UGA Professor Valentine Nzengung, who was elected last year into the National Academy of Inventors, is featured in a new video as part of NAI’s “From Campus to Commerce” video series. The short video focuses on Nzengung and his company, MuniRem Environmental, which remediates physical sites that have been contaminated by explosives.

“My focus is on developing innovative solutions that benefit human health and the environment,” said Nzengung, professor of environmental geochemistry in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. “MuniRem has allowed me to apply my passion for geochemistry to a real-world problem by mitigating sites contaminated with dangerous explosives in an environmentally friendly way.”

“That’s really the key to this invention,” said NAI President Paul Sanberg. “There are other neutralizing products on the market, but MuniRem is unique because it is non-toxic to soil or groundwater. It’s an intelligent solution for a very real global problem.”

According to Nzengung, lingering explosive materials pose a serious threat to the public because they can remain live for a very long time. The video features a recent project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Navy to salvage the CSS Georgia, a Confederate gunboat that was scuttled in the Savannah River in 1864. After remaining underwater for nearly 150 years, the Georgia still contained 185 intact artillery rounds when it was raised in 2013.

Because of its innovative discoveries, MuniRem was named a Trendsetter and Planet Protector last year by Georgia Trend magazine. Nzengung was named UGA Entrepreneur of the Year for 2016.