Researcher biography

Wonder Chimonyo is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Chemical Engineering at The University of Queensland (UQ).

He obtained his PhD at UQ in the School of Chemical Engineering in 2021.

His PhD project was part of a large Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project designed to advance green economy transitions and contribute to mitigating climate change. The research led to:

  • Development of innovative and promising technology of specific oxidative modification of natural starch to deliver tailorable derivatives for depressing difficult-to-reject carbon gangue during copper flotation.
  • Discovery of important insights guiding the minerals industry on the application of modified starch as biopolymer derivatives to increase productivity and add economic value in a sustainable manner.
  • Development of a new ARC project to manage a major unwanted iron sulphide gangue mineral so that it can be rejected in copper and gold flotation.

Since 2021, Wonder has been working as a Research Associate in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Enabling Eco-Efficient Beneficiation of Minerals (COEMinerals).

  • This unique, world-leading Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence (CoE) comprises representatives of nine (9) universities in Australia working in close collaboration with multiple international universities and industry partners.
  • The Centre is developing transformational technologies for enabling a competitive and environmentally sustainable future for Australia's minerals industry, with goals to reduce the environmental footprint of the minerals beneficiation (separation) phase, with significantly reduced energy and water use, and increased resource recovery. The Centre is also fuelling future minerals sector leaders.

Wonder's research areas cover a wide range of topics from grinding, froth flotation, flotation reagents, surface/pulp/colloidal chemistry, electrochemistry, interfacial processes, biopolymers modification, froth and entrainment management, reflux flotation, hydrodynamics, and modelling. His current projects for The Centre focus on managing fine clay gangue in minerals flotation, by testing the application of new flotation reagents and exploring promising technologies such as the REFLUX™ Flotation Cell (RFC™). In addition, his work also seeks to improve iron ore processing by employing novel RAFT polymers to increase flotation separation effectiveness.

Overall, his research is positioned to help Australia achieve its 'green economy' goals and contribute to technology development and innovation as well as deliver critical minerals through biocompatible strategies for transforming the value addition of mineral processing operations in industry and around the world.