CHENERGY - Chemistry and Energy Technologies


The group focuses its research activities in the field of applied science (particularly, chemistry) for energy-related applications. The range of research activities spans from the fundamentals of energy and matter, their transformations, the development and characterisation of materials and prototypes in view of engineering-related applications, addressed both through experimental and modelling (multi-scale and system levels) activities. Leading research fields are focused on the development of energy storage (lithum and post-lithium batteries, hydrogen-storage materials) and conversion (next-generation photovoltaic and photoelectrochromic) devices, hydrogen and fuel cells, catalytic combustion, solar fuels, artificial and natural photosynthesis, advanced polymer nano-composites for intensified heat exchange. Particular emphasis is devoted to the development of sustainable materials, processes and components under the guidance of life-cycle-assessment studies.

Main targets

  • Development of innovative polymer electrolytes for new-generation (post-lithium) rechargeable batteries able to combine high performance (ionic conductivity at room temperature: 104 S cm1) with preparations processes being easily upscalable and with low environmental impact.
  • Synthesis (through conversion of organic wastes by food and/or paper industry) and optimization of electrode materials for Li- and/or Na-ion cells having lower cost, greater safety and performance at least equal to or higher than current graphite-based electrode materials (> 350 mAh g1, 500 cycles at 100 % DoD, C-rate > 2C).
  • Development of advanced materials and sustainable up-scalable assembly techniques to get record efficiency (>20%) lab-scale 3rd generation photovoltaic devices (perovskite- and/or dye-sensitized solar cells), able to efficiently operate for at least 1000 hours under real weathering outdoor conditions.
  • Development of nanosized cathode materials having specific energy of 900 Wh/kg (i.e., at least 180 Ah/kg and potential > 4.5 V vs. lithium), in order to achieve high energy density Li-ion batteries (>250 Wh/kg).
  • Development and characterization of electroactive materials for high-performance Li-ion batteries (> 270 Wh/kg and < 200 €/kWh).
  • Development and characterization of innovative
  • Development of magnetic nanocomposites for the concentration and detection of nucleic acids and proteins in both model solutions and complex matrices (e.g. blood)
  • Development of hybrid nanotubes and nanocatalytists for (photo)catalytic applications (example: removal of N-containing moieties from polluted water).
    materials to achieve 500 Wh/Kg stable LiS cell.
  • Obtaining structural information on the interaction of Photosystems II in thylakoid membranes of eukaryotes and biochemical-functional information on Photosystem II of unicellular organisms grown in photobioreactors in different conditions.
  • Obtaining thermally conductive nanocomposites by the inclusion of chemically functionalized graphene for the improvement of thermal contacts between nanoparticles
  • Obtaining graphene-based nanostructured coatings for flame protection of polymer composites and foams
  • Obtaining a thermal storage system based on advanced thermochemical storage materials



Research teams

Additional contents