The University of Bologna (UNIBO) stands among the top 5 Italian universities in the most relevant World University Rankings. UNIBO is active in many of the most important EU networks and initiatives related to Horizon 2020 (i.e. ETPs, EIPs, JPIs, etc.) in the energy fields. It is a full member of the European Energy Research Alliance – EERA. UNIBO is actively participating in several EERA Joint Programs -JP: Advanced Materials and Process for Energy Application, Carbon Capture and Storage, Economic Environmental and Social Impacts, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, Smart Cities, Energy Storage, Hydropower and it is in charge of the European coordination of the JP Bioenergy. UNIBO is also partner of the EIT Knowledge & Innovation Communities (“EIT DIGITAL”, “Climate KIC” and “EIT Raw Materials”). UNIBO is the second Italian university for the attractiveness of European funding for research, 49th in the European ranking of institutions of higher education. In Horizon 2020, UNIBO is so far involved in 244 funded projects (61 as coordinator) with 100,267,234 ML Euros of funding. In this project the activities of the University of Bologna will be carried out by Department of Chemistry “Giacomo Ciamician” (CHIM). CHIM has been recognized among the Italian Departments of Excellence and received an extraordinary funding from the Ministry of Education and the University of 8,674,000 € for 2018-2022. The main objective is to promote the department as a point of excellence, improving its results compared to recognized international benchmarks. The areas that the Department intends to explore are identified by the EU in the definition of Horizon 2020, they are in line with Industry 4.0, and represent societal challenges to be faced in the immediate future and include the topic “Environmental and Energy Sustainability”.
Expertise related to the project
The Laboratory of Electrochemistry of Materials for Energetics (LEME) of CHIM will be involved in the project (https://site.unibo.it/leme/en). The LEME group has more than 30-years of experience in components and cell design on electrochemical energy storage systems, specifically on advanced supercapacitors. The activities include basic electrochemical and physical-chemical studies on materials and applied test on full supercapacitor cells. Recently, the research has been focused on sustainable approaches to develop cheap, ecofriendly, high specific energy supercapacitors based on bio-char derived carbons, bio-inspired membranes (e.g. pullulan) and electrode materials (not precious metal oxides and bio-inspired like melanin) and green electrolytes (ionic liquids, superconcentrated solutions). Studies on the integration of supercapacitors with renewable energy harvesters (e.g. solar cells) are also performed.