The Chemistry Department has a vision to serve South Africa and our continent with scientific knowledge to address the major challenges of our age, many of which require fundamental breakthroughs in measurement and understanding at the molecular level. In this way we contribute to extra-ordinary projects in the water, food, renewable energy, health, and education, petrochemical, forensic, computational, pharmaceutical and environmental sciences. Our facilities, expertise and training compare with top international institutions and are unique in South Africa.
Structuring our teaching in the traditional disciplines of Organic, Inorganic, Analytical and Physical Chemistry, we do research in a wide variety of topics covering a number disciplines. Research projects in forensic toxicology; natural product research as pharmaceuticals, cosmeceuticals and food ingredients; thermal analysis and solid state chemistry with application in characterization and valorisation of industrially obtained solid wastes, by-products and minerals; materials sciences including solar cell sensitizers and magnetic materials; pheromone based insect control, food aroma, conversion of solar energy to liquid fuels; drug-discovery targeting Alzheimer’s disease; development of economic routes to critical pharmaceuticals using continuous flow technology are examples that are tackled with specialists from a wide range of disciplines.