Membrane-based processes are framed in the green chemistry due to the reduction in energy penalties and overall costs of separation units. Membranes allow to selectively separate the component(s) of interest (i.e. gas, liquids, and ions) from a mixture, based on molecular sieving and/or chemical and electrochemical affinity mechanisms. Consequently, these technologies can be employed on very different fields all well aligned with the European Community strategic plan: e.g. gas and liquid separation and purification, CO2 sequestration and conversion to energy and fuel, biotic and abiotic membrane reactors, and energy harvesting and storage. Membrane science is strongly interdisciplinary in nature, spanning from engineering and material science to chemistry and biology. In the near future, membrane processes are expected to grow at a much faster pace because the material selective and catalytic properties will be highly enhanced by nano-level engineered materials.
The research group Membrane Engineering focuses on applied and theoretical research on highly charged inorganic/polymeric membranes materials for energy applications including electrolysers and batteries, food industry, water purification, and gas separation.