Alessio Fuoco

Alessio Fuoco
Institute on Membrane Technology (ITM-CNR)

PhD Erasmus Mundus Doctorate in Membrane Engineering

About

54
Publications
10,010
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Introduction
Alessio Fuoco is a researcher in membrane science and engineering with a MSc (cum Laude) in Material Science at the University of Calabria and a Ph.D. “Erasmus Mundus Doctorate in Membrane Engineering (EUDIME)” at University Paul Sabatier (France), University of Calabria (Italy) and University of Twente (The Netherlands). Currently he is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute on Membrane Technology involved in a confidential strategic industrial project.
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - January 2015
University of Twente
Position
  • EUDIME Ph.D candidate
Description
  • My research focused on the membranes characterization by several techniques such as: Zeta Potential, Water Sorption uptake, Differential Scanning Calorimetry, Thermogravimetric analysis, Atomic Force Microscope, Contact Angle.
November 2011 - January 2015
Università della Calabria
Position
  • EUDIME Ph.D candidate
Description
  • Quantum Mechanics and/or Molecular Mechanics theories were applied on the polymeric systems in order to evaluate their properties at molecular scale.
November 2011 - January 2015
Paul Sabatier University - Toulouse III
Position
  • EUDIME Ph.D candidate
Description
  • The objective of my thesis was to study the interactions between a polymeric material (membrane) and an electrolyte solution containing organic solutes bu Experimental and ab initio computational approaches.
Education
January 2014 - January 2015
University of Twente
Field of study
  • Membrane
November 2011 - January 2015
Università della Calabria
Field of study
  • Membranes
November 2011 - January 2015

