Sapienza University of Rome, founded in 1303, is the largest university in Europe: there are around 120.000 students enrolled, of which 8.000 coming from abroad, and more than 4.700 professors and researchers. Sapienza offers a vast array of courses including 290 degree programmes at Bachelor and Master level, 78 PhD courses, one to two year professional courses and Specialization Schools, which are run by 63 Departments and 11 Faculties.
In the frame of European Research, Sapienza participated to 218 FP7 projects, including 37 PEOPLE Marie Curie Actions, receiving over 80 million Euros in EU contributions. In the Horizon2020, Sapienza has already had 32 projects approved, including 9 MSCA.
In RES URBIS, Sapienza participates through its Research Centre for Protection of Environment and Cultural Heritage. This is a multidisciplinary Center grouping scientist from six different Departments of Sapienza (Chemistry, Biology and Biotechnology, Environmental Biology, Physics, Hearth Sciences, Applied sciences for Engineering), which can share their expertise and have full access to all Depts. facilities for common projects of interest. In RES URBIS, the Center activity will mostly involve scientists working at the Chemistry Department in cooperation with colleagues from the Dept of Biology and Biotechnology.
The research group at the Department of Chemistry has relevant expertise on bioprocess engineering (mainly anaerobic and aerobic wastewater treatment), polymer science, trace analytical chemistry and environmental remediation. The research group of Biology and Biotechnology has relevant expertise on plant biochemistry and biotechnologies, with a focus on the study of the structure and functions of plant cell walls. In the past five years, its research activity has been focused on finding biotechnological solutions to improve lignocellulosic biomass conversion.
Key persons involved
Prof Mauro Majone is a full professor in Chemical Engineering and the Head of the CIABC - Research Centre for Protection of Environment and Cultural Heritage. He will coordinate the RES URBIS project.
As also reportes in PC's profile in the Section 3.2.1, Prof. Majone has long experience in environmental and industrial biotechnologies, including treatment and valorization of both solid waste and wastewater and bioremediation of contaminates site. In particular, he was among pioneers in developing novel processes for the production of biodegradable polymers (polyhydroxyalkanoate, PHA) from renewable raw materials by using microbial mixed cultures. Also specifically relevant for RES URBIS, his expertise on acidogenic fermentation of waste and wastewater and on in situ remediation of chlorinated solvents in contaminated groundwater, based on the coupling of zerovalent iron with biodegradable polymers. His relevant expertise on RES URBIS topics is ensured by a record of more than 150 papers on intl journals with peer review, whose overall Impact Factor is more than 300 and that received more than 3500 citations (HI 35). He combines this scientific excellence with managerial skills. In fact, in the recent FP, he participated to 5 different projects (MINOTAURUS, ECOBIOCAP, WATER4CROPS, KILLSPILL and ROUTES), being WPleader for 2 of them and IPR responsible in another one. Moreover, he was coordinating several Italian “Research Projects of Relevant National Interest (PRIN). Last bu not least, Prof. Majone has almost 20-year experience as consultant of Public Administration, especially as member of Technical Board of the Italian Ministry of Environment (1999-2015). In this role, he gained strong experience in conducting working groups and driving meetings involving Regional and Local Authorities, Companies and Professionals. Moreover, he acquired deep knowledge of environmental regulation at National and European level and full awareness of how much an adequate consideration of all relevant aspects (technical, economic, social, environmental and regulatory) is the key-factor for successfull implementation of any innovation in the field of waste and wastewater management.
Dr Marianna Villano is an assistant professor in Chemical Engineering. Her research focuses on anaerobic processes for energy or chemicals production. She will be involved in Task 2.1 Acidogenic fermentation.
Dr. Anna Laura Capriotti is an assistant professor in Analytical Chemistry. She works on the development of new analytical methods for the determination of trace contaminants in both food and environmental matrices with chromatography/mass spectrometry. She will be involved in Task 3.1 focusing on migration of contaminants along the technology chain.
Dr. Giorgio Capuani is responsible the NMR analysis at the Dept of Chemistry, his main research is about metabolomics of biological systems. He will be involved in Task 2.2, focusing on data handling and multivariate analysis for optimal process control, and responsible of Task 6.2 (Project website).
Prof. Simone Ferrari, assistant professor, is an expert in plant physiology, biotechnology and biochemistry, with a major focus on the study of the biological functions of the plant cell wall. He will be involved in Task 2.1, on enzymic pretreatment of lignocellulosic fractions.
Dr. Patrizia Foglia has expertises in the determination of contaminants in both food and environmental matrices by chromatography/mass spectrometry. She is involved in the RES URBIS Management Support Team to assist the PC in the Project Management .
Prof. Andrea Martinelli is an associate professor in Macromolecule Science. He works on developing new advanced polymers and in the characterization of their thermal and mechanical behavior. He will be involved in Task 3.1 focusing on PHA characterization.
Dr. Cleofe Palocci is an assistant professor in Polymer Science. She works on the synthesis and characterization of biopolymers and the development of innovative technologies for biopolymers extraction. She will be involved in Task 2.4 PHA extraction, by using supercritical fluids, and Task 3.1 PHA characterization.
Prof. Marco Petrangeli Papini is an associate professor in Chemical Engineering. His main field of activity is about soil are groundwater remediation. He will be involved in Task 3.2, PHA use for environmental remediation.
Dr. Andrea Riccio is a member of Grant Office of Sapienza with main expertise on management of European Project. She will lead the RES URBIS Management Support Team to assist the PC in the Project Management and EU reporting.
Dr. Francesco Valentino is an assistant researcher in Industrial Chemistry. His research activity is mainly dedicated to biological processes for the production of PHA from renewable resources. He will be involved in Task 2.2 PHA production.