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Father of Green Chemistry an Honorary Royal Fellow

- Wits University

The Royal Society of Chemistry has admitted Professor Roger Sheldon as an honorary fellow.

This rare distinction recognises Sheldon’s contributions to biocatalysis, green chemistry, and catalytic oxidation.

The 175-year-old organisation is the oldest chemistry society in the world. Its mission is to advance excellence in the chemical sciences. Sheldon joins just 116 honorary fellows.

"It is a very select group and I am honoured and thrilled to be part of it," says Sheldon, who is a globally recognised authority on green chemistry and renowned as a founding father in this field.

Biocatalysis is the use of natural substances to speed-up (catalyse) chemical reactions. Catalysts promote chemical reactions due to the participation of an additional substance. By using biocatalysts to improve the production of chemicals, Sheldon has made major breakthroughs in green chemistry, including developing magnetised enzymes, which could be recycled out of liquids (and re-used), by separating the magnetised enzymes from the liquids.

In February 2018, Sheldon co-published a paper entitled “Role of Biocatalysis in Sustainable Chemistry” in the high-impact journal, Chemical Reviews.

Sheldon was awarded an A-rating by the South African National Research Foundation in September 2018. An A-rated researcher is recognised by peers as a leading international scholar in the field for the high quality and impact of recent research outputs. 

Sheldon is also Professor Emeritus of Biocatalysis and Organic Chemistry at the Delft University of Technology.