Staff Profile

/Dr Gift Mehlana
Dr Gift Mehlana

Position: Lecturer

Department: Chemical Technology
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  • PhD Chemistry (UCT)
  •  BSc Chemical Technology (MSU)

Research Interests:

  • Development of novel materials and their applications in heterogeneous catalysis, biomedical science and sensing.

Research Group:

Our research focuses on the development of novel porous materials for application as support materials in catalysis, sensing, drug delivery and biomedical applications. Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), which are highly crystalline porous materials are at the core of our research. Current research involves the design of materials which are capable of capturing and converting carbon dioxide to formic acid and methanol. In our approach, we explore both chemical and biological routes to convert greenhouse gas to high-value chemicals. This research is funded by the Royal Society and African Academy of Sciences.

Porous 2D MOF prepared in our laboratory.


  • P Tshuma, BCE Makhubela, N Bingwa, G Mehlana. Palladium (II) Immobilized on Metal–Organic Frameworks for Catalytic Conversion of Carbon Dioxide to Formate. Inorganic Chemistry 59 (10), 6717-6728.
  • Piwai Tshuma, Banothile C. E. Makhubela, Lars  Ohrstrom, Susan A. Bourne, Nabanita Chatterjee, Isaac N. Bease James Darkwa, Gift Mehlana. Cyclometalation of lanthanum(III) based MOF for catalytic hydrogenation of carbon dioxide to formate, RSC Advances, 10, 3593-3605, (2020)
  • N Makuve, G Mehlana, R Tia, J Darkwa, BCE Makhubela. Hydrogenation of carbon dioxide to formate by α-diimine RuII, RhIII, IrIII complexes as catalyst precursors. Journal of Organometallic Chemistry 899, 120892, (2019).
  • FMA Noa, G Mehlana. Co-crystals and salts of vanillic acid and vanillin with amines Cryst Eng Comm 20 , 896-905, (2018)
  • Tafadzwa W.Murinzi, Tella Adedibu Clement, Vitalis Chitsa, Gift Mehlana. Copper oxide nanoparticles encapsulated in HKUST-1 metal-organic framework for electrocatalytic oxidation of citric acid. Journal of Solid State Chemistry,Volume 268, 198-206, (2018)
  • G Mehlana, SA Bourne. Unravelling chromism in metal–organic frameworks. Cryst Eng Comm. 19, 4238-4259, (2017)
  • Adedibu C Tella, Samson O Owalude, Gift Mehlana, Sunday J Olatunji, David O Adetitun, Mathew O Kolawole, Nzikahyel Simon, Lukman O AlimiSynthesis, thermal properties, and biological study of metal (II) nicotinamide complexes containing fumarate dianion and fumaric acid: Crystal structure of  [Ni(H2O)4(nia)2](fum)·(H2fum). Inorganic and Nano-Metal Chemistry. 47, 859-864, (2017)
  • AC Tella, G Mehlana, LO Alimi, SA Bourne. Solventfree Synthesis, Characterization and SolventVapor Interaction of Zinc (II) and Copper (II) Coordination Polymers containing Nitrogendonor Ligands. Zeitschrift für anorganische und allgemeine Chemie 643, 523-530, (2017).
  • G Mehlana, C Wilkinson, CN Dzesse T, G Ramon, SA Bourne. Structural Diversity Observed in Two-dimensional Square Lattice Metal–Organic Frameworks Assembled from Zn (II) and 3-(4-Pyridyl) benzoate. Crystal Growth & Design 17, 6445-6454, (2017)
  • P Pagano, P Pelagatti, A Bacchi, MR Chierotti, SA Bourne, G Mehlana. Sorption properties toward environmentally important VOCs of half-sandwich Ru (II) complexes containing perylene bisimide ligands. Inorganic and Nano-Metal Chemistry 47, 427-432. (2016).
  • P Moyo, T Mugadza, G Mehlana, U Guyo. Synthesis and characterization of activated carbon–ethylenediamine–cobalt (II) tetracarboxyphthalocyanine conjugate for catalytic oxidation of ascorbic acid. Research on Chemical Intermediates 42, 6511-6529, (2016)
  • Mehlana, G., Wilkinson, C Ramon, G. & Bourne, S. A. Reversible Thermochromic and Mechanochromic behaviour in a 3D hydrogen bonded discrete compound, Polyhedron, 98, 224-229, (2015).
  • Bacchi A, Bourne S.A, Cantoni, G, Silvia A. M. Cavallone, Mazza.S, Mehlana, G.,Pelagatti P, &Righi. L: Reversible Guest Removal and Selective Guest Exchange with a Covalent Dinuclear Wheel-and-Axle Metallorganic Host Constituted by Half-Sandwich Ru(II) Wheels Connected by a Linear Diphosphine Axle Cryst. Growth & Design 15, 1876-1888, (2015).
  • Mehlana, G., Ramon, G. & Bourne, S. A. The role of C–Hπ interactions in modulating the breathing amplitude of a 2D square lattice net: alcohol sorption studies. CrystEngComm 16, 8160 (2014).
  • Mehlana, G., Ramon, G. & Bourne, S. A. Methanol mediated crystal transformations in a solvatochromic metal organic framework constructed from Co(ii) and 4-(4-pyridyl) benzoate. CrystEngComm 15, 9521 (2013). 
  • Mehlana, G., Ramon, G. & Bourne, S. A. Alcohol responsive 2D coordination network of 3-(4-pyridyl)benzoate and Zinc(II). ZeitschriftfürKrist. – Cryst. Mater. 228, 318–322 (2013).
  • Mehlana, G., Ramon, G. & Bourne, S. A. &Öhrström, L. A, Concomitant Metal Organic Frameworks of Cobalt(II) and 3 (4- Pyridyl)benzoate: Optimized Synthetic Conditions of Solvatochromic and Thermochromic Systems. Cryst. Growth & Des. 13, 633 (2013).
  • Bourne S.A, Mehlana G, Ramon .G, Thermo-and solvatochromic coordination networks of 4-(4-pyridyl)benzoic acid. ActaCrystallographica Section A Foundations of Crystallography 08/2012; 68(a1).
  • Mehlana, G., Bourne, S. A., Ramon, G, A new class of Thermo- and solvatochromic metal organic frameworks based on 4-(4- pyridyl)benzoic acid. Dalton Trans., 41, 4224 (2012).
  • Bacchi, SA Bourne, G. Cantoni, G. Mehlana, P. Pelagattia and S. Rizzato L, Inclusion propensity of new wheel-and axle complexes based on Ru(II) half-sandwich units, Chimica e I’industria 95(4), 112-114 (2013).
  • Mehlana, V. Chitsa and T. Mugadza, Recent Advances in Metal-Organic Frameworks Based on Pyridylbenzoates: Properties and Applications, RSC Advances, 5, 88218–88233 (2015).


