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Alberto FIGOLI


a.figoli@itm.cnr.it  -  alberto.figoli@cnr.it

Tel: +39 0984 492027

Institute on Membrane Technology (CNR-ITM) 
c/o University of Calabria 
Via P. Bucci cubo 17/C 
87030 Rende CS


Biographical Note

Alberto Figoli is serving as the Director of the Institute on Membrane Technology of the National Research Council of Italy, ITM-CNR since March 2019

Dr. Alberto Figoli obtained his PhD degree at Membrane Technology Group, Twente University (Enschede, The Netherlands) in 2001. He graduated in Food Science and Technology at the Agriculture University of Milan 1996. Since December 2001, he has a permanent position as Researcher at Institute on Membrane Technology  (CNR-ITM) in Rende (CS), Italy.

In May - December 1996, he had an International experience in an industrial research lab at Quest International Nederland B.V. (ICI), Process Research Group, Naarden (The Netherlands) on “Setting of a pilot plant for aromatic compounds extraction using the pervaporation (PV) membrane technology”.
He was granted for the “Short Term Mobility Programme” by CNR, in 2004 and 2005, at the “Environmental Protection Agency of United States (USEPA)”, Sustainable Technology Division, Cincinnati (USA) on “Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and aroma removal using a novel asymmetric membrane by pervaporation” within the “Short Term Mobility Programmes” funded CNR.

He is responsible and involved in various National and International projects. He is also responsible, within the CNR organisation, for two research lines on membrane preparation and characterisation and on pervaporation (PV) applications.
He is author of more than 170 research papers in peer reviewed journals and several book chapters; five books, three patents and many oral presentations (also as invited and keynote lecture) in National and International Conferences and Workshops.

Research Interests

  • Alberto Figoli is expert in the field of membrane technology, particularly in membrane fabrication and characterisation and their application in environmental filed.
  • He is working on the fabrication and characterisation of polymeric membranes, both in flat and hollow-fiber configurations for water treatment. The latest research is devoted in the development on membranes in a more sustainable way by using less toxic and greener solvents as well as bio-polymeric membranes. Coating using innovative functionalised monomers are also produced for improving the membrane properties. Furthermore, he is also involved on polymeric capsules preparation by membrane processes and membrane emulsification which aim to tailor their morphology to the release of the species of interest for food packaging, chemical and pharmaceutical application.
  • He is also working on pervaporation (PV) applied to the removal of contaminants (i.e. VOCs) from water, Organic/Organic separations and aroma recovery from natural matrices.
The research has been carried out within several international projects, such as VICINAQUA (Integrated aquaculture based on sustainable water recirculating system for the Victoria), BioNexGen (Development of the next generation bioreactor system), WATERBIOTECH (Biotechnology for Africa’s sustainable water supply), NAWADES (Nanotechnological Application in Water Desalination), ILMC (Preparation of ionic liquid microcapsule membranes loaded and their application in NMVOCs removal), INNOWA (Innovative Water Treatment), Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window “EURINDIA”, tutor of doctoral research in Chemical Engineerinf and Materials and Chemistry, in collaboration with Faculty Unical; National Projects, such as AsSE (SEparazione dell'ArSenico dalle acque mediante processi a membrana), TARANTO (Tecnologie e processi per l’Abbattimento di inquinanti e la bonifica di siti contaminati con Recupero di mAterie prime e produzioNe di energia TOtally green) and Projects with Companies

Main Research-Areas

  • Polymeric Membranes Fabrication by using less toxic and green solvents
  • Bio-Polymeric Membranes Fabrication
  • Phase Inversion Techniques (VIPS and NIPS and TIPS) for membrane Fabrication
  • Membrane Characterisation
  • Capsules production by membrane emulsification techniques
  • Mixed matrix membranes and Ionic liquid membranes
  • Pervaporation (PV) membrane preparation and application

