emphasis on the analysis of inorganic ions and low-molecular-weight organic acids. A professor of chemistry at the University of Tasmania (UTAS), in Australia, Haddad is credited with fundamental studies of the application of separations of a wide variety of metal complexes, especially metallocyanides, which are important in processing and environmental management in gold mining.

A codeveloper with Wenzhi Hu of electrostatic ion chromatography, a method that operates via simultaneous electrostatic attraction and repulsion, Haddad has also worked closely with industry, providing technical advice to Waters and the Dionex division of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Haddad, 64, began his studies in another field, spectrofluorimetry. He was encouraged, however, to “develop an interest” in high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)when he began his academic career, he says. “At the time, I did not even know what HPLC meant! However, I quickly found chromatography to be an extremely interesting area and have worked in chromatography ever since.”

Because of his early research on inorganic compounds, Haddad turned first to the separation of inorganic species. This work introduced him to the field of ion chromatography, which has remained his primary field of endeavor. His success in working with metallocyanides led to the development of separation tools for monitoring the cyanidation method for gold extraction.

Haddad incorporated innovative technologies including capillary electrophoresis (CE) in his research. In recent years, he has developed instrumentation and methodology based on CE technology for detecting and identifying improvised explosives. Instruments developed by the research team at UTAS are already used in laboratories in Australia. The team has received funding for the development of counterterrorism devices from the Australian government as well as the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S., and Haddad is currently working on an airport monitor for inorganic explosives.

Haddad began collaborating with Waters in the area of ion chromatography early in his career. His 15-year relationship included a six-month sabbatical, during which he worked at the company’s Milford, Mass., facility. When Waters exited ion chromatography, Haddad began a collaboration with Dionex, now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, a 25-year relationship that is ongoing. Haddad has also collaborated with Pfizer at the Pfizer Analytical Research Centre at UTAS.

According to Christopher A. Pohl, senior vice president of R&D at Dionex, Haddad has made a major contribution to the commercial application of ion chromatography with his work on preparation of polymeric monoliths. Haddad has demonstrated the benefits of using monolayer coatings of ion-exchange nanoparticles on monolithic substrates for the preparation of ion chromatography media, Pohl says. This method allows separate optimization of the monolith and ion-exchange particles, thereby simplifying the chromatography process and making selectivity more reproducible. Haddad’s work prompted Dionex to make a substantial investment in the technology.

“His contributions to the field of ion chromatography have been of unquestionably significant value, contributing to the understanding of the separation process, the detection process, and suppressor chemistry,” which focuses the chromatography on the chemical of interest by eliminating interference from data on other chemicals present, Pohl says.

Haddad will present the award address before the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry.


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