Bologna, Italy



Membrane Characterisation - Bench-scale unit for characterization of polimeric membranes - Characterization in terms of permeability, permeance, diffusivity, selectivity

Laboratory of Membrane Processes, Bioseparations and Diffusion in Polymers (MEMLAB), section on membranes and packaging The MEMLAB is an Academic Facility based in the Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering of the University of Bologna. The Lab contains all the experimental devices required to analyze the properties of membrane materials and to test their separation and purification performances, as well as the CO2 capture capacity of solid materials (membranes and adsorbents). The laboratory equipment allows to assess completely the capture ability of novel and commercial materials used in the capture processes in both post combustion and precombustion schemes, in a wide range of operative conditions in terms of temperature, pressure and gas mixture composition. Most facilities are designed and setup over the past 20 years by the personnel of the Group, according to International Standards regulating the determination of fluid transport properties like Permeability, Solubility, Diffusivity and Selectivity. The MEMLAB is continuously updated with the most recent techniques and development and in the field.

Areas of research


State of the Art, uniqueness & specific advantages

The equipment available at UNIBO covers a wide range of operative conditions and can be used to characterize many different materials and processes. In particular, the lab can characterize polymeric, nanocomposite, ceramic and metallic membranes, as well as solid adsorbents, by means of a variety of apparatuses which cover a thermal range between room temperature and 600°C, pressures from sub-atmospheric up to 50 bar, and relative humidity from dry to saturated conditions. Besides conventional permeability and selectivity testing devices which adhere to the international standards, the instrumentation is complemented with morphological, chemical and structural characterization of the material though FTIR analysis, dilatometry, densitometry. Well-trained personnel with more than 20 years of experience in the field can assist in the preparation and execution of the measurements, as well as in the interpretation of the data and extrapolation of the results to different operative conditions, with appropriate modeling tools. Indeed, the group has developed its own proprietary software based on Classical Thermodynamics for the description of gas and vapors solubility and permeability in any kind of polymeric media, and it makes use of commercial tools such as Molecular Dynamics (Scienomics MAPS®), and CFD (finite volume method) to assess material properties in ranges not experimentally reachable.

Scientific Environment

Besides MEMLAB, the DICAM department encompasses a group of applied chemists and material scientists, who possess SEM instrumentation, DSC and TGA machines as well as DMTA or tensile tests and other instruments for assessment of the mechanical properties, that allow for a thorough characterization of many types of solid, dense and porous materials.

Operating by


Alma Mater Studiorum-Università di Bologna, DICAM Department
CAPTURE technologies:
Membranes, Sorbents
Research Fields:
Fluid dynamics, Chemistry/Geochemistry, Material science, Physical processes, Thermodynamics

Facility Availability

Availability per year (in UA)
Variable, based on calendared activities. Laboratory is typically closed for two weeks during the month of August and personnel is generally not available during Christmas Holidays.
Duration of a typical access (average) and number of external users expected for that access
One to five working days, typically

Quality Control / Quality Assurance (QA)

Activities / tests / data are:
Acredited To Standard: nd

Operational or other constraints

Specific risks:
Delay due to unforeseen circumstances; Inability to perform requested services due to the fact that the material sample to be characterized is not suitable for testing (e.g. too brittle ) Inability to perform the requested services due to safety issues (e.g. request to work with hazardous gases not included in the list of those accepted by the Department). Inability to perform the requested services due to unforeseeable fail of some equipment, or gas feeding lines, or safety devices.
Legal issues:
The following legal documents will be signed: Confidentiality; Breach of service contract; Indemnification.

CCUS Projects

EU-Funded CCUS Projects
NanoMaterials Enhanced Membranes for Carbon Capture (NanoMEMC2)
Other CCUS Projects
Purification of syngas with membranes Funded by Sotacarbo SpA Scientific responsible prof. De Angelis
Purification of Synthetic Natural Gas with membranes, funded by ENEA, scientific responsible prof. De Angelis
Separation of carbon dioxide from syngas with membrane , funded by CNR, scientific responsible prof. Doghieri


Alternating potential gas separation process with capacitive membranes, and relevant plant
Method of manufacturing a multi-layer material

Selected Publications

J. Membr. Sci. 2018, 555, 258 – 267 (2018)
Reducing ageing of thin PTMSP films by incorporating graphene and graphene oxide: Effect of thickness, gas type and temperature
Olivieri, L.; Meneguzzo, S.; Ligi, S.; Saccani, A.; Giorgini, L.; Orsini, A.; Pettinau, A.; De Angelis, M. G
RSC Advances 2018, 8, 3536 – 3546 (2018)
Effect of relative humidity on the gas transport properties of Zeolite A/PTMSP mixed matrix membranes
Fernandez-Barquın, A.; Rea, Riccardo; Venturi, D.; Giacinti- Baschetti, M.; De Angelis, M. G.; Clara, Casado-Coterillo; Irabien, A
ACS Appl. Mater. Interf. 2018, 10, 11242-11250 (2018)
Selective Gas Permeation in Graphene Oxide-Polymer Self-Assembled Multilayers
D. Pierleoni, M. Minelli, S. Ligi, M. Christian, S. Funke, N. Reineking, V. Morandi, F. Doghieri, V. Palermo
J. Membr. Sci. 2018, 548, 263-74 (2018)
Effect of humidity and nanocellulose content on Polyvinylamine-nanocellulose hybrid membranes for CO2 capture
Venturi, D.; Grupkovic, D.; Sisti, L.; Giacinti, Baschetti, M.
Polymers 2018, 10, 1-19 (2018)
Permeability and Selectivity of PPO/Graphene Composites as Mixed Matrix Membranes for CO2 Capture and Gas Separation
R. Rea, S. Ligi, M. Christian, V. Morandi, M. Giacinti Baschetti, M. G. De Angelis
J. Membr. Sci. 2018, 546, 128-138 (2018)
Evaluation of electrospun nanofibrous mats as materials for CO2 capture: A feasibility study on functionalized poly(acrylonitrile) (PAN)
Olivieri, L., Roso, M., De Angelis, M. G., Lorenzetti, A.