Professor of Principles of Chemical Engineering at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Materials and Environment of Sapienza – University of Rome, where he obtained a specialization in Biochemical Engineering and a doctorate in Engineering for the Environment and Safety. Since its foundation, he has been Head of GreenSapiens dealing with green chemistry, sustainable development and the Circular Economy, with issues such as the production of “green” nanoparticles or the recovery of value-added compounds from a variety of biological sources, in particular agro-industrial residues, through innovative extraction processes with low environmental impact.
The developed and patented technologies are based on the use of specifically designed enzyme mixtures and / or green mixed polarity solvents as pre-treatment or extraction agents. These methods have been successfully applied to the recovery of lycopene from tomato processing waste and antioxidant phenols from exhausted coffee grounds, olive pomace, fruit skins, corn husks and cereals used by brewers. Recently, developed enzymatic processes have been used to recover lipids and other valuable intracellular compounds from microalgae. An important part of the research is dedicated to the analysis and validation of process solutions that allow an integral enhancement of waste materials within a sustainable circular economy approach.
Most of the above activities are carried out in collaboration with research groups from other universities or institutions from different countries. Visiting Professor at numerous international institutions, he is and was also Scientific Responsible of many joint projects with universities and foreign industrial companies, at national and international level, coordinating among others the European project “EXCornsEED” (7.2 M €), financed in HORIZON 2020 – BBI JU.
Its scientific activity is attested by over 120 scientific publications in the chemical and biochemical engineering sector and by five industrial patents. Numerous prizes and awards in competitions promoted by scientific and industrial associations.