Prof. Maria Giovanna Buonomenna
Prof. Maria Giovanna Buonomenna
Consiglio Nazionale dei Chimici (CNC), Italy
Title: Advances in nanotechnology integrated with membrane science

Membranes are key components in large-scale energy efficient separation and purification systems[1]. Separating molecules according to their molecular properties such as chemical affinity or molecular size to afford molecular-scale separations without requiring changes from one phase to another (i.e. non-thermal separation) such as membrane separations can be an order of magnitude more energy efficient than heat-driven separations that use distillation [2]. The nanotechnology driving force (“there’s plenty of room at the bottom” [3]) and its progress opened the door to a rich area of materials science for separations in which the chemical nature and morphology of the membrane can be engineered to improve the energy efficiency of separation processes. Developing thin, molecular selective membranes, which work at the high temperatures needed to keep heavy oils flowing without becoming blocked by contaminants in the separation of hydrocarbons from crude oil or membranes that are more productive and resistant to fouling in desalination will be some of the key points discussed in this presentation. 


[1] W.J. Koros& R.P. Lively, Water and Beyond: Expanding the Spectrum of Large-Scale Energy Efficient Separation Processes, AICHE J. 58 (2012) 2624. 

[2] D.S. Sholl& R.P. Lively, Seven chemical separations to change the world, Nature 532 (2016) 435. 

[3] “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” is the title of a talk by physicist Richard Feynman,the father of nanotechnology, at an American Physical Society meeting at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) on December 29, 1959.

M. G.Buonomenna (Salerno, 1975) Graduatedin Chemistry in1998 (110/110), was awarded a Research Fellowship inMembrane Materials and Operations in 1999 from the Institute on Membraneand Technology (ITM) (former IRMERC)-National ResearchCouncil of Italy (CNR) and a PhD inChemicalEngineering and Materials in 2005 from the University of Calabria. In 2014 she obtained the qualification of Associate Professor in ChemicalFundamentals of Technologiesfrom theItalian Ministry for Instruction, University andResearch (MIUR). Her research activities relate to membrane science and technology for sustainable processes. She is author of more than 60 scientific papersin peer-reviewedinternational journals, more than 90contributions published in conferences proceedings,8 chapters ofscientific books, editor of 1bookon advancedmembrane materials, guest-editor of 8 Special Issues in peer-reviewedinternationaljournals, and member of the Editorial Boards for anumber of international peer reviewed journals. She has been an Invited Speaker in numerous international conferences. She serves as reviewer for several international scientific journalsincluding Energy andEnvironmental Science, Journal of Membrane Science, Chemical Communications, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials,Polymer and as Expert Evaluator for international Research Funding Agencies.