Description of the organisation
The Institute on Membrane Technology (CNR-ITM) is a structure created by the Italian National Research Council (CNR - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche) for the development, at a national and international level, of membrane science and technology.
ITM is headquartered in Rende (CS), on the campus of the University of Calabria, and has a subsection in Padua. The Institute grew out to be one of the leading European laboratories in all aspects of membrane research. It is a multidisciplinary institute based on backgrounds in chemical engineering, process engineering, chemistry, biological science, food science, materials science and physics.
The Institute has 28 units of permanent staff and about 40 temporary units. ITM-CNR was a consortium partner in the EC funded project INNOWA, together with the HSKA.
The main research activities, which are relevant for the project, are:
- Synthesis of new artificial membranes
- Study of their transport properties
- Membrane operations for brackish and seawater desalination
- Membrane distillation and membrane contactors
- Catalytic materials and membranes
- Membrane biocatalytic reactors for chemio-, regio and stereoselective production of fine chemicals
- Prototype development and technological transfer of advanced membrane operations.
Contribution to the project
With its long experience in membrane technology, membrane preparation and characterisation, CNR-ITM will take the lead of preparing the "loose" nanostructured membranes as well as the incorporation of CNTs and antimicrobial agents into these membranes (WP3). CNR-ITM has also long-time experience in computational chemistry and will therefore (in a previous step) theoretically model structures-properties relationships for optimisation CNTs and antimicrobial agents in the nanostructured films (WP2).
Furthermore, there is an expertise in preparation of antimicrobial POMs at CNR-ITM that will be synthetised and modified together with nanoparticles (in collaboration with the Izmir institute of Technology) in order to produce highly antimicrobial structures that will be incorporated in the newly developed BioNexGen membranes. In WP1, CNR-ITM will, due to its long-time experience in membrane technology, support HSKA in the evaluation and definition of membrane modules and materials.