The Water Research Institute (IRSA) is part of the Italian National Research Council (CNR). IRSA was established in 1968 as a scientific institution aimed at providing the National Parliament, the Governmental Administrations, as well as water-management agencies and national industries, with the know-how necessary for rational utilization and protection of Italian water resources.
The Institute has three departments located in Montelibretti-(Rome (central Italy), Bari (southern Italy) and Brugherio (northern Italy). Research programs are designed to provide decision-making methods and tools for the management of surface and groundwater resources, for the assessment of water quality, and for the improvement of water and wastewater treatment technologies. In the last 40 years IRSA has performed basic and applied research activities on process technologies, including the development of new processes and methodologies, pilot and full-scale plant design, cost evaluation and dissemination of results.
Recovery of resources and disposal of waste are the two important sectors always taken into consideration for wastewater sludge or organic waste in general. In detail, the following priority list should be respected: prevention, re-use, recycling, recovery (of energy and/or chemicals), by leaving as only last option the disposal. The research activity should be therefore addressed to reliable and cost-effective techniques for recovering both material and energy from wastes. IRSA is engaged in several activities whose aims consist into efficient conversion of organic waste materials into biofuel or biomaterial by using chemical, biological and chemo-biological processes.
IRSA also plays a key role into the most important European Water platforms (WssTP, EurAqua, etc.) being an active member of them. The Institute has participated and coordinated several EU funded projects in FP5, FP6, and FP7 including AquaStress, Striver, Innowatech, Reclaim Water, Climate Water, Mirage, NeWater, Meddman, Mediwat, Perbiof, Routes, Water4Crops and many others. In the last 5 years the average turnover of IRSA has been close to 3.5 Million of euro.
Key persons involved
Dr. Carlo Pastore is a researcher of the National Council of Italian Research, CNR, Water Research Institute since 2011. After being graduated in Chemistry in 2001 cum laude, he obtained his PhD in Chemical and Enzymatic Applied Synthesis in 2005. He started to focus his research on the valorization of natural biomasses since 2008 (as researcher in Mythen SpA), when alternatives approaches of biodiesel synthesis were investigated from waste-oils: micro-reactors, column distillation and molecular distillation for continuous processes were used and developed. Then, from 2010, he was employed as expert researcher, for the study of ligno-cellulosic waste valorization at the University of Bari in Valbior project through which a network of laboratories was created in order to develop new technologies for the valorisation of residual Apulian biomasses and Eurobioref activities (European Union 7th Framework Programme (FP 7/2007-2013) under Grant agreement n. 241718). Nowadays, he is directly involved into National projects of research in the field of valorization of “OFMSW” through thermo-chemical conversion for obtaining fine chemicals and/or liquid biofuel. Referee of several scientific journals and of Italian Ministry of University for the evaluation of research projects, Dr. Pastore is co-author of 44 ISI journal publications. Number of citations: more than 900. H-index: 17 (Scopus).
Dr. Simona Rossetti is a senior researcher at Water Research Institute of the National Research Council (IRSA-CNR); PhD in Sanitary and Environmental Engineering. The research activity has been mainly carried out within six National Projects and 9 European Projects dealing with applied and environmental microbiology; environmental biotechnology for water and wastewater treatment; development and application of molecular methods for in situ identification and physiological/kinetic characterization of microbial key-players in mixed microbial communities. She is the author of more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and main author or co-author of more than 100 other works including book chapters, proceedings papers to scientific conferences and other papers. More than 2000 citations, H-index: 27 (Scopus).