Associate Professor Nicola Jane Wagner

Dr Nikki Wagner is an Associate Professor in the Geology Department at the University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa. Her research areas include coal petrography, trace elements in coal, coal geology, carbon dioxide capture and storage, coal oxidation, underground coal gasification, coal conversion, coal ash, vitrinite reflectance for thermal maturity determination, and so on. She completed her Phd in 1998, and shortly thereafter worked for Sasol in their Coal to Syngas Research Group, where her interest in trace elements in coal developed. Dr Wagner worked for Sasol for 6 years, before joining the School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where she ran the Coal Research group for 8 years before moving back into geology at the University of Johannesburg in 2014. She is an Associate Professor. Dr Wagner has over 34 peer reviewed publications, supervises a number of MSc and Phd candidates at UJ and other tertiary intuitions, is an active peer reviewer for over 10 journals, is accredited in all 3 of the ICCP accreditation programs, and is the elected editor of the ICCP News, where she also serves on the Council. Dr Wagner specializes in organic petrology, and is able to provide an analytical service to industry, parastatals, and tertiary institutions on coal, carbon, shale gas, coal ash, and so on.


Associate Professor, Department of Geology, University of Johannesburg. (Nov 2014 – ..)

Roles: honours, masters and doctoral research project supervision; fundamental and contract research; lecturing; specialist in coal and carbon petrography.

Visiting Associate Professor, School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand. (Nov 2014 – …)

Roles: advisor for coal research laboratory; postgraduate supervisor; mentor.


  • International Baccalaureate, St Clares, Oxford, England (1988)
  • Roedean School for Girls, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • C1 National Research Foundation rating (obtained 2015)
  • Professional Natural Scientist (SACNSP; since 1993)
  • Accredited by the International Committee for Coal Petrography (ICCP) (single, blend, dispersed organic matter analysis); renewed bi-annually.
  • International Committee for Coal Petrography (ICCP) (since 1997)
  • Elected editor of the ICCP Newsletter (2015 – )
  • Council member Fossil Fuel Foundation (since 1998)
  • Editorial board member International Journal of Coal Geology (since 2002)
  • Editorial board member Coal Combustion & Gasification Products (since Jan 2009)
  • Editorial board member International Journal of Coal Science and Technology (JCST) (June 2014)
  • Geological Society of South Africa (since 2011)
  • Coaltech Geology Committee member (2013)



