Phenomenex Wins R&D Award

July 19, 2007

Phenomenex, Inc., a global leader in the separation sciences business, has been notified by R&D Magazine that it has won the coveted R&D 100 Award for the second year in a row.

Phenomenex, Inc., a global leader in the separation sciences business, has been notified by R&D Magazine that it has won the coveted R&D 100 Award for the second year in a row.

The new product developed by Phenomenex researchers, called the Zebron Inferno gas chromatography (GC) column, sustains temperatures up to 430 degrees Celsius (806 degrees Fahrenheit). A polyimide coating protects the column from extreme temperatures, so it can be used in measuring contaminants in a host of biodiesel, pharmaceutical, life sciences, and food and beverage products. It also yields greater accuracy in work place drug testing and the use of banned substances in athletics.The award will be announced in the September issue of a href="http://www.rdmag.com">R&D Magazine. The R&D 100 recognizes products that the editors consider the most important technological breakthroughs during the year.

"Winning the R&D 100 Award two years consecutively demonstrates our on-going commitment to innovation and drive to lead technological advancements across the entire spectrum of chromatography products," says Fasha Mahjoor, founder and CEO.

Why is the Zebron Special?

"What makes this innovation in the Zebron Inferno product so exciting is that it represents a breakthrough in gas chromatography, an industry segment that has become regarded as fairly mature," says Sky Countryman, product manager for Phenomenex's gas chromatography product line.

"Legacy gas chromatography columns cannot sustain temperatures over 380 degrees Celsius without becoming brittle, wearing out quickly and requiring replacement," notes Jim Archer, lead R&D scientist for the Zebron Inferno. "But with this product, a new polyimide coating protects the column externally and an improved bonding stabilizes the column internally. The column lasts longer and doesn't crumble under extremely hot temperatures, eliminating the need for unwieldy stainless steel columns."

Zebron and the Biodiesel Industry

Countryman views the burgeoning biodiesel industry as having the greatest market potential for the Zebron Inferno. The explosive growth in the biodiesel industry is fueled by international initiatives to increase the use of renewable fuel resources, which some experts project will replace as much as 20 to 30 percent of U.S. petroleum consumption in just a few years. Conversion of used vegetable cooking oil and other vegetable-based substances into fuel oil also could represent significant growth in biodiesel products.

"The process of manufacturing biodiesel produces glycerin residue that tends to 'gunk up' a car's fuel system," Countryman explains. "That's why the federal government regulations require biodiesel manufacturers to monitor glycerin levels very closely. The Zebron Inferno's capability to sustain scorching temperatures gives it a strong advantage over other GC columns, providing a more precise measurement of glycerin content."Other markets Countryman considers important for the Zebron Inferno include the life sciences, food and beverage, and agriculture.