Publications

Publications (54)
Chapter
This chapter discusses the application of hollow fiber (HF) membranes in the field of gas separation. HF allow to minimize energy cost, equipment size, waste production, and, in some cases, to convert by-products into new products with innovative value in the light of an increasingly necessary circular economy. Their main applications in gas separa...
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In this work, innovative graphene oxide–doped waterproofing bituminous membranes, also called roof bituminous membranes, were prepared and characterized in terms of physicochemical and vapor transport properties. The results showed that the introduction of a small amount of GO increased the mechanical resistance of the doped membranes compared to t...
Article
The gas and organic vapour permeation of integrally skinned asymmetric poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) hollow fibre membranes with an effective skin thickness of ca. 0.2 μm was studied. Methanol, dichloromethane and acetone showed fundamentally different behaviour related to their interaction with the polymer phase. Strong plasticization by aceton...
Article
The rapid advancement of membrane gas separation processes has spurred the development of new and more efficient membrane materials, including polymers of intrinsic microporosity. The full exploitation of such materials requires thorough understanding of their transport properties, which in turn necessitates the use of powerful and reliable charact...
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Gas separation is of significant importance for many industrial processes including chemical purification, carbon capture, and fuel production [...]
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Membrane-based processes are taking a more and more prominent position in the search for sustainable and energy-efficient gas separation applications. It is known that the separation performance of pure polymers may significantly be improved by the dispersion of suitable filler materials in the polymer matrix, to produce so-called mixed matrix memb...
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Polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs), such as the archetypal spirobisindane‐based PIM‐1, are among the most promising new materials for making gas separation membranes with high permeance for potential use in high‐throughput applications. Here it is shown that ultrapermeable PIMs can be prepared by fusing rigid and bulky triptycene (Trip) to...
Article
Membrane separation technology is rapidly emerging as an alternative to traditional gas separation processes, and increasingly challenging separations require a constant search for new and better-performing materials. This paper reports the gas separation performance of a poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) membrane blended with 53 wt% of the ionic liquid 1...
Article
In the last decades, many novel polymeric materials have been considered to prepare highly energy-efficient gas separation membranes. There is a continuous search to overcome the trade-off relationship between the gas permeability and selectivity to improve the membrane separation performance during long-term operation. One of the most important re...
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Porous liquids form a new class of materials, which are liquid at room temperature and possess permanent porosity. The latter is a characteristic generally associated with solid-state only. Since the idea of porous liquid was exploited over a decade ago, the researchers see an opportunity of solving the solid material’s limitation in gas capture an...
Article
This study reports on the gas transport properties of four different grades of PolyActive™ polyether-co-polyester multi-block copolymer membranes containing different concentrations (4.8, 9.1, 16.7, 23.1 and 28.6 wt%) of the low-viscous CO2-philic ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide ([BMIM][Tf2N]). Single gas...
Article
A series of nine polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs) derived from different bis-catechol monomers and 2,3,7,8-tetrafluoro-5,5’,10,10’-tetraoxidethianthrene (TOT) were synthesised and tested for their potential use as gas separation membranes. As powders, they demonstrate significant nitrogen adsorption at 77 K allowing apparent BET surface a...
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Global warming by greenhouse gas emissions is one of the main threats of our modern society, and efficient CO 2 capture processes are needed to solve this problem. Membrane separation processes have been identified among the most promising technologies for CO 2 capture, and these require the development of highly efficient membrane materials which,...
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Poly(ionic liquid)s are an innovative class of materials with promising properties in gas separation processes that can be used to boost the neat polymer performances. Nevertheless, some of their properties such as stability and mechanical strength have to be improved to render them suitable as materials for industrial applications. This work explo...
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A poly(ionic-liquid) (PIL) matrix can be altered by incorporating additives that will disrupt the polymer chain packing, such as an ionic liquid (IL) and inorganic salts to boost their exploitation as materials for membrane production to be used in CO2 capture. Herein, potential of PIL/IL/salt blends is investigated on the example of poly(diallyldi...
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Computational modelling and simulation form a consolidated branch in the multidisciplinary field of membrane science and technology [...]
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The last decade has seen an exponential increase in the number of studies focused on novel applications for ionic liquids (ILs). Blends of polymers with ILs have been proposed for use in fuel cells, batteries, gas separation membranes, packaging, etc., each requiring a set of specific physico-chemical properties. In this work, blends of four grades...
