Professor Peter May
BSc(Hons) Cape Town, PhD St Andrews

School Dean

About me

I am Professor of Extractive Metallurgy and, until 2012, the Dean of the School of Chemical and Mathematical Sciences.  My research centres on how metal ions and other substances react in water, an area which has broad practical importance and that consequently attracts considerable world-wide attention.

At Murdoch, I lead a strong team working in hydrometallurgy and physical chemistry, two research areas of strength which have both been ranked as a 5 in the recent ERA (Excellence in Research Australia) assessment exercise, the highest ranking possible.  My studies focus both on the fundamental chemistry of aqueous solutions, and on applied problems of global importance, including those concerning industrial processes (e.g. alumina refining), the environment (e.g. ocean acidification) and medicine (e.g. kidney stone formation).  I was also Chief Investigator in some large cyanide waste management projects supported by a broad range of companies from the minerals industry.

I have developed a frequently-cited modelling software package called JESS (Joint Expert Speciation System) that uses large databases of existing information in the field of solution chemistry, together with new experimental measurements, to resolve important gaps in knowledge.  I have supervised over 30 PhD students, have over 200 publications in international, peer-reviewed scientific journals and have held many Linkage grants from the Australian Research Council.

Research areas

Aquatic chemistry and its medical, environmental and industrial applications.

Thermodynamic modelling and computer simulation in solution chemistry

Hydrometallurgy

 

Current projects

Chemistry and Transport of Trace Elements in Bayer Liquors

Joint Expert Speciation System

Doctoral and masters supervisions

Darren Rowland – Improved Numerical Modelling of Multicomponent of Aqueous Electrolyte Solutions 

Michael Hill – Chemical Speciation of Urine and Implications for Kidney Stone Formation

 

Publications

Books

  • Duffield, J., May, P., Lindbeck, K., (1998),Cyanide Management, Best Practice Environmental Management in Mining,Commonwealth of Australia.

Chapters

  • Koenigsberger, E., Hefter, G., May, P., (2007),Solubility of Solids in Bayer Liquors,In: Developments and Applications in Solubility, Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing, pages 236 - 248.