  • Actor Zonde, Tafadzwa Wendy Murinzi, Gift Mehlana, Upenyu Guyo. Method for coal tar modification using silicon nanoparticles for road surfacing. ARIPO, AP/P/2018/011011


  • Gift Mehlana. IUPAC Congress. Paris, France. 5 July -12 July 2019. Oral Presentation.
  • Gift Mehlana. Meeting of minds. London. UK, June 2019
  • Gift Mehlana. 2nd Pan African conference on crystallography. Carbon dioxide capture using MOFs. February 2019
  • XXIV International Conference of Coordination and Bioinorganic Chemistry, 2nd to the 7th of June 2013, Smolenice, Slovakia. Water and methanol mediated structural transformations in a solvatochromic metal organic framework constructed from 4-(4-pyridyl) benzoate and Co(II) (oral presentation).
  • Indaba 7. Insights from Structure. 2nd to the 7th of September 2012, South Africa. Rare polymorphism in Metal Organic Frameworks (poster presentation).
  • Division conference, 24th to the 25th of May 2012, Sweden. Chemo-sensing   and   thermochromic   metal   organic   frameworks   based   on 3-(4-pyridyl) benzoic acid (poster presentation).
  • Trends in Inorganic Chemistry Symposium, 23rd  of May 2012, University of Stockholm, Sweden. Chemo-sensing   and   thermochromic   metal   organic   frameworks   based   on 3-(4-pyridyl) benzoic acid (poster presentation).
  • Young Scientist Symposium Conference, University of Western Cape 24th of November 2011. A new Class of Thermo- and Solvatochromic Metal Organic Frameworks based on 4-(4-pyridyl) benzoic acid (oral presentation).

Membership to professional bodies  

    • International Centre for Diffraction Data,
    • South African Crystallographic Association
    • Zimbabwe Chemical Society 

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