Institute on membrane technology (ITM)


The skill and expertise of ITM headquartered in Rende (CS) cover the whole range of aspects of modern membrane science and technology. In particular, the following internationally recognized skills are available:
o Preparation and characterization of polymeric membranes (any configuration, morphology, structure and composition, including, flat membranes, tubular, capillary, hollow fiber, porous, mesoporous, microporous, dense, homogeneous, heterogeneous, symmetric , asymmetric, nanostructured, nanocomposite, multi-functional, etc.)
o Preparation and characterization of mixed matrix membranes (any configuration, morphology, structure and composition)
o Preparation and characterization of biohybrid membranes (any configuration, morphology, structure and composition)
o Development and characterization of ion-exchange membranes
o Membrane transport phenomena
o Computer aided molecular design of membrane and membrane processes
o Development of membrane modules in flat-sheet and tubular configuration
o Membrane reactor with organic and inorganic catalysts, at low and high temperature
o Biocatalitic membrane reactors and membrane bioreactors
o Membrane separation processes
o Membrane contactors such as membrane distillation, membrane crystallization and membrane emulsification
o Integrated membrane processes
o Membrane for tissue engineering and regenerative membranes
o Artificial organs and bioartificial membranes
o Development and optimization of pressure driven membrane operations: microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis
o Development of membranes for forward osmosis
o Study of phenomena and mechanism causing fouling, biofouling and scaling and development of strategy to control them
o Study and development of best practices for membrane operation and maintainance
Specific expertises in organic reaction mechanisms are present at the division in Padova which are well integrated with the development of catalytic membranes and membrane operations in many applications field in which ITM is involved.
The use of membranes and membrane operations in many strategic field for a sustainable growth is investigated:
o Water: water purification, water desalination of brackish and sea water, industrial waste, municipal, domestic water treatment
o Energy: Hidrogen production, biofuel, gas separation, CO2 removal, fuel cells, etc
o Environment and Safety: air purification, air and water decontamination, development of functionalized membranes for hazardous substances detection
o Health: biomaterials development, bioartificial organ and tissue for personalized medicine, including liver, skin, trachea, bones, neurons, membrane bioreactors with epatocites from donors for new drugs toxicity pre-screening
o Agro-food: food streams processing (juice, wine, beer, fruit juice, milk), such as cold sterilization, fractionation, concentration, purification, recovery of high added-value molecules
o Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical: "downstream bioprocessing", bioconversion assisted by immobilized enzyme, optically pure enantiomers, proteins separation (also with similar molecular weight) maintaining functional stability with high degree of purity and recovery, development of functional membranes for biosensors in clinical diagnostics
In conclusion, ITM is a multidisciplinary institute in which complementary expertises are positively integrated.