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The most widely used method to measure the transport properties of dense polymeric membranes is the time lag method in a constant volume/pressure increase instrument. Although simple and quick, this method provides only relatively superficial, averaged data of the permeability, diffusivity, and solubility of gas or vapor species in the membrane. Th...
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A detailed comparison of the gas permeability of four Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity containing Tröger’s base (TB-PIMs) is reported. In particular, we present the results of a systematic study of the differences between four related polymers, highlighting the importance of the role of methyl groups positioned at the bridgehead of ethanoanthrac...
Article
The optimal design of a membrane gas separation process requires minimizing several objective functions subject to nonlinear relationships among the optimizing variables. This article describes a novel software product, named Optimal Membrane-Process Design (OMPD), for the optimal design of membrane gas separation processes. The product generates s...
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Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) are seen as promising candidates to overcome the fundamental limit of polymeric membranes, known as the so-called Robeson upper bound, which defines the best compromise between permeability and selectivity of neat polymeric membranes. To overcome this limit, the permeability of the filler particles in the MMM must be c...
Article
The relationship, during physical aging, between the transport properties and Young’s modulus for films of polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIM) was investigated using pure gas permeability and atomic force microscopy (AFM) in force spectroscopy mode. Excellent agreement of Young’s modulus measured for the archetypal PIM-1 with values obtained...
Article
This paper reports on the preparation and testing of blend membranes based on polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium dicyanamide ([EMIM][DCA]) ionic liquid (IL) for effective CO2/H2 gas separation. Stable membranes with 9, 14, 24, 42 and 53wt% of IL were prepared via the solution casting procedure. Structural analysis (XRD, Raman,...
Article
This manuscript describes the gas separation performance of PIM-2, a partially fluorinated linear copolymer synthesized from 5,5′,6,6′-tetrahydroxy-3,3,3′,3′-tetramethylspirobisindane (TTSBI) and decafluorobiphenyl (DFBP). As one of the early members of the family of polymers of intrinsic microporosity, it had never been tested as a gas separation...
Article
The potential of Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity (PIMs) for gas separation membranes is usually expressed in terms of their high permeability, which is ascribed to their large interconnected, fractional free volume elements. Here an individual analysis of the diffusivity and solubility for a set of light gases (H2, He, CH4, N2, O2 and CO2) demo...
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Understand/visualize the established interactions between gases and adsorbents is mandatory to implement better per-formant materials in adsorption/separation processes. Here we report the unique behavior of a rare example of a hemila-bile chiral three-dimensional metal-organic framework (MOF) with an unprecedented qtz-e-type topology, with formula...
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The presence of a certain degree of porosity in polymers is a feature that provides them with unique properties and with opportunities to be exploited in a number of technologically important applications [...]
Article
In this paper we have focused on the surface treatment and activation of membranes (73 AC and 82 V) with plasma discharge, and on the determination of their physicochemical properties. The surface morphology, wettability, zeta potential of pristine and plasma-treated membranes were tested and compared. Our study is focused on how plasma treatment m...
Article
This work presents a case study on the first large-scale industrial biogas upgrading process with simultaneous purification of methane and CO2 in one of Europe’s largest biogas production and purification plants in Northern Italy. A preliminary study was performed on a pilot plant, constructed as a model of the industrial plant where the final expe...
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The effect on the gas transport properties of Matrimid®5218 of blending with the polymer of intrinsic microporosity PIM-EA(H2)-TB was studied by pure and mixed gas permeation measurements. Membranes of the two neat polymers and their 50/50 wt % blend were prepared by solution casting from a dilute solution in dichloromethane. The pure gas permeabil...
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Ultrapermeable benzotriptycene-based PIMs show exceptional gas selectivities that define new positions for the CO 2 /CH 4 and CO 2 /N 2 Robeson upper bounds.
Article
This work presents a study on mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) of the polymer of intrinsic microporosity PIM-1, embedding the crystalline Cr-terephthalate metal-organic framework (MOF), known as MIL-101. Different kinds of MIL-101 were used: MIL-101 with an average particle size of ca. 0.2 μm, NanoMIL-101 (ca. 50 nm), ED-MIL-101 (MIL-101 functionalize...
Article
A detailed analysis of the basic transport parameters of two triptycene-based polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs), the ultrapermeable PIM-TMN-Trip and the more selective PIM-BTrip, as a function of temperature from 25°C to 55°C, is reported. For both PIMs, high permeability is based on very high diffusion and solubility coefficients. The con...
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This paper presents a novel method for transient and steady state mixed gas permeation measurements, using a quadrupole residual gas analyser for the on-line determination of the permeate composition. The on-line analysis provides sufficiently quick response times to follow even fast transient phenomena, enabling the unique determination of the dif...