Responsability for Research Projects

  • 2016 – 2019: Scientific Responsible for ITM of the HORIZON2020 EU project, VICINAQUA (Integrated aquaculture based on sustainable water recirculating system for the Victoria Lake Basin), Funding Board: European Commission, www.vicinaqua.eu
  • 2018 - 2021: Scientific Responsible for ITM of the National Project PON, TARANTO (Tecnologie e processi per l’Abbattimento di inquinanti e la bonifica di siti contaminati con Recupero di mAterie prime e produzioNe di energia TOtally green), Funding Board: PON 2014-2020 Ricerca e Innovazione, www.taranto.cnr.it
  • 2017 – 2019: Scientific Project Responsible of the Regional Project POR, AsSE (SEparazione dell’ArSenico dalle acque mediante processi a membrana), Funding Board: POR CALABRIA FESR-FSE2014-2020, www.progettoasse.it
  • 2010-2014: Scientific Responsible for ITM of the FP7 EU project, BioNexGen (Development of the next generation bioreactor system), Funding Board: European Commission, www.bionexgen.eu
  • 2013-2014: Scientific Responsible of Industrial project “Hydrophobic flat sheet membrane preparation and evaluation for nanofiltration and pervaporation applications”, Funding Board: Private Italian industry.
  • 2012-2014: Scientific Responsible for ITM of the FP7 EU project, WATERBIOTECH (Biotechnology for Africa’s sustainable water supply) , Funding Board: European Commission, www.waterbiotech.eu
  • 2010-2012: Coordinator and Scientific Responsible of Marie Curie Fellowship-IFF, ILMC “Preparation of ionic liquid microcapsule membranes loaded and their application in NMVOCs removal. Funding Board: European Commission


  • Figoli, F. Galiano, G. Barbieri, A. Brunetti, L. Giorno, B. Gabriele, R. Mancuso, C. S. Pomelli, C. Chiappe, Y. Itami, Membrane contenenti liquidi ionici polimerizzati per l’uso nella separazione di gas, Domanda numero: 102018000003374, filed on 08/03/2018
  • A. Figoli, J. Hoinkis, B. Gabriele, G. De Luca, F. Galiano, S. Deowan, Bicontinuous Microemulsion Polymerized Coating for Water Treatment, EP-3049178 (A2), Priority date: 27/09/2013; filling date: 26/09/2014.
  • S. K. Sikdar, J. O. Burkle, B.K. Dutta, A. Figoli, E. Drioli, Method for fabrication of elastomeric asymmetric membranes from hydrophobic polymers, US8518263 (B2), Priority date: 14/11/2006; Publication info: 27/08/2013

Selected Publications

Sustainable Membrane Fabrication (Non-Toxic Solvent and Bio-polymer)

T. Marino, F. Galiano, A. Molino, A. Figoli, New frontiers in sustainable membrane preparation: Cyrene™ as green bioderived solvent, Journal of Membrane Science, 580 (2019) 224-234

F. Galiano, K. Briceno, T. Marino, A. Molino, K.V. Christensen, A. Figoli, Advances in biopolymer-based membrane preparation and application, J. Membrane Science, 564 (2018) 562-586

T. Marino, E. Blasi, S. Tornaghi, E. Di Nicolò, A. Figoli, Polyethersulfone membranes prepared with Rhodiasolv®Polarclean as water soluble green solvent, Journal of Membrane Science, 549 (2018) 192–204

F. Galiano, A.H. Ghanim, K.T. Rashid, T. Marino, S. Simone, Q.F. Alsalhy, A. Figoli, Preparation and characterization of green polylactic acid (PLA) membranes for organic/organic separation by pervaporation, Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy 21 (1) (2019) 109-120

T. Marino, F. Galiano, S. Simone, A. Figoli, DMSO EVOL™ as novel non-toxic solvent for polyethersulfone membrane preparation, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, (2018) 1-12

C. Ursino, S. Simone, L. Donato, S. Santoro, M.P. De Santo, E. Drioli, E. Di Nicolo, A. Figoli, ECTFE membranes produced by non-toxic diluents for organic solvent filtration separation, RSC advances, (2016) 81001-81012

T. Marino, R. Russo, A. Criscuoli, A. Figoli, “TamiSolve® NxG as novel solvent for polymeric membrane preparation”, Journal of Membrane Science, 542 (2017) 418-429.

