Fluoro-materials Science

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Welcome to the Fluoro-Materials Group page.


The Fluoro-Materials Group was established late 2007 in the Department of Chemical Engineering. The initiative was introduced by the DST through what is called the Fluorochemical Expansion Initiative.

South Africa has the second largest reserve of calcium fluoride in the world and currently has the third largest mining operations. Calcium fluoride or fluorspar is the most abundant, naturally occurring, form of fluoride. It is also the starting point for the production of anhydrous hydrogen fluoride, fluorine, tetrafluoroethylene and various other industrially important fluorides.

The Fluoro-Materials Group mainly focuses on research in the following areas:

  • Production and production technology of anhydrous hydrogen fluoride and fluorine.
  • Depolymerisation and polymerisation of polytetrafluoroethylene.
  • Extraction of various metals from local ore and ore found in southern Africa.
  • Production of various polymers, other than PTFE, by means of co-polymer additions to tetrafluoroethylene.

Useful Links and Downloads

  • To view more information on postgraduate studies in the Department of Chemical engineering click here.
  • To download a copy of the departmental guideline for technical reports click here.
  • For versions of the standard declaration form regarding plagiarism click here.


Member Title Position Email Tel. Office
Philip L. Crouse Prof. Chair: Fluoro-materials Science and Process Integration philip.crouse@up.ac.za (012) 420-2856 Eng I, R 8-7
Crouse pl.jpg
Denise Jacobs Miss Administrative Assistant denise.jacobs@up.ac.za (012) 420-4668 Eng I, R 8-8
Paul W. Sonnendecker Mr. Technical Officer paul.sonnendecker@up.ac.za (012) 420-3161 Eng I, R 8-13
Onias Sitando Mr. Laboratory and Instrument Assistant s29684995@tuks.co.za Eng II, R 3-52


Member Title Position Email Tel.
Ryno Pretorius Mr. M.Eng. (Chemical) r.nielater@gmail.com 07765608180
Paul W. Sonnendecker Mr. M.Eng. (Chemical) paul.sonnendecker@up.ac.za 07794917802
Onias Sitando Mr. M.Sc. (Applied Sciences) s29684995@tuks.co.za 07765079493
John Kabangu Mpinga Mr. M.Sc. (Applied Science) johnmpinga@yahoo.fr 07731014541
Ncamsile Maseko Miss M.Sc. (Applied Sciences) 07822138323
Tando Kili Mr. B.Eng. (Hons)(Chemical)
Atang C. Sauli Mr. M.Sc. (Applied Sciences) 07765447550
Keegan M. Baloyi Mr. B.Eng. (Hons)(Chemical)
Lucas Dube Mr. B.Eng. (Hons)(Chemical) 07787888808
Rendani Munandi Miss B.Eng. (Hons)(Chemical) 07729549377
Melanie Jansen van Rensburg Miss B.Eng. (Hons)(Chemical) 07765855638
Athi-Enkosi Mavukwana Mr. B.Sc. (Hons)(Applied Sciences) 07784953176
Gerard J. Puts Mr. B.Eng. (Chemical) gerard.puts.up@gmail.com 07767884811
Anré M. van der Westhuizen Miss B.Eng. (Chemical) anre.v.d.west@gmail.com 07842122232


The Fluoro-Materials Group facilitates one post graduate module, CFT 732 Fluoro-Materials Science, for B.Eng. (Hons) Chemical Engineering or B.Sc. (Hons) Applied Sciences. For more information on this module, please refer to the CFT 732 study guide.


Post Graduate Projects

Production of anhydrous hydrogen fluoride and fluorine

Prof Philip Crouse - Project supervisor
Paul Sonnendecker - Project leader
Joubert du Plessis - Student contributor
Arno van den Berg - Student contributor

Depolymerisation of polytetrafluoroethylene

Prof Philip Crouse - Project supervisor
Gerard Puts - Project leader
Paul Sonnendecker - Technical contributor

Extraction and purification of lithium ietsie ietsie ietsie

Prof Philip Crouse - Project supervisor
Onias Sitando - Project leader

Extraction and purification of niobium ietsie ietsie ietsie

Prof Philip Crouse - Project supervisor
John Kabangu - Project leader

CSC 411 Research Projects

The Fluoro-Materials Group offers several undergraduate research topics for the CSC 411 Research Project module. These topics are usually integrated in one of the post graduate research projects or as an initial step toward a new research opportunity in the group.







PerkinElmer Lambda 750s UV/Vis Spectrophotometer

PerkinElmer Spectrum 100 FTIR Spectrometer

Publications and Contributions to Conferences

Local Publications and Conferences

International Publications and Conferences