Werner E. van Zyl received B.Sc. and M.Sc. Chemistry degrees in South Africa. He earned a PhD degree in Chemistry from Texas A&M University, USA, in 1998. He was a postdoctoral associate in the Inorganic Materials Science group and MESA+ Research Institute at the University of Twente, The Netherlands (1999-2003), after which he started his independent research career. His research interests include biomass conversions (especially sugarcane and cellulose-based materials), water purification and desalination processes, fabrication of transparent solar cells, and aspects of artificial photosynthesis. Inorganic chemistry; Biomimetic Nanomaterials Chemistry; Catalysis; Solid State Luminescence Compounds; Metal Hydride Clusters.