Journals

  • Laird, D., Rowen, C., Machold, T., May, P., Hefter, G., (2013), Volatile products from the degradation of organics in a synthetic Bayer liquor, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 52, 10, pages 3613 - 3617.
  • Zydorczak, B., May, P., Meyrick, D., Hefter, G., Batka, D., (2012), Dissolution of Cr2O3(s) and the behaviour of chromium in concentrated NaOH solutions, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 51, , pages 16537 - 16543.
  • Rowland, D., May, P., (2012), An Investigation of Zdanovskii's Rule for Predicting the Water Activity of Multicomponent Aqueous Strong Electrolyte Solutions, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 57, , pages 2589 - 2602.
  • May, P., Rowland, D., Hefter, G., Koenigsberger, E., (2011), A generic and updatable pitzer characterization of aqueous binary electrolyte solutions at 1 bar and 25 c, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 56, 12, pages 5066 - 5077.
  • Bochmann, S., May, P., Hefter, G., (2011), Molar volumes and heat capacities of aqueous solutions of short-chain aliphatic sodium carboxylates at 25 c, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 56, 12, pages 5081 - 5087.
  • Koenigsberger, E., Bochmann, S., May, P., Hefter, G., (2011), Thermodynamics of impurities in hydrometallurgical processes, Pure and Applied Chemistry, 83, 5, pages 1075 - 1084.
  • Kyle, J., Breuer, P., Bunney, K., Pleysier, R., May, P., (2011), Review of trace toxic elements (Pb, Cd, Hg, As, Sb, Bi, Se, Te) and their deportment in gold processing. Part 1: Mineralogy, aqueous chemistry and toxicity, Hydrometallurgy, 107, 3-4, pages 91 - 100.
  • Machold, T., Laird, D., Rowen, C., May, P., Hefter, G., (2011), Decomposition of Bayer process organics: Phenolates, polyalcohols, and additional carboxylates, Hydrometallurgy, 107, 3-4, pages 68 - 73.
  • May, P., Filella, M., (2011), Chemical modelling of multicomponent mixtures: Quality assurance is more than just equilibrium data quality assessment, Accreditation and Quality Assurance: journal for quality, comparability and reliability in chemical measurement, 16, 4-5, pages 179 - 184.
  • Rowland, D., May, P., (2010), JESS, a Joint Expert Speciation System-V: Approaching thermodynamic property prediction for multicomponent concentrated aqueous electrolyte solutions, Talanta, 81, , pages 149 - 155.
  • Schroedle, S., Koenigsberger, E., May, P., Hefter, G., (2010), Heat capacities of aqueous sodium hydroxide/aluminate mixtures and prediction of the solubility constant of boehmite up to 300 C, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 74, 8, pages 2368 - 2379.
  • May, P., Rowland, D., Koenigsberger, E., Hefter, G., (2010), JESS, a Joint Expert Speciation System - IV: A large database of aqueous solution physicochemical properties with an automatic means of achieving thermodynamic consistency, Talanta, 81, 1-2, pages 142 - 148.
  • Hnedkovsky, L., Koenigsberger, E., Koenigsberger, L., Cibulka, I., Schroedle, S., May, P., Hefter, G., (2010), Densities of concentrated alkaline aluminate solutions at temperatures from (323 to 573) K and 10 MPa pressure, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 55, 3, pages 1173 - 1178.
  • Machold, T., Macedi, E., Laird, D., May, P., Hefter, G., (2009), Decomposition of Bayer Process Organics: Low-Molecular-Weight Carboxylates, Hydrometallurgy, 99, 1-2, pages 51 - 57.
  • Szilagyi, I., Koenigsberger, E., May, P., (2009), Characterization of Chemical Speciation of Titanyl Sulfate Solutions for Production of Titanium Dioxide Precipitates, Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 48, , pages 2200 - 2204.
  • Koenigsberger, E., Koenigsberger, L., Szilagyi, I., May, P., (2009), Measurement and prediction of physicochemical properties of liquors relevant to the sulfate process for titania production. 1. Densities in the TiOSO4 + FeSO4 + H2SO4 + H 2O system, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 54, 2, pages 520 - 525.
  • Koenigsberger, E., Hefter, G., May, P., (2009), Solubility and related properties inhydrometallurgy, Pure and Applied Chemistry, 81, 9, pages 1537 - 1545.
  • Szilagyi, I., Koenigsberger, E., May, P., (2009), Spectroscopic characterisation of weak interactions in acidic titanyl sulfateiron(II) sulfate solutions., Dalton Transactions: the international journal for inorganic, organometallic and bioinorganic chemistry, 37, 2009, pages 7717 - 7724.
