Prof Sabelo Mhlanga

Position: Professor

Department: Chemistry

Room: South Campus: Room 0207

Building: 13

Campus: South Campus

Phone: +27(0)41 504 4285

Fax: +27(0)41 504 4236


Personal Sites: Google Scholar / ORCID



Prof Sabelo Mhlanga earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of the Witwatersrand, and his master’s degree in chemical technology from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He is an NRF rated researcher and the founder of a nanotech and chemicals technology company. He has held numerous positions including being the National Contact Point (NCP) for the European Commission Horizon 2020 Nanotechnology Programmes in South Africa from August 2016 to November 2018, the Chairperson of the South African Chemical Institute (SACI) Central Section from 2015 - 2017 and Deputy Chair of the South African Nanotechnology Initiative 2012 - 2014.


Areas of Expertise

  • Finding and developing sustainable solutions to address problems associated with the water-energy-food/agriculture (WEF) nexus. This involves applying the principles of green chemistry and engineering, as well as nanoscience and nanotechnology to make materials and technologies that are energy-efficient, environmentally friendly/ biocompatible, re-usable, cost-effective, less complex/easy to handle, robust and applicable at commercial and industrial scales.
  • Materials of interest include new and modified forms of inorganic and carbon-based nanostructured materials such as graphene, carbon nanotubes, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, gallium/indium nitride, hierarchical nanostructures, as well as hybrid materials/nanocomposites with supporting polymers or membranes, with applications in energy-efficient water treatment (drinking, surface, seawater, and wastewater), energy-storage (batteries and supercapacitors), and agriculture (soil enrichment/amendment and modern fertilizers and coatings).
  • Developing building and construction products derived from waste materials including fly ash and carbon nanomaterials.



  • PhD, Chemistry, 2009
  • MSc, Chemistry, 2006
  • BSc (Hons), Chemistry, 2003

Currently Teaching

CHG420 - Introduction to Nanotechnology

CHG430 - Organometallic Chemistry

CHI3011 - Inorganic Chemistry 3

ACHI303 - Inorganic Chemistry


Selected Publications

  1. S. Maifadi, S.D. Mhlanga, E.N. Nxumalo, M.M. Motsa, A.T. Kuvarega, Carbon nanotube-embedded ultrafiltration membranes for the treatment of rapid granular multimedia prefiltered beauty hair salon and municipal wastewater, Sep. Purif. Technol., 2021, 267, 118618.
  2. B. Makgabutlane, L.N. Nthunya, M.S. Maubane-Nkadimeng, S.D. Mhlanga, Green synthesis of carbon nanotubes to address the water-energy-food nexus: a review, J. Environ. Chem. Eng., 2021, 9, 104736.
  3. S.A. Zikalala, R. Selvaraj, F.A. Marzouqi, A.T. Kuvarega, B.B. Mamba, S.D. Mhlanga, E.N. Nxumalo, Amorphous carbon nanotube residue modification of solgel-synthesized C-, N-doped TiO2 for photocatalytic applications, J. Nanoparticle Res., 2020, 22, 374.
  4. M. Jahdi, S.B. Mishra, E.N. Nxumalo, S.D. Mhlanga, A.K. Mishra, Smart pathways for the photocatalytic degradation of sulfamethoxazole drug using F-Pd co-doped TiO2 nanocomposites, Applied Catal. B: Environmental, 2020, 267, 118716.
  5. S.A. Zikalala, R. Selvaraj, F.A. Marzouqi, A.T. Kuvarega, B.B. Mamba, S.D. Mhlanga, E.N. Nxumalo, Tailoring TiO2 through N doping and incorporation of amorphous carbon nanotubes via a microwave-assisted hydrothermal method, J. Environ. Chem. Eng., 2020, 8, 104082.
  6. L.N. Nthunya, L. Gutierrez, E.N. Nxumalo, A.R. Verliefde, S.D. Mhlanga, M.S. Onyango, f-MWCNTs/AgNPs-coated superhydrophobic PVDF nanofibre membrane for organic, colloidal, and biofouling mitigation in direct contact membrane distillation, J. Environ. Chem. Eng., 2020, 8, 103654.
  7. C.S. Tshangana, A. Muleja, E.N. Nxumalo, S.D. Mhlanga, Poly(ether)sulfone electrospun nanofiber membranes functionalized with graphene oxide quantum dots for antimicrobial application, Environ. Sci. Pollution Res., 2020, 27, 26845.