Catalyst design

From inorganic reaction mechanism to catalyst design – an experimental and computational approach


Research Fields

Physical chemistry, computational chemistry, hydrometallurgy, inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry

Research Highlights

  • Unravelling the OsVIII/VI proton coupled electron transfer reaction mechanism
  • Software for 1H NMR line shape kinetic analysis
  • Complete speciation and thermodynamic analysis of [PtCl6-nBrn]2- (n=0-6)

Research Summary

The main focus of the Gerber group is the elucidation of inorganic reaction mechanisms that range from ligand exchange, redox processes and catalysis cycles amongst others. To this end we continuously develop software for modelling macroscopic reaction kinetics and associated equilibria coupled with the use of existing quantum computational chemistry packages to understand the results at the molecular level. As high quality analytical data is required for thermodynamic and kinetic modeling we actively develop new or improve on existing analytical techniques (NMR, hyphenated separation techniques) specifically for the platinum group metals (PGM’s) present in aqueous or organic solvents.


Applications of Research

  • Platinum group metal refining industry
  • Transition metal catalyst design

Willem Gerber

Senior Lecturer
+27 21 808 2699