Born and raised in Dundas Town, Trevor Newbold, son of Delgarno Newbold, took advantage of opportunities and is now pioneering a new venture in his native home in bio based polyols.
Mr. Newbold lived in Abaco and attended Dundas Town Primary School until he was about eleven years old when he received a government scholarship to attend Queen’s College in Nassau.
It was at Queen’s College where he got a real interest in science after the school toured the Bacardi plant in Nassau. “It was then that I knew I wanted to do something in the area of chemistry or chemical engineering or something like that,” he said.
After finishing Queen’s College he worked for Syntex Pharmaceuticals International in Freeport, Grand Bahama. While there he received a scholarship to study abroad and he ended up at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada where he received an Associates Degree in Chemical Engineering.
Following that he attended Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada where he completed his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He then went to the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada where he worked on degrees in Chemistry and Science. He graduated 1985 with both degrees and headed back to Syntex.
At Syntex he first worked in the pilot plant with responsibility for the scale up of processes from the research and development department. “So basically the chemists would go in and do reactions on a very small scale; what you find at the basic could make a process and work from that.”
“I worked there for three years, then moved to production where I spent another three years in the Naproxen plant, well known today as the product Aleve (an anti-inflammatory drug developed by Syntex) – it was the product that took Syntex over the billion dollar mark as a company,” he said.
After that he spent several years as the maintenance manager for the Syntex plant. “So basically I ended up with a very well rounded experience at Syntex at which point I was invited to join Uniroyal Chemical Company, where I spent the next ten years.”
When Uniroyal retired the plant in Freeport in 2000 Mr. Newbold relocated to the United States where he worked with a company called Biobased Systems, and that was the start of a company that was focused on taking vegetable oils and converting those to polyols and “that is where my interests and experience is.”
Polyol is an alcohol containing multiple hydroxyl groups and is used in both food science and polymer chemistry.
“Most of our work was based on soy oil and we were one of the few companies in those days to be working on biobased spray foam insulation,” he noted.
After working with Biobased Systems, which later became Biobased Chemicals, he and his, who is also an industrial engineer, decided to start their own business.
Mr. Newbold and his wife returned to The Bahamas and started a new business called NOILS (Natural Oils) here in Abaco.
“We setup NOILS to look at the Agronomy oil seeds which suit the manufactured polyol, but they had to be oil seeds that would thrive in this climate and soil and certainly the insect pressure,” he said.
He said that while they began work on the oil seeds here in the Bahamas, they also established a research and development facility in Canada where they could do all of the lab related research, formulations, samples and process development.
Mr. Newbold continues his work to establish a new industry in his home country and has achieved several patents on his intellectual properties in his research and development in natural polyols.