Materials and technologies for the environmental sustainability and energy efficiency and sustainability
Maria Pia Casaletto , Maria Angela Castriciano , Rosaria Ciriminna, Francesca Deganello, Valeria la Parola, Leonarda Francesca Liotta, Alessandro Longo, Franco Mingoia, Mario Pagliaro, Giuseppe Pantaleo, Maria Luisa Testa, Anna Maria Venezia , Marco Brucale , Bruno Brunetti , Pietro Calandra , Maria Cristina Campa , Daniela Caschera , Tilde de Caro, Gabriella Di Carlo, Amedeo Palma , Chiara Dionigi , Giuseppe Fierro , Gabriel Maria Ingo, Alessio Mezzi, Giampiero Ruani , Saulius Kaciulis, Roberta Toro , Mirko Seri (ISOF), Margherita Bolognesi (MISTER), Chiara Giuliani , Tanja Ivanovska (ICTP), Mario Prosa , Marta Tessarolo , Fabrizio Puleo , Maria Laura Tummino .
The activity focuses on the design, synthesis and characterization of nanostructured materials and development of devices for environmental catalysis, for green chemistry and for fuel and energy production from renewable energy production. These activities are aimed at the development of more advanced pollutant abatement technology, biodiesel production from biomass and electric energy generation by fuel cells or photovoltaic devices.
The Institute is nationally and internationally renowned for expertise in environmental catalysis concerning the abatement of gaseous pollutants (NOx, N2O, CH4, CO2, VOC’s) and fossil fuels upgrading through sulfur removal by using different materials (such as oxides or metal supported catalysts, mixed oxides and transition metal ions inside zeolites). Research activity is focused on the development of novel catalysts and on the investigation of structure-activity relationships with the aim to improve their efficiency. The Institute also works on the development of catalysts for oxidation at low temperature and for regioselective syntheses of organic molecules, on the biodiesel production by transesterification reactions, on the attainment of fine chemicals and fuels by reduction of platform molecules, on the hydrogen and biogas production through catalytic dry reforming and partial oxidation of methane and on the hydrogen production by thermochemical cycles. Moreover, mixed oxides with perovskite structure are investigated in fuel cell technology (FC-SOFC) and in Zn-air batteries, and composite membranes functionalised with aromatic molecules are developed for PEM fuel cell to be used in portable devise.
ISMN has also recognized expertise in organic and hybrid photovoltaics that represent the newest generation of technologies in solar power generation. Flexibility, low weight and low cost are the main benefits offered by these technologies thus enabling the development of portable applications and building integrated photovoltaics.
The current challenges reside in the combination of different factors as improving efficiency, increasing expected lifetime and decreasing production costs, having always in mind the environmental impact. In order to fit the purpose above, the research activity is focused mostly on the use of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies in organic photovoltaics, liquid electrolyte or solid state dye solar cells, and hybrid perovskite based solar cells. Special attention is paid to the development of synthesis and deposition procedures in order to allow a careful control of the morphological-structural properties, combining basic research for understanding the mechanisms governing the properties of these materials and applied research by developing methods for large-area deposition.