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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

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  (ITM-CNR) in Rende (CS), Italy.

He also had international experience in industrial research labs:  about 1 year (1996) 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”; Secondment in 2010 and 2011 at GVS, SpA, Bologna, within the EU project “Implementation of Membrane Technology to Industry” (IMETI) on “Preparation and Characterisation of hybrid membranes  for VOCs removal”.

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” nell’ambito dello “Short Term Mobility Programme” 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 60 research papers in peer reviewed journals, several book chapters, a book, two patents and many oral presentations (also as invited lecture) in National and International Conferences and Workshops.

Research Interests

  • Alberto Figoli is expert in the field of membrane technology, particularly in membrane preparation and characterisation and their application in environmental filed.

  • He is working on the preparation and characterisation of polymeric membranes, both in flat and hollow-fiber configurations for water treatment. Furthermore, he is also involved on polymeric capsules preparation by membrane process which aim to tailor their morphology to the release of the species of interest for food packaging, chemical, pharmaceutical application.

  • He is also working on pervaporation applied to the removal of contaminants (i.e. VOCs) from water and aroma recovery from natural matrices.

  • The research has been carried out within several international projects, such as 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.

Main Research-Areas

  • Polymeric Membrane Preparation by Phase Inversion Techniques (NIPS and TIPS)
  • Membrane Characterisation
  • Capsules production by membrane techniques
  • Mixed matrix membranes and Ionic liquid membranes
  • Pervaporation membrane preparation and application
Responsability for Research Projects

  • 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
  • 2012-2013 : Scientific responsible of Confidential Industrial project  “Development of Porous membranes”. Funding Board: Private Italian industry
  • 2011-2012: Scientific responsible of Confidential industrial project “Hydrophobic flat sheet membrane preparation and evaluation for membrane contactors and pervaporation applications”, Funding Board: Private Italian industry.
  • 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


Work selected by CNR for CNR Highlights (Rome) for the years 2011 and 2012:

A. Figoli et al. Influence of operating parameters on the arsenic removal by nanofiltration, Water Research, 44 (2010) 97-104.


  • A. Figoli, J. Hoinkis, B. Gabriele, G. De Luca, F. Galiano, S. Deowan, Bicontinuous Microemulsion Polymerized Coating for Water Treatment, IT GE2013A000096, filed on 27/09/2013
  • S. K. Sikdar, J. O. Burkle, B.K. Dutta, A. Figoli, E. Drioli, Method for fabrication of elastomeric asymmetric membranes from hydrophobic polymers, US 11/598,840 (2008)

Selected Publications

Hollow-fiber polymeric membranes

E. Drioli, A. Ali, S. Simone, F. Macedonio, S.A. AL-Jlil, F.S. Al Shabonah, H.S. Al-Romaih, O. Al-Harbi, A. Figoli, A. Criscuoli, Novel PVDF hollow fiber membranes for vacuum and direct contact membrane distillation applications, Separation and Purification Technology, 115 (2013) 27-38

J. Song, X.-M. Li, A. Figoli, H. Huang, C. Pan, T. He, B. Jiang, Composite hollow fiber nanofiltration membranes for recovery of glyphosate from saline wastewater,Water Research, 47(2013) 2065-2074

S. Simone, A. Figoli, A. Criscuoli, M.C. Carnevale, A. Rosselli, E. Drioli, Preparation of hollow fibre membranes from PVDF/PVP blends and their application in VMD,Journal of  Membrane Science, 364 (2010) 219–232

Flat polymeric membranes

C. R. Mason, Maria G. Buonomenna, G. Golemme, P.M. Budd, F. Galiano, A. Figoli, K. Friess, V. Hynek, New organophilic mixed matrix membranes derived from a polymer of intrinsic microporosity and silicalite-1, Polymer, 54 (2013) 2222-2230

S. Simone, A. Figoli, S. Santoro, F. Galiano, S.M. Alfadul, Omar A. Al-Harbi, E. Drioli, Preparation and characterization of ECTFE solvent resistant membranes and their application in pervaporation of toluene/water mixtures, Separation and Purification Technology, 90 (2012) 147-161

A. Brunetti, S. Simone, F. Scura, G. Barbieri, A. Figoli, E. Drioli, Hydrogen mixture separation with PEEK-WC asymmetric membranes, Separation and Purification Technology, 69 (2009) 195-204

Encapsulation by Membrane Techniques

E. Piacentini, D. Shanthana Lakshmi, A. Figoli, E. Drioli, L. Giorno , Polymeric microspheres preparation by membrane emulsification-phase separation induced process,

Journal of Membrane Science 448 (2013) 190-197

R.B. Gujar, D. Shanthana Lakshmi, A. Figoli, P.K. Mohapatra, Polymeric beads containing Cyanex 923 for actinide uptake from nitric acid medium: Studies with uranium and plutonium, Journal of Chromatography A, 1305 (2013) 48-54

D. Shanthana Lakshmi, A. Figoli, G. Fiorani, M. Carraro, L. Giorno, E. Drioli, Preparation and characterization of ionic liquid polymer microspheres [PEEKWC/DMF/CYPHOS IL 101] using the phase-inversion technique, Separation and Purification Technology, 97 (3) (2012) 179-185

M.G. Buonomenna, A. Figoli, I. Spezzano, M. Davoli, E. Drioli, New PVDF micro-capsules for application in catalysis, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 80 (2008) 185-194                             

A. Figoli, G. De Luca, E. Longavita, E. Drioli, PEEKWC Capsules Prepared by Phase Inversion Technique: A Morphological and Dimensional Study, Separation Science and Technology, 42 (2007) 2809-2827


A. Dobrak, A. Figoli, S. Chovau, F. Galiano, S. Simone, I.F.J. Vankelecom, E. Drioli, B. Van der Bruggen, Performance of PDMS membranes in pervaporation: Effect of silicalite fillers and comparison with SBS membranes, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 346 (2010) 254-264

S. Zereshki, A. Figoli, S.S. Madaeni, S., Simone, M. Esmailinezhad, Drioli, E. (2010), “Pervaporation Separation of MeOH/MTBE Mixtures with Modified PEEK Membrane: Effect of Operating Conditions” Journal of Membrane Science 371 (2011) 1–9

S. Zereshki, A. Figoli, S.S. Madaeni, S. Simone, J.C. Jansen, M. Esmailinezhad, E. Drioli (2010), “Poly(lactic acid)/poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) blend membranes: Effect of membrane composition on pervaporation separation of ethanol/cyclohexane mixture”, Journal of Membrane Science, 362 (2010) 105-112

Water Treatment

P. Mondal, S. Bhowmick, D. Chatterjee, A.Figoli, B. Bruggen, Remediation of inorganic arsenic in groundwater for safe water supply: A critical assessment of technological solutions, Chemosphere, 92 (2013)157-170

A. Mirmohseni, M.S. Seyed Dorraji, A. Figoli, F. Tasselli, Chitosan hollow fibers as effective biosorbent toward dye: Preparation and modelling, Bioresource Technology, 121 (2012) 212-220

A. Figoli, A. Cassano, A. Criscuoli, M. S. Mozumder, M. T. Uddin, M. A. Islam, E, Drioli, Influence of operating parameters on the arsenic removal by nanofiltration, Water Research, 44 (2010) 97-104

Istituto per la Tecnologia delle Membrane CNR-ITM
Via P. Bucci cubo 17/C c/o Università della Calabria
87036 Rende (CS)   Phone: +39 0984 492027
E-mail: itm@pec.cnr.it

Codice Fiscale 80054330586  -  Partita IVA 02118311006 
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