School of Chemical Engineering


Wonder is a current PhD student in the School of Chemical Engineering, at the University of Queensland, Australia. He holds an MSc (Chemical Engineering) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and a BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Zimbabwe. Wonder has industrial experience as he worked previously as a process engineer in a large leather processing company. His contributions involved overseeing production processes, process control and optimization, troubleshooting, quality control, technical product support and market research.

Wonder has demonstrated research expertise, teamwork, communication and translational skills to train others and pass knowledge to the next generation. He has a great passion for making a positive difference, taking exciting and challenging roles to utilize his skills and expertise to develop new trends and create change.

Research Interests

  • Froth flotation
  • Mineral surface chemistry
  • Electrochemistry
  • Polymer development and characterisation

Research Project

Title: The development of modified starches for improving the flotation of carbonaceous copper sulphide minerals.

Advisors: Professor Yongjun Peng and Dr Brenton Fletcher

His PhD project involves the development of starch derivatives to improve selectivity in minerals processing by froth flotation. Some techniques in the project include SEC, RVA, ATR - Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, Cryo-X-ray photoelectron (XPS), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Contact angle, Zeta Potential, Adsorption isotherms and Batch Flotation. As is widely known, the minerals industry provides backbone in terms of raw materials for building our cities, electricity generation, devices we use for transport, communication and lifestyle etc. His research seeks to meet the ever-increasing demand for the valuable and precious metals required in our modern industrialized society using environmentally benign protocols and creating a sustainable future. The research is at the centre of the growing advocacy for renewable technologies and green processing.

He is a registered graduate engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) and currently working on registration with Engineers Australia (EA).

Key Publications

Chimonyo, W., Fletcher, B. & Peng, Y. 2020. The effect of NaCIO oxidized starches on chalcopyrite flotation. Minerals Engineering. (Submitted).

Chimonyo, W., Fletcher, B. & Peng, Y. 2020. Starch chemical modification for selective flotation of copper sulphide minerals from carbonaceous material: A critical review. Minerals Engineering. 156(May):106522.

Chimonyo, W., Fletcher, B. & Peng, Y. 2020. The differential depression of an oxidized starch on the flotation of chalcopyrite and graphite. Minerals Engineering. 146(November 2019):106114.

Fletcher, B., Chimonyo, W. & Peng, Y. 2020. A comparison of native starch, oxidized starch and CMC as copper-activated pyrite depressants. Minerals Engineering. 156:106532.

Chimonyo, W., Wiese, J., Corin, K. & O’Connor, C. 2017. The use of oxidising agents for control of electrochemical potential in flotation. Minerals Engineering. 109(March):135–143.

Chimonyo, W., Corin, K.C., Wiese, J.G. & O’Connor, C.T. 2017. Redox potential control during flotation of a sulphide mineral ore. Minerals Engineering. 110(April):57–64.

Wonder Chimonyo

PhD Student

Room: 631-210

p: +61 7 3346 9407