Prof Zenixole Tshentu

Position: Professor – Inorganic Chemistry

Department: Chemistry

Room: Room 0206

Building: 13

Campus: South Campus

Phone: +27(0)41 504 2074


Personal Sites: Google Scholar / ORCID



Prof. Zenixole R. Tshentu is a Professor of Chemistry at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) in South Africa. He served as a Head of Department of Chemistry at NMU in the period 2016-2018, Director of the School of Biomolecular and Chemical Sciences (2019-2021) and is currently the Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Science at NMU. He served as the vice president of the South African Chemical institute (SACI) in the period 2021-2023 and is now serving as the president of the SACI. He has published more than 90 articles, four book chapters and has two patents. He has received the following awards for his research efforts; Research Excellence Award from NMU (2015) and a Raikes Medal from South African Chemical Institute (2016). He has experience in solid state and solution studies of transition metal complexes as well as using inorganic/organic polymer materials in heterogeneous catalysis and in separation technology. He has been involved in several projects including designing catalysts and adsorbents for desulfurization and denitrogenation of fuels as well as designing reagents for separation of base metals and platinum group metals. His pursuit of knowledge is in principles that drive towards selectivity and specificity in chemical systems with the aim of applying them in beneficiation of fuel oils and mineral resources as well as in valorisation of secondary products. His passion for teaching has kept him up to date with developments in his discipline and his teaching philosophy takes on the approach of disciplinary context as a means to decode the discipline. 


Areas of Expertise

  • Beneficiation of mineral resources – hydrometallurgical recovery of base metals and platinum group metals and their applications in value added products
  • Upgrading of fuel streams - catalytic and adsorptive processes towards desulfurization, denitrogenation and deoxygenation


  • PhD, Chemistry, 2005
  • MSc, Chemistry, 2002
  • BSc Hons, Chemistry, 2000
  • BSc, Chemistry and Applied Mathematics, 1999


Currently Teaching

CHAV201 - Analytical Chemistry 2

CHI3012/3002 - Inorganic Chemistry 3

CHIV300 - Inorganic Chemistry 3

CHG420 -  Honours General Chemistry Topics

CHI420 - Inorganic Chemistry 4


Selected Publications

1. Pulleng Moleko-Boyce, Hlamulo Makelane, Mbokazi Z. Ngayeka, Zenixole R. Tshentu, Recovery of platinum group metals from leach solutions of spent catalytic converters using custom-made resins, Minerals, 2022, 12, 361.

2. Luthando Xolo, Pulleng Moleko-Boyce, Hlamulo Makelane, Nobathembu Faleni, Zenixole R. Tshentu, Status of recovery of strategic metals from spent secondary products, Minerals 2021, 11, 673.

3. Siphumelele Majodina, Zenixole R. Tshentu and Adeniyi S. Ogunlaja, Effect of adding chelating ligands on the catalytic performance of Rh-promoted MoS2 in the hydrodesulfurization of dibenzothiophene, Catalysts, 2021, 11, 1398.

4. Avela Majavu, Pulleng Moleko-Boyce, Cyprian B. Moyo and Zenixole R. Tshentu, Selective diammonium reagents hosted on nanofibers for recovery of iridium from rhodium: theoretical and experimental studies, Separation and Purification Technology, 2021, 257, 117895.  

5. Tendai O. Dembaremba, Rina van Der Westhuizen, Werner Welthagen, Ernst Ferg, Adeniyi S. Ogunlaja and Zenixole R. Tshentu, Comparing the catalytic activity of silica-supported vanadium oxides and polymer nanofiber-supported oxidovanadium(IV) complex towards oxidation of refractory organosulfur compounds in hydrotreated diesel, Energy Fuels 2019, 33, 7595−7603, 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.9b01579

6. Tendai O. Dembaremba, Isabel Correa, Eric C. Hosten, Maxim L. Kuznetsov, Wilhelmus J. Gerber, João C. Pessoa, Adeniyi S. Ogunlaja and Zenixole R. Tshentu, New VIVO-complexes for oxidative desulfurization of refractory sulfur compounds in fuel: synthesis, structure, reactivity trend and mechanistic studies, Dalton Transactions, 2019, 48(44), 16687-16704,     

7. Adeniyi S. Ogunlaja, Sabiu M. Abdulquadir, Phumelele R. Kleyi, Ernst Ferg, Paul Watts and Zenixole R. Tshentu, Towards oxidative denitrogenation of fuel oils: vanadium oxide-catalysed oxidation of quinoline and adsorptive removal of quinoline-N-oxide using 2,6-pyridine-polybenzimidazole nanofibers. Arabian Journal of Chemistry, 2019, 12, 198–214,