Prof. Kobus Pienaar
iCACGP Commission Member
North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus)
South Africa
Fax :+27 18 2992447
Research Interests        Awards        Publications        Detailed CV

Prof Kobus Pienaar is the Dean of Science at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus) South Africa and professor in Physical Chemistry. With the financial support of National Research Foundation (NRF), Eskom and Sasol he started a research group on atmospheric chemistry in 1991 in South Africa. Twenty eight M.Sc. and ten Ph.D. students completed their studies under his supervision. He is author or co-author of 39 full-length papers in specialized journals, 29 papers in conference proceedings, 22 research reports to industry and 3 chapters in books. He serves as member of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Precipitation Chemistry Science Advisory Group (SAG), a member of the Science Steering Committee (SSC) of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) programme of the IGBP and as member of the Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (CACGP).

Research Interests:   

My research interests focus broadly around atmospheric chemistry and more specifically around deposition processes. Activities in my group at present focus on:

  • Monitoring temporal and spatial variations in atmospheric pollutants.
  • Modelling of atmospheric pollution processes.
  • Characterisation of the chemical composition of atmospheric VOC¬Ęs and aerosols.
  • Impact studies of atmospheric pollutants on crops and natural vegetation.
  • The specific scientific questions of addressed in our research are:

  • What are the regional scale atmospheric budgets of key elements?
  • What are the atmospheric removal rates via dry and wet deposition of biogeochemically important trace species on a temporal and spatial basis at regional to global scales?
  • What are the key regulating processes (interaction gas/aerosol/cloud/ecosystem) that affect atmospheric concentrations and deposition?
  • How can the use of numerical models assist in quantifying relationships between emissions and depositional fluxes and provide an integrated scientific assessment of the atmospheric C, S and N cycles, specifically at the regional scale?
  • How can atmospheric concentrations and deposition flux measurements be related to impact studies?
  • This research is mostly carried out within the framework of large international programmes like IGAC, DEBITS, EUCAARI, etc.

    Awards, Honours, and Related:   

    Prof Pienaar enjoys a C2 rating from NRF.

    He received in 2004 the National Association for Clean Air Innovators Award for his exceptional contribution to build capacity and advance the knowledge of atmospheric chemistry in South Africa and aboard.

    In 2008, he received the SA Merck medal for the best article published in physical chemistry in SA Journal of Chemistry from the South African Chemical Institute.

    Recent Publications:   
  • L. Weissflog, G.H.J. Kruger, K. Kellner, J.J. Pienaar, A. Pfennigsdorff, K-U. Seyfarth and B. Ondruschka, ”Trichloroacetic acid as an additional factor contributing to desertification in Southern Africa”, Env. Monitoring and Assessment, 2004, 99, 275-280.
  • J.N. Mphepya, J.J. Pienaar, C. Galy-Lacaux and G. Held, "An estimate of wet and dry deposition of sulphur and nitrogen in semi-arid areas of southern Africa", Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry, 2004, 47, 1-24.
  • Weissflog, Ludwig, Gert Krüger, Klaus Kellner, Jacobus Pienaar, Christian Lange, Riaan Strauss, Andrea Pfennigsdorff & Bernd Ondruschka, ”Air pollution-derived trichloroacetic acid contributes degradation of vegetation in South Africa”, S. Afr. J. of Sci., 2004, 100, 289-293.
  • A.J. Strauss, G.H.J. Krüger, P.D.R. van Heerden, J.J. Pienaar & L. Weissflog. “Constraints on photosynthesis of C3 and C4  crop plants by trichloroacetic acid, an atmogenically generated pollutant”, S. Afr. J. Bot., 2004, 70(5), 1-9.
  • M. Zunckel, K. Venjonoka, J.J. Pienaar, E-G. Brunke, O. Pretorius, A. Koosialee, A. Raghunandan, A.M. van Tienhoven, ”Surface ozone over southern Africa: synthesis of monitoring results during the Cross border Air Pollution Impact Assessment project”, Atmospheric Environment, 2004, 38, 6139-6147.
  • A.M. Bogopane, J.J. Pienaar, G. Lachmann, M.S.A. Hamza and R. van Eldik, "The kinetics of the silver(I)-catalysed oxidation of chromium(III) by peroxodisulphate", SA Journal of Chemistry, 2005, 58, 30-36.
  • J.N. Mphepya, C. Galy-Lacaux, J-P Lacaux, G. Held and J.J. Pienaar, "Precipitation chemistry and wet deposition in Kruger National Park, South Africa", Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry, 2006, 53, 169-183.
  • W. van Niekerk, J.J. Pienaar, G. Lachmann, R. van Eldik and M. Hamza, ”A kinetic and mechanistic study of the chromium (VI) reduction by hydrogen peroxide in acidic aqueous solutions”, Water SA, 2007, 33, 5, 619-625.
  • J.J. Martins, R.S. Dhammapala, G. Lachmann, C. Galy-Lacaux and J.J. Pienaar, ”Long-term measurements of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ammonia, nitric acid and ozone in southern Africa using passive samplers”, South African Journal of Science, 2007, 103, 336-342.
  • L Laakso, H Laakso, PP Aalto, P Keronen, T Petaja, T Nieminen, T Pohja, E Siivola, M Kulmala, N Kgabi, M Molefe, D Mabaso, D Phalatse, K Pienaar & V-M Kerminen, Basic characteristics of atmospheric particles, trace gases and meteorology in a relatively clean South African Savannah environment.  , Atmos. Chem. Phys., 2008, 8, 4823-4839.
  • C Nothnagel, K Kotte, JJ Pienaar, PG van Zyl en JP Beukes., ”Determination of disinfection by-products and extractable organic compounds in South African tap water.”, The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa, Vol 4 no. 1, July 2008, pp. 175-180
  • M. Adon, C. Galy-Lacaux, V. Yoboué, C. Delon, J.P. Lacaux, P. Castera, E. Gardrat, J.J. Pienaar, H. Al Ourabi, D. Laouali, B. Diop, L. Sigha-Nkamdjou, A. Akpo, J. Tathy, F. Lavenu, E. Mougin., “Long-term measurements of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ammonia, nitric acid and ozone in Africa using passive samplers.”, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 2010, 10, 7467-7487.
  • M. Josipovic, H.J. Annegarn, M.A. Kneen, J.J. Pienaar and S.J. Piketh, "Concentrations, Distributions and Critical Levels Exceedance Assessment of SO2, NO2 and O3 in South Africa",, Environ Monit Assess, 2010, 171, 181-196.
  • L. Laakso, V. Vakkari, H. Laakso, A. Virkkula, M. Kulmala, J.P. Beukes, P.G. van Zyl, J.J. Pienaar, K. Chiloane, S. Gilardoni, E. Vignati, A. Wiedensohler, T. Tuch, W. Birmili, S. Piketh, K. Fergusan, G.D. Fourie, M. Komppula, H. Lihavainen, G. de Leeuw, V.-M. Kerminen., “South African EUCAARI-measurements: a site with high atmospheric variability.”, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 2010, 10, 30691-30729.
  • A.S.M. Lourens, J.P. Beukes, P.G. van Zyl, G.D. Fourie, J.W. Burger, J.J. Pienaar, C.E. Read, J.H.L. Jordaan., “Spatial and Temporal assessment of Gaseous Pollutants in the Mpumalanga Highveld of South Africa.”, S Afr J of Sci, 2011, 107(1/2), 1-8.
  • Detailed CV