Peer reviewed articles –

  1. Chitsiga T.L, Daramola, M.O., Wagner N.J., Ngoy, J.M. 2015. Effect of the presence of water-soluble amines on the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) adsorption capacity of amine-grafted poly-succinimide (PSI) adsorbent during CO2 Capture. Energy Procedia 86, p 90 – 105..
  2. Ngoy J.M, Wagner, N.J., Bolland, B., Potgieter, J.H.. 2015. Influence of moisture on multi-walled carbon nanotube with polyaspartamide for CO2 capture. Under review.  Adsorption.
  3. Ndlalose, M., Malumbazo N., Wagner, N.J.2015. Coal quality and uranium detection in Springbok Flats Coalfield samples. SAIMM. Dec 2015
  4. Dindarloo, S.R., Bagherieh, A., Hower, J.C., Calder, J.H., Wagner N.J.2015. Coal modeling using Markov Chain and Monte Carlo simulation: Analysis of microlithotype and lithotype succession. Sedimentary Geology 329 (1-11).
  5. Mavhengere, P., Vittee, T., Wagner, NJ., Kauchali, S. 2015. An Algorithm for Determining Kinetic Parameters of the Dissociation of Complex Solid Fuels.: SAIMM. Jan 2016.
  6. Mavhengere, P., Maphala, T., Wagner, NJ.2015.Physical and Structural Effects of Carbon Dioxide Storage on Vitrinite-Rich Coal Particles Under Supercritical and Subcritical Conditions. International Journal of Coal Geology: 150–151 (1–6).
  7. Dai, S., Wang, P., Ward C.R., Tang, Y., Song, X., Jiang, J., Hower, J.C., Li, T., Seredin, V.V., Wagner, N., Jiang, Y., Wang, X., Liu, J. Elemental and mineralogical anomalies in the coal-hosted Ge ore deposit of Lincang, Yunnan, southwestern China: Key role of N2-CO2-mixed hydrothermal solutions. International Journal of Coal Geology. Vol 152 19-46
  8. Riboldi, L., Bolland, O., Ngoy, J.M, Wagner, N.J.,2014. Full-plant Analysis of a PSA CO2 Capture Unit Integrated In Coal-fired Power Plants: Post-and Pre-combustion Scenarios. 12th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, GHGT-12Energy ProcediaVolume 63, Pages 2289–2304 doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2014.11.248
  9. Ngoy, J.M., Wagner, N.J., Riboldi, L., Bolland, O. 2014A CO2 Capture Technology Using Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes with Polyaspartamide Surfactant . 12th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, GHGT-12Energy ProcediaVolume 63, 2014, Pages2230–2248 doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2014.11.242
  10. Hsu C, Davies P.T, Wagner N.J., Kauchali S. 2014Investigation of cavity formation in lump coal in the context of underground coal gasification. The Journal of The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy vol 114 page 305
  11. Kasturie Premlall, Major Mabuza, Nicola Wagner. 2013.  Evaluating CO2 Sorption capacity of a number of South African (SA) Coal types: Comparative study of the different coal properties at incremental pressures up to Supercritical pressures. Energy Procedia. 51:299 – 307.
  12. O’Keefe, J.M.K., et al inc.  Wagner N.J. 2013. On the fundamental difference between coal rank and coal type. International Journal of Coal Geology. 118, 58-87
  13. Hower, J.O’Keefe, J.Henke, K.Copley, G.Wagner, N.Garrison, T.Blake, D.Silva, L.Sampaio, C.H.Jasper, A. 2013. Gaseous emissions and sublimates from the Truman Shepherd coal fire, Floyd County, Kentucky:  A re-investigation following attempted mitigation of the fire International. Journal of Coal Geology. Vol 116-117, 63-74
  14. Hower, J.C.” >This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.”> O’Keefe, J.M.K.Wagner, N.J.Dai, S.Wang, XXue, W.2013.An investigation of Wulantuga coal (Cretaceous, Inner Mongolia) macerals: Paleopathology of faunal and fungal invasions into wood and the recognizable clues for their activity.International Journal of Coal Geology. Volume 114, pages 44-53.
  15. Kronbauer, M.A.Izquierdo, M.Dai, S.Waanders, F.B.Wagner, N.J.Mastalerz, M.Hower, J.C.Oliveira, M.L.S.Taffarel, S.RaBizani, D.Silva, L.F.O.2013.Geochemistry of ultra-fine and nano-compounds in coal gasification ashes: A synoptic view. Science of the total environment. Volume 456-457, 95-103.
  16. Malumbazo N, Wagner NJ, Bunt JR.The impact of particle size on char formation in a packed bed reactor, Fuel vol 111, 350-356
  17. James C. HowerNicola J. Wagner, Jennifer M.K. O’Keefe, Jordan W. Drew, J.D. Stucker, Allison R. Richardson. Maceral types in Permian southern African coals. International Journal of Coal Geology.Volume 100, 1 October 2012, Pages 93-107.
  18. Hower, J.C, Wagner, N.J, 2012. Notes on the methods of the combined maceral/microlithotype determination in coal. International Journal of Coal Geology. Volume 95, 1 June 2012, Pages 47-53
  19. Wagner NJ, Tlotleng T. Distribution of selected trace elements in density fractionated Waterberg coals, South Africa.

Maphala T., Wagner NJ. Effects of CO2 storage in coal on coal properties. Energy Procedia special edition of TCC6 Conference, Norway. Energy Procedia 23, 

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