Dr. Alexander Azenkeng is Assistant Director of Critical Materials at the EERC, where he applies chemistry principles to studies involving multiple research portfolios, including computational simulations to elucidate reaction mechanisms of coal combustion and chemical processes at the molecular level; chemical transformations in low-rank coal upgrading; coal–biomass gasification technologies; characterization of materials by spectroscopic and microscopic techniques; CO2–amine reaction chemistry of CO2 capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) technologies; reservoir geochemistry of CO2 sequestration; nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy study of unconventional oil and gas reservoirs; improved methods for extraction and isolation of critical minerals (rare-earth elements [REEs] and platinum group metals [PGMs]) from coals; and development of approaches for production of high-value carbon materials such as graphene and graphite from coal feedstocks.
Dr. Azenkeng holds a Ph.D. degree in Theoretical Physical Chemistry from the University of North Dakota (UND) and M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees in Chemistry from the University of Buea, Cameroon. He is an invited reviewer for the Journal of Fuels D, Combustion and Flame, the Journal of Physical Chemistry, Bioinorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, and Natural Products Research.
Dr. Azenkeng is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the UND Distinguished Dissertation Award (2009); the International Honorary for Leaders in University Apartment Community (IHLUAC) Award (2007); the African, Latino, Asian, and Native American (ALANA) Help Our People Excel (HOPE) Award (2007); and the Dr. Roland G. Severson Research Award (2005) from UND. He received the Best Poster Gold Certificate Award from the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists (WATOC) Conference in Cape Town, South Africa (2005) and the Ministry of Higher Education prize for Academic Excellence (1998) and the Senate prize for the Best Student in Chemistry (1996) from the University of Buea, Cameroon. He was inducted into the U.S. National Scholars Honor Society in 2007 and Pi Lamda Theta, the International Honor Society and Professional Association in Education, in 2002.
Dr. Azenkeng is a member of the Microscopy Society of America, the North Dakota Academy of Sciences, and the American Chemical Society. He is the coauthor of a chapter entitled “Selenium Modulates: The Neurotoxic Effects of Methylmercury” in Methylmercury and Neurotoxicity, part of the Current Topics in Neurotoxicity series, published by Springer in 2011, and coauthor of a chapter entitled “Selenium-Health Benefit Values as Seafood Safety Criteria” in Seafood Science: Advances in Chemistry, Technology and Applications, to be published by CRC Press. He has also coauthored numerous peer-reviewed publications and presentations for national and international conferences.