  • Koenigsberger, E., Koenigsberger, L., May, P., (2008), Properties of electrolyte solutions relevant to high concentration chloride leaching. III. Solubility of pertinent solids and iron(III)/iron(II) redox potential measured in concentrated magnesium chloride solutions, Hydrometallurgy, 90, , pages 192 - 200.
  • Koenigsberger, E., May, P., (2008), Properties of electrolyte solutions relevant to high concentration chloride leaching I. Mixed aqueous solutions of hydrochloric acid and magnesium chloride, Hydrometallurgy, 90, , pages 177 - 191.
  • Schroedle, S., Koenigsberger, E., May, P., Hefter, G., (2008), Heat capacities of aqueous solutions of sodium hydroxide and water ionization up to 300 degrees C at 10 MPa, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 72, , pages 3124 - 3138.
  • Koenigsberger, E., Koenigsberger, L., May, P., (2008), Properties of electrolyte solutions relevant to high concentration chloride leaching. II. Density, viscosity and heat capacity of mixed aqueous solutions of magnesium chloride and nickel chloride measured to 90 degrees C, Hydrometallurgy, 90, , pages 168 - 176.
  • Koenigsberger, E., Koenigsberger, L., Hefter, G., May, P., (2007), Zdanovskii's Rule and Isopiestic Measurements Applied to Synthetic Bayer Liquors, Journal of Solution Chemistry, 36, , pages 1619 - 1634.
  • Hnedkovsky, L., Koenigsberger, E., Cibulka, I., Koenigsberger, L., Schroedle, S., May, P., Hefter, G., (2007), Densities of NaOH(aq) at Temperatures from (323 to 573) K and 10 MPa Pressure, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 52, , pages 2237 - 2244.
  • Koenigsberger, E., May, P., Hefter, G., (2006), Comprehensive model of synthetic Bayer liquors. Part 3. Sodium aluminate solutions and the solubility of gibbsite and boehmite, Monatshefte fuer Chemie, 137, , pages 1139 - 1149.
  • Sipos, P., Hefter, G., May, P., (2006), 27Al NMR and Raman spectroscopic studies of alkaline aluminate solutions with extremely high caustic content - Does the octahedral species Al(OH)63- exist in solution?, Talanta, 70, , pages 761 - 765.
  • Sipos, P., May, P., Hefter, G., (2006), Quantitative determination of an aluminate dimer in concentrated alkaline aluminate solutions by Raman spectroscopy, Dalton Transactions: the international journal for inorganic, organometallic and bioinorganic chemistry, not given, 2, pages 368 - 375.
  • Sipos, P., Schibeci, M., Peintler, G., May, P., Hefter, G., (2006), Chemical speciation in concentrated alkaline aluminate solutions in sodium, potassium and caesium media. Interpretation of the unusual variations of the observed hydroxide activity, Dalton Transactions: the international journal for inorganic, organometallic and bioinorganic chemistry, no vol number, 15, pages 1858 - 1866.
  • May, P., (2006), Improved thermodynamic calculations for concentrated mixed electrolyte systems including ion pairing (or the absence of it), Marine Chemistry, 99, , pages 62 - 69.
  • Filella, M., May, P., (2005), Reflections on the calculation and publication of potentiometrically-determined formation constants, Talanta, 65, , pages 1221 - 1225.
  • Tromans, A., Hefter, G., May, P., (2005), Potentiometric Investigation of the Weak Association of Sodium and Oxalate Ions in Aqueous Solutions at 25 degrees C, Australian Journal of Chemistry, 58, , pages 213 - 217.
  • Tromans, A., Koenigsberger, E., May, P., Hefter, G., (2005), Heat Capacities and Volumes of Aqueous Dicarboxylate Salt Solutions of Relevance to the Bayer Process, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 50, , pages 2019 - 2025.
  • Filella, M., May, P., (2005), Critical appraisal of available thermodynamic data for the complexation of antimony(III) and antimony(v) by low molecular mass organic ligands, Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 7, , pages 1226 - 1237.
  • Koenigsberger, E., Eriksson, G., May, P., Hefter, G., (2005), Comprehensive Model of Synthetic Bayer Liquors. Part 1. Overview, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 44, , pages 5805 - 5814.
  • Koenigsberger, E., Bevis, S., Hefter, G., May, P., (2005), Comprehensive Model of Synthetic Bayer Liquors. Part 2. Densities of Alkaline Aluminate Solutions to 90 degrees C., Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 50, , pages 1270 - 1276.
  • Tromans, A., May, P., Hefter, G., Sato, T., Buchner, R., (2004), Ion Pairing and Solvent Relaxation Processes in Aqueous Solutions of Sodium Malonate and Sodium Succinate, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Part B: Condensed Matter, Materials, Surfaces, Interfaces & Biophysical, 108, , pages 13789 - 13795.
