Academic Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2016
Valentine Nzengung, professor of environmental geochemistry and founder of MuniRem Environmental, LLC has been working for over 15 years to move innovative environmental remediation technologies from the academic laboratory to the field. His research interests include the development and evaluation of innovative technologies for the cleanup of contaminated water, sediment and soils.
MuniRem’s core technology achieves instant neutralization of explosives and chemical warfare material at ambient temperatures. The efficacy of the MuniRem technology was most recently demonstrated during efforts to save the wreck of the Confederate ironclad gunboat, CSS Georgia. Scuttled by her own crew to avoid capture by the advancing Union Army in 1864, the Georgia still contained several artifacts when it was rediscovered during a Savannah Harbor dredging project. Among the artifacts were unexploded ordnance filled with dangerous black powder. MuniRem was used to inert each shell, rendering each artifact safe for analysis and conservation.