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Chemistry and Environment

Chemistry plays a central role not only in describing and understanding environmental processes, but also in allowing the achievement of a correct balance between human activities and nature.

Human activities can sometimes change the natural balance dramatically, but at the same time they can also operate to recover or preserve fragile or compromised ecosystems from the human hand. Chemistry and environment are today an inseparable binomial. The Department's researchers work on both sides of environmental chemistry: On the one hand, they try to understand the characteristics of the chemical processes that occur in the ecosystems that surround us (from the most remote to our cities); on the other hand they work in the field of technologies aimed at de-pollution and recovery of polluted sites.

Research topics

The numerous processes, not only of a chemical nature, which have a central role in defining and maintaining the properties of an ecosystem (and therefore its systemic value) form a complex network of interactions whose understanding is the central topic of the chemistry of the environment. The increase in knowledge on chemical processes and on the dense network of interactions occurring within ecosystems drive our research in the environmental field.

The Department carries out studies aimed at understanding the main processes and mechanisms that define the chemistry of the water, air and soil compartments. Particular attention is paid to the role that sunlight has as a forcing of environmental processes both in the aqueous phase (with particular attention to the photoinduced self-purification processes of water), and in the atmosphere. Moreover, the role that human activities have in disrupting environmental equilibrium is studied (C. MineroV. MaurinoP. CalzaD. VioneD. FabbriM. Minella M. Passananti L. Carena).

The application of analytical techniques capable of not interfering with chemical equilibria, supported by modeling and chemometric software, is used with the ultimate aim of determining the formation constants of inorganic and organic complexes of environmental interest (O. AbollinoM. MalandrinoS. Berto).

The anthropic activities can release in the different environmental sectors chemical species that might accumulate and cause irreversible changes. New technologies, new processes, and materials are studied and implemented in order to promote the removal of pollutants from waters, air, and soil. The Department's researchers provide their expertise to mitigate or remove the human footprint on the environment through well-established or innovative technologies. On these issues, the Department has developed strong industrial interactions, acquiring considerable problem solving skills.

  • Advanced oxidative processes (e.g., the processes of heterogeneous photocatalysis on semiconductors) for the removal of pollutants both in aqueous compartments (industrial or civil wastewater), and in the atmosphere (reduction of gaseous pollutants).
    C. MineroV. MaurinoP. CalzaD. VioneM.C. BruzzonitiD. FabbriM. MinellaF. SordelloF. PellegrinoL. Carena
  • Soluble substances isolated from the organic fraction of urban waste for the photodegradation of pollutants in aqueous solutions.
    A. Bianco-Prevot e M. Ginepro
  • Organic soil improvers and bioremediation with sugary nutrients of soils and waters contaminated with Cr (VI).
    A. Bianco-Prevot e M. Ginepro
  • Low-cost materials (catalysts, membranes, ceramic materials) for the depollution of water and air.
    G. Magnacca
  • Study of the photoactivity of the solid phase materials and of the photoinduced transient radical species.
    M.C. PaganiniE. Laurenti

  • Measurement of pollutants and development of innovative methods of analysis in the environmental field with immunoanalytic techniques and use of molecularly imprinted nanostructured materials
    C. BaggianiL. Anfossi

Last update: 23/12/2022 16:45
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