  • Hefter, G., May, P., Sipos, P., Stanley, A., (2003), Viscosities of Concentrated Electrolyte Solutions, Journal of Molecular Liquids, 103-104, , pages 261 - 273.
  • Filella, M., May, P., (2003), Computer simulation of the low-molecular-weight inorganic species distribution of antimony(III) and antimony(V) in natural waters, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 67, 21, pages 4013 - 4031.
  • Buchner, R., Samani, F., May, P., Sturm, P., Hefter, G., (2003), Hydration and Ion Pairing in Aqueous Sodium Oxalate Solutions, ChemPhysChem: a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry, 4, , pages 373 - 378.
  • Meinrath, G., May, P., (2002), Thermodynamic Prediction in the Mine Water Environment, Mine Water and the Environment, 21, 1, pages 24 - 35.
  • Magalhaes, C., Koenigsberger, E., May, P., Hefter, G., (2002), Heat Capacities of Concentrated Aqueous Alkaline Aluminate Solutions at 25 degrees C, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 47, , pages 960 - 963.
  • Magalhaes, C., Koenigsberger, E., May, P., Hefter, G., (2002), Heat Capacities of Concentrated Aqueous Solutions of Sodium Sulfate, Sodium Carbonate, and Sodium Hydroxide at 25 degrees C, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 47, , pages 590 - 598.
  • Buchner, R., Sipos, P., Hefter, G., May, P., (2002), Dielectric Relaxation of Concentrated Alkaline Aluminate Solutions, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Part A: Molecules, Spectroscopy, Kinetics, Environment and General Theory, 106, 28, pages 6527 - 6532.
  • Kratsis, S., Hefter, G., May, P., (2001), Potentiometric Study of the Association of Magnesium and Sulfate Ions at 25 deg C in High Ionic Strength Media, Journal of Solution Chemistry, 30, 1, pages 19 - 29.
  • May, P., Murray, K., (2001), Database of Chemical Reactions Designed to Achieve Thermodynamic Consistency Automatically, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 46, , pages 1035 - 1040.
  • Filella, M., Garcia, B., May, P., (2001), Obtaining the 'best values' of stability constants: the protonation constants of five thioether carboxylates as a case study, The Analyst, 126, , pages 2093 - 2100.
  • Sipos, P., Stanley, A., Bevis, S., Hefter, G., May, P., (2001), Viscosities and Densities of Concentrated Aqueous NaOH/NaAl(OH)4 Mixtures at 25 deg C, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 46, , pages 657 - 661.
  • May, P., (2000), A simple, general and robust function for equilibria in aqueous electrolyte solutions to high ionic strength and temperature., Chemical Communications, None provided, , pages 1265 - 1266.
  • Sipos, P., Bolden, L., Hefter, G., May, P., (2000), Raman spectroscopic study of ion pairing of alkali metal ions with carbonate and sulfate in aqueous solutions, Australian Journal of Chemistry, 53, , pages 887 - 890.
  • Sipos, P., May, P., Hefter, G., (2000), Carbonate removal from concentrated hydroxide solution, The Analyst, 125, , pages 955 - 958.
  • Kratsis, S., Hefter, G., May, P., Sipos, P., (2000), Thermodynamics of Protonation and Sodium Binding of Sulfate in Concentrated NaCl and CsCl Solutions Studied by Raman Spectroscopy, Australian Journal of Chemistry, 53, , pages 363 - 367.
  • Sipos, P., Hefter, G., May, P., (2000), Viscosities and Densities of Highly Concentrated Aqueous MOH Solutons (M =Na, K, Li, Cs, (CH3)4N) at 25.0 oC, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 45, , pages 613 - 617.
  • Samani, F., Capewell, S., Sipos, P., May, P., Hefter, G., (2000), Ionization of Water in Concentrated Potassium Halide Media, Australian Journal of Chemistry, 53, , pages 369 - 373.
  • Koenigsberger, L., Koenigsberger, E., May, P., Hefter, G., (2000), Complexation of iron (III) and iron (II) by citrate. Implications for iron speciation in blood plasma, Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 78, , pages 175 - 184.
  • Buchner, R., Capewell, S., Hefter, G., May, P., (1999), Ion-Pair and Solvent Relaxation Processes in Aqueous Na2SO4 Solutions, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Part B: Condensed Matter, Materials, Surfaces, Interfaces & Biophysical, 103, , pages 1185 - 1192.
  • Capewell, S., Hefter, G., May, P., (1999), Association Constants for the NaSO4- ion pair in concentrated cesium chloride solutions, Talanta, 49, , pages 25 - 30.
