Università degli Studi di Palermo (UniPa)

The UniPa Research Group at the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Chimica, Gestionale, Informatica, Meccanica of Università degli studi di Palermo (Italy) has a strong track record in the fields of water technology and Desalination, nonconventional energy sources, electro-membrane processes and process integration, with focus on experimental analysis, process and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling and prototyping activities.
The high level of research carried out and the number of international cooperation activities have allowed the group to gain significant academic achievements, such as the invitation to edit two books on Desalination and Renewable Energies (titled “Solar Desalination for the 21st century”, 2007, and Seawater Desalination – Conventional and renewable energy processes, 2009, both published by Springer-Verlag), a book on Salinity Gradient Power technologies (titled “Sustainable energy from salinity gradients”, 2016, Elsevier, Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy), a number of invited speeches on desalination and salinity gradients power technologies, and eventually also to the award of the IChemE Senior Moulton Medal 2013 for the paper “Development of a Membrane Distillation module for solar energy seawater desalination” published in the journal Chemical Engineering Research and Design in 2012.
The research so far carried out has largely benefitted from a number of international research projects and collaborations. The UniPa research unit participated in the past to the EU-funded MEDIRAS, PRODES and REAPower projects, and presently is working in the EU-H2020 RED-Heat-to-Power project. In all of them, UniPa has contributed with modelling activities, laboratory investigations, process & plant design, prototype installation and monitoring activities. In particular, in the REAPower project UniPa has led the activities for the development of a 1kW salinity gradient power prototype based on the Reverse Electro Dialysis technology, being actually the first and unique prototype in the world successfully operating with highly concentrated brines and brackish waters as feed solutions at the Trapani saltworks site (Sicily, Italy).