ICE | The Israel Chemist and Chemical Engineer | Issue 6
43 The Israel Chemist and Chemical Engineer Issue 6 · July 2020 · Av 5780 International collaboration Advanced Materials in Israel Chemical Industry and Mexico Medical Research: Science, Technology and Innovation Michael Schorr 1 , Benjamin Valdez 1 , Ernesto Valdez 2 , Ernesto Beltran 3 , Amir Eliezer 4 Institute of Engineering, Advanced Materials and Corrosion, University of Baja California, Mexico. [email protected], [email protected] Medical Research Centre “Ixchel”, Mexicali, Mexico. [email protected] Institute of Engineering, Molecular Biology, University of Baja California, Mexico. [email protected] Corrosion Research Centre, Sami Shamoon College of Engineering, Israel. [email protected] Introduction The National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) is officially designated as a decentralized public agency of Mexico’s federal government. In that role, it promotes the establishment of cooperative relations with recognized academic institutions such as universities and research institutes. The central aim of CONACYT is to conduct research, education and training programs that address issues related to science and technology of advanced materials, medical research, and industrial corrosion, to help solve the social and economic problems of society and the nation. Research cooperation is a valuable tool to promote the scientific and technological progress necessary for the progress of a country. The results obtained are beneficial to educators for the adaptation of novel teaching methods and for students seeking to learn new approaches toward problem solving. Leading this collaboration is the Institute of Engineering, Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC), together with Mexican participants, the Universities of Campeche, Veracruz, and Merida. The Israeli participants are the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, and the Sami Shamoon College of Engineering, with campuses in Beer Sheva and Ashdod. These institutions work together in activities such as faculty exchange; collaborative research and joint publications; reciprocal visits to present lectures, seminars, and courses; participation in national and international congresses, and exchange of academic materials and information. This paper provides a chronological overview of the collaboration and describes the various activities emanating from it. TheMexico-Israel cooperation– chronological overview CONACYT, under the auspices of the Secretary of Education in Mexico established a Corrosion Research Institute - “Programa de Corrosion del Golfo de Mexico” (PCGM), under the framework of the University of Campeche . The PCGM is located in one of the most strategic areas in Mexico, and is the site of the natural petroleum industry managed by PEMEX, Petroleos Mexicanos. The institute deals with corrosion prevention and infrastructure control, fishing ships, coastal buildings, ports, river bridges, water supply systems, power generation stations, and oil marine platforms. Its primary concern is the permanent modernization of the infrastructure. Abstract: We report on international cooperation betweenMexico and Israel that started in 1992 and has been active over the last three decades. Scientists and engineers from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and the Sami Shamoon College of Engineering - both in Israel - worked together with scientists and engineers from the Universities of Baja California, Campeche, Veracruz, and Merida, in Mexico. Also involved were Israeli industrial companies, which – based on the nation’s natural resources – developed new processes for making valuable products. These included: industrial acids (e.g., sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, nitric acid, and hydrochloric acid), minerals (e.g. periclase, magnesium oxide), fertilizers (e.g. potassium chloride, potassium nitrate), halogens (e.g. chlorine, bromine), and metals (e.g. copper, magnesium). Also used were novel engineering materials, such as alloys (e.g. nickel (Ni)-alloys, austenitic stainless steels, aluminum (Al)-alloys), plastic materials (e.g. rigid poly (vinyl chloride), poly (propylene), Teflon), and composite materials (e.g. fiberglass – reinforced polyester, glass, steel-coated glass). Some of the latter products were adapted for the manufacture of industrial equipment for use in Israeli chemical plants. In Mexico, investigations focused on medically oriented materials and, particularly, on metallic orthopedic implants. Thus, coating of the titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V) with titanium dioxide (TiO 2 ) nanotubes endowed it with antibacterial and antifungal properties, while coating it with hydroxyapatite improved its biocompatibility with osseous tissues.