  • Capewell, S., Buchner, R., Hefter, G., May, P., (1999), Dielectric relaxation of aqueous Na2CO3 solutions, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 1, , pages 1933 - 1937.
  • Watling, H., Sipos, P., Byrne, L., Hefter, G., May, P., (1999), Raman, IR, and 27Al-MAS-NMR Spectroscopic Studies of Sodium (Hydroxy) aluminates, Applied Spectroscopy, 53, 4, pages 415 - 422.
  • Capewell, S., Hefter, G., May, P., (1999), Improved apparatus and procedures for the measurement of solubility of rapidly equilibrating solid-liquid systems to 90 degrees C, Review of Scientific Instruments, 70, 2, pages 1481 - 1485.
  • Buchner, R., Hefter, G., May, P., (1999), Dielectric Relaxation of Aqueous NaCl Solutions, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Part A: Molecules, Spectroscopy, Kinetics, Environment and General Theory, 103, 1, pages 1 - 9.
  • Buchner, R., Hefter, G., May, P., Sipos, P., (1999), Dielectric Relaxation of Dilute Aqueous NaOH, NaAl(OH)4, and NaB(OH)4, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Part B: Condensed Matter, Materials, Surfaces, Interfaces & Biophysical, 103, , pages 11186 - 11190.
  • DeWitt, G., May, P., Webb, J., Hefter, G., (1998), Potentiometric and Computer Studies of Yttrium-EDTMP, Inorganica Chimica Acta, 275-276, , pages 37 - 42.
  • Capewell, S., Hefter, G., May, P., (1998), Potentiometric Investigation of the Weak Association of Sodium and Carbonate Ions at 25C, Journal of Solution Chemistry, 27, , pages 865 - 877.
  • Sipos, P., Hefter, G., May, P., (1998), A Hydrogen Electrode Study of Concentrated Alkaline Aluminate Solutions, Australian Journal of Chemistry, 51, , pages 445 - 453.
  • Sipos, P., Capewell, S., May, P., Hefter, G., Laurenczy, G., Lukacs, F., Roulet, R., (1998), Spectroscopic Studies of the Chemical Speciation in Concentrated Alkaline Aluminate Solutions, Journal of the Chemical Society. Dalton Transactions, 1998, , pages 3007 - 3012.
  • Radnai, T., May, P., Hefter, G., Sipos, P., (1998), Structure of Aqueous Sodium Aluminate Solutions: A Solution X-Ray Diffraction Study, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Part A: Molecules, Spectroscopy, Kinetics, Environment and General Theory, 102, , pages 7841 - 7850.
  • Turonek, M., Hefter, G., May, P., (1998), The Ionic Product of Water in Concentrated Sodium Perchlorate Solutions, Talanta, 45, , pages 931 - 934.
  • Tran-Ho, L., May, P., Hefter, G., (1997), Complexation of Copper(I) by Thioamino Acids. Implications for Copper Speciation in Blood Plasma, Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 68, , pages 225 - 231.
  • Sipos, P., Capewell, S., May, P., Hefter, G., Laurenczy, G., Lukacs, F., Roulet, R., (1997), 205Tl-NMR and UV-Visible Spectroscopic Determination of the Formation Constants of Thallium(I) Hydroxo Complexes, Journal of Solution Chemistry, 26, , pages 419 - 431.
  • Capewell, S., Hefter, G., Sipos, P., May, P., (1997), Protonation and Sodium Ion-Pairing of the Sulfite Ion in Concentrated Aqueous Electrolyte Solutions, Journal of Solution Chemistry, 26, , pages 957 - 972.
  • Sipos, P., Bodi, I., May, P., Hefter, G., (1997), The Ionic Product of Water in Concentrated Tetramethylammonium Chloride Solutions, Talanta, 44, , pages 617 - 620.
  • Grases, F., Villacampa, A., Soehnel, O., Koenigsberger, E., May, P., (1997), Phosphate Composition of Precipitates from Urine-like Liquors, Crystal Research and Technology: journal of experimental and industrial crystallography, 32, 5, pages 707 - 715.
  • Hefter, G., May, P., Marshall, S., Cornish, J., Kron, I., (1997), Improved Apparatus and Procedures for Isopiestic Studies at Elevated Temperatures, Review of Scientific Instruments, 68, 6, pages 2558 - 2567.

Conference

  • Koenigsberger, E., May, P., Hefter, G., (2005),A comprehensive physicochemical model of synthetic Bayer liquors,In: 7th International Alumina Quality Workshop (2005).
  • Sipos, P., Bolden, L., Kratsis, S., May, P., Hefter, G., (2002),Ion pairing of alkali metal ions with carbonate and sulphate in aqueous solutions,In: Proceedings of XVIIIth International Conference on Raman Spectroscopy.
  • Sipos, P., May, P., Hefter, G., (2002),The formation constant of an aluminate dimer as a function of the activity of water. Quantitative interpretation of the Raman Spectra of highly concentrated alkaline aluminate, M'OH/Al(OH)3 solutions (M= = Na+, K+, and Cs+ and (CH3)4N=),In: Proceedings of XVIIIth International Conference on Raman Spectroscopy.