Article
This paper presents Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) as a powerful alternative to the more commonly used tensile tests for the analysis of the mechanical properties of polymeric membranes. The Young’s modulus measurements by the traditional tensile tests were compared with AFM operated in Force Spectroscopy mode. AFM measurements were carried out with...
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The widespread use of nanofiltration and electrodialysis membrane processes is slowed down by the difficulties in predicting the membrane performances for treating streams of variable ionic compositions. Correlations between ion hydration properties and solute transfer can help to overcome this drawback. This research aims to investigate the correl...
Article
The majority of commercial membrane units for large-scale natural gas sweetening are based on cellulose acetate (CA). However, the low selectivity and risk for and plasticisation affect adversely the performance of CA-based systems. Herein, we present a new class of CA-derived poly(ionic liquid) (PIL) as a thin film composite (TFC) membrane for CO2...
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Membranes composed of Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity (SBF-PIMs) have potential for commercial gas separation. Here we report a combined simulation and experimental study to investigate the effect on polymer microporosity and gas permeability by placing simple substituents such as methyl, t-butyl and fused benzo groups onto PIMs derived from sp...
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A novel method to determine the individual diffusion coefficients of gases in a mixture during their permeation through polymeric membranes is described. The method was developed in two independent laboratories, using rubbery Pebax® and glassy Hyflon® AD60X membrane samples as standards, and validated using the Tröger's base containing Polymer of I...
Article
Polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs) are among the most promising candidates for the development of novel polymeric gas separation membranes for processes such as carbon capture and storage, natural gas treatment and biogas upgrading. As one of the approaches to optimize their performance, PIMs are functionalized by CO2-philic groups to impro...
Article
The promise of ultrapermeable polymers, such as poly(trimethylsilylpropyne) (PTMSP), for reducing the size and increasing the efficiency of membranes for gas separations remains unfulfilled due to their poor selectivity. We report an ultrapermeable polymer of intrinsic microporosity (PIM-TMN-Trip) that is substantially more selective than PTMSP. Fr...
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Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) were supported on polymer membrane substrates for the fabrication of composite polymer membranes based on unmodified and modified polymer of intrinsic microporosity (PIM-1). Layers of two different MOFs, zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) and Copper benzene tricarboxylate ((HKUST-1), were grown onto neat PIM-1,...
Article
Experimental investigations have shown that the presence of electrolytes has a strong influence on the transfer of neutral organic solutes through ion exchange membranes used in electrodialysis. It was further demonstrated that this influence is due to the impact of the membrane counter-ions on the noncovalent interactions existing between the hydr...
Article
This work presents a study of the gas transport properties for a novel class of mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) based on the polymer of intrinsic microporosity PIM-1 loaded with UiO-66 [Zr6O4(OH)4(O2CC6H4CO2)6] based metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Three isoreticular MOFs were dispersed in the polymer matrix, standard UiO-66, UiO-66-NH2 (functionali...
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Full-text available
Raw biogas obtained from a sewage plant was successfully purified by a single-step method to a quality compatible with compressed natural gas (CNG) standards. For this purpose, thin-film composite membranes with polyamide skin layer were evaluated at varying temperatures, pressures, feed and sweep flow rates. The wetting of the polyamide skin layer...
Thesis
Previous works have shown that the transfer of neutral solutes through membranes is influenced by the presence of ions in solution. In the framework of process intensification, the knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved is of fundamental importance to increase and predict the process performances. The aim of this Thesis is to use a combined...
Article
This work evaluates the possibility to tailor the gas separation properties of elastomeric block copolyamide membranes by means of room temperature ionic liquid (RTIL), based on the 1-n-alkyl-3- methylimidazolium cation. Polymeric gel membranes were prepared by adding from 20 to 80 wt.% of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate, [BMI...

Projects

Projects (5)
Project
doMino is an interdisciplinary project aimed to develop efficient mixed matrix membranes based on purposely synthesized (per-)fluorinated metal organic frameworks for the treatment of large amounts of CO2 and to promote them for the reduction of green gas house emission and a sustainable development of industrial processes.
Project
Our goals: 1) capture of pollutants (e.g. heavy metals, anions, dyes) from liquid wastes, 2) capture of e.g. CO2 from gaseous streams, 3) the upgrading of methane from natural gas or biogas. The MOCA project will make these separations possible by using selective extractants (Cages and MOFs) embedded in Mixed-Matrix Membranes. A further goal of MOCA is the valorisation of the recovered materials (e.g. decontaminated water, captured CO2, purified CH4) as valuable starting products for new processes, according to the principles of Circular Economy. It is sponsored by Fondazione Cariplo.
Archived project
Thesis title : “Molecular simulation of PIM-2 membranes: structure and transport properties