S-I Sawada, C. Ursino, F. Galiano, S. Simone, E. Drioli, A. Figoli, Effect of citrate-based non-toxic solvents on poly(vinylidene fluoride) membrane preparation via thermally induced phase separation, Journal of Membrane Science, 493 (2015) 232-242

A. Figoli, T. Marino, S. Simone, E. Di Nicolò, X.-M. Li, T. He, S. Tornaghi, E. Drioli, Towards Non-Toxic Solvents for Membrane Preparation: a Review, Green Chemistry, 16 (2014) 4034

Coating Membrane Application

C. Ursino, E. Di Nicolò, B. Gabriele, A. Criscuoli, A. Figoli, Development of a novel perfluoropolyether (PFPE) hydrophobic/hydrophilic coated membranes for water treatment, Journal of Membrane Science, 581 (2019) 58-71

F. Galiano, I. Friha, S. A. Deowan, J. Hoinkis, Y. Xiaoyun, D. Johnson, R. Mancuso, N. Hilal, B. Gabriele, S. Sayadi, A. Figoli, Novel low-fouling membranes from lab to pilot application in textile wastewater treatment, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 515 (2018) 208–220

F. Galiano, S. A. Schmidt, X. Ye, R. Kumar, A. Figoli, UV-LED induced bicontinuous microemulsions polymerisation for surface modification of commercial membranes – Enhancing the antifouling properties, Separation and Purification Technology, 194 (2018) 49-160

A.Figoli, C. Ursino, F. Galiano, E. DiNicolò, P. Campanelli, M.C. Carnevale, A. Criscuoli, Innovative hydrophobic coating of perfluoropolyether (PFPE) on commercial hydrophilic membranes for DCMD application, Journal of Membrane Science, 522 (2017) 192–201

A. Deowan, F. Galiano, J. Hoinkis, D. Johnson, S.A. Altinkaya B. Gabriele, N. Hilal, E. Drioli, A. Figoli, Novel low-fouling membrane bioreactor (MBR) for industrial wastewater treatment, Journal of Membrane Science, 510 (2016) 524-532

F. Galiano, A. Figoli, S. A. Deowan, D. Johnson, S. A. Altinkaya, L. Veltri, G. De Luca, R. Mancuso, N. Hilal, B. Gabriele, J. Hoinkis, A step forward to a more efficient wastewater treatment by membrane surface modification via polymerizable bicontinuous microemulsion, Journal of membrane science, 482 (2015) 103-114


R. Castro-Muñoz, J. Buera-González, Ó. de la Iglesia, F. Galiano, V. Fíla, M. Malankowska, C. Rubio, A. Figoli, C. Téllez, J. Coronas, Towards the dehydration of ethanol using pervaporation cross-linked poly(vinyl alcohol)/graphene oxide membranes, Journal of membrane science 582 (2019) 423-434

Wenqi Li, F. Galiano, J. Estager, J.-C. M. Monbaliud, D. P. Debecker, A. Figoli, Patricia Luis, Sorption and pervaporation study of methanol/dimethyl carbonate mixture with poly(etheretherketone) (PEEK-WC) membrane, Journal of membrane science, 567 (2018) 303-310

R. Castro-Munoz, F. Galiano, V. Fila, E. Drioli, A. Figoli, Matrimid®5218 dense membrane for the separation of azeotropic MeOH/MTBE mixtures by pervaporation, Separation Purification Technology, 199 (2018) 27-36

S. Santoro, F. Galiano, J. C. Jansen, A. Figoli, Strategy for scale-up of SBS pervaporation membranes for ethanol recovery from diluted aqueous solutions, Separation and Purification Technology, 176 (2017) 252–261

F. Falbo, S. Santoro, F. Galiano, S. Simone, M. Davoli, E. Drioli, A. Figoli, Organic/organic mixture separation by using novel ECTFE polymeric pervaporation membranes, Polymer, 98 (2016) 110-117

S. Zereshki, A.Figoli, S.S. Madaeni, F.Galiano, E.Drioli, Pervaporation separation of ethanol/ETBE mixture using poly(lactic acid)/poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) blend membranes, , Journal of membrane science, 373(2011) 29-35


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Istituto per la Tecnologia delle Membrane CNR-ITM
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