Shane Durbach
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Neufeld Science Centre 141

Department(s) or Program(s)

Research & Scholarship


My research interests lie in investigating various synthetic strategies for shaped carbon nanomaterials.  In recent years I have branched out into two new areas:  1) The use of solid waste materials as either catalysts for carbon material synthesis or as sources of carbon to make these nano and micro-sized carbon materials, 2) The synthesis and application of colloidal, shaped, inorganic crystalline solids as templates for hollow or filled carbon materials. In addition to this I am currently focussing on finding applications for these nanomaterials in areas such as composites (for low-cost building materials and other beneficial community related uses) and photocatalysis (e.g. through the conversion of carbon dioxide to fuels).


University of Johannesburg, South Africa

  • PhD in Chemistry (20 May 2009)

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

  • MSc in Chemistry (24 June 1997)
  • Honors in Chemistry (7 May 1992)

BSc in Chemistry and Chemical Sciences (2 May 1991)

Awards & Honors

  1. Team member that won the Faculty of Science’s Team Teaching Award (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa) – 2011
  2. Team member that won the Vice Chancellors Team Teaching Award (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa) – 2011

Recent Publications

  1. Lerato Hlekelele, Paul J. Franklyn, Pranav K. Tripathi and Shane H. Durbach*. Morphological and crystallinity differences in Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Nanotubes grown by Chemical Vapour Deposition Decomposition of Melamine over Coal Fly Ash. RSC Advances, 2016, 6, 76773-76779. DOI: 10.1039/C6RA16858B.
  2. Nikita Tawanda Tavengwa, Nomso Hintsho, Shane Durbach, Isabel Weiersbye, Ewa Cukrowska, Luke Chimuka,* Extraction of explosive compounds from aqueous solutions by solid phase extraction using b-cyclodextrin functionalized carbon nanofibers as sorbents. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering 4 (2016) 2450–2457.
  3. J. Muthu*, P. Bradley, I.K. Jinasena, S. Durbach, A. Moya, R. Paskaramoorthy. The effects of carbon nanofiber on the mechanical properties of glass/coir fibre reinforced polyester hybrid composites. Polymer Composites 29 January 2016. DOI: 10.1002/pc.23938 1-11.  
  4. N. Hintsho, A. Shaikjee, P.K. Tripathi, P.Franklyn and S. Durbach*. The effect of CO2 on the CVD synthesis of carbon nanomaterials using fly ash as a catalyst. RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 53776. DOI: 10.1039/C5RA06892D.
  5. N. Hintsho, A. Shaikjee, H. Masenda, D. Naidoo, D. Billing, P. Franklyn, S. Durbach*.  Direct synthesis of carbon nanofibers from South African coal fly ash. Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:387  DOI:10.1186/1556-276X-9-387.
  6. L.N. Dlamini, R.W. Krause*, G.U. Kulkarni, S.H. Durbach. Synthesis and characterization of titania based binary metal oxide nanocomposite as potential environmental photocatalysts. Materials Chemistry and Physics 129 (2011) 406–410.  
  7. L.N. Dlamini, R. W. Krause*, G. U. Kulkarni, S. H. Durbach. Photodegradation of bromophenol blue with fluorinated TiO2 composite.  Appl Water Sci 1 (2011):19–24.  
  8. R.W. M. Krause*, B.B. Mamba, L.N. Dlamini, S.H. Durbach. Fe–Ni Nanoparticles supported on carbon nanotube-co-cyclodextrin polyurethanes for the removal of trichloroethylene in water. Journal of Nanoparticle Research 12 (2010):449–456.  
  9. S Durbach*, R.W Krause, M.J Witcomb, N.J Coville. Synthesis of branched carbon nanotubes (b-CNTs) using copper catalysts in a hydrogen-filled DC arc discharger. Carbon 47 (2009) 635–644.  
  10. K.L Salipira, R.W Krause, B.B Mamba*, T.J Malefetse, L.M Cele and S.H Durbach. Cyclodextrin polyurethanes polymerised with multi-walled carbon nanotubes: Synthesis and characterisation. Materials Chemistry and Physics 111 (2008) 218-224.  
  11. K.L Salipira, B.B Mamba*, R.W Krause, T.J Malefetse and S.H Durbach. Cyclodextrin polyurethanes polymerised with carbon nanotubes for the removal of organic pollutants in water. Water SA 34 (1) (2008) 113-118.
  12. K.L. Salipira, B.B. Mamba*, R.W. Krause, T.J. Malefetse, S.H.Durbach. Carbon nanotubes and cyclodextrin polymers for removing organic pollutants from water, Environ. Chem.Lett. 5 (2007), 13-17.

 S Durbach*, N.J. Coville and M.J. Witcomb. The effect of hydrogen, helium and their mixtures on the synthesis of carbon nanotubes in a DC arc-discharger. Fullerenes, Nanotubes and Carbon Nanotubes 13 (2005) 155-169.

Affiliations & Memberships

Member of the South African Chemical Society