• Italian

Environmental Technologies Laboratory (ETL)

Contact person

Michele Notarnicola - Associate professor

Competencies and research activities

The “Environmental Technologies Laboratory” (ETL) consists of a (i) chemical section, a (ii) technological section and (iii) a pilot technological platform. The technological platform is located at the Taranto wastewater treatment plant over an area of about 500 m2. 
A variety of research activities are offered by the laboratory in terms of (i) pollutants measurements, (ii) experimental tests at bench and pilot scale as well as (iii) environmental monitoring. 
The measurement of pollutants concerns the determination of (i) elemental composition of aqueous solutions by means of ICP-OES, (ii) organic pollutants (PAH, PCB, Total Hydrocarbons) by means of GC-MS, (iii) hydrocarbon (butane, hexane) by means of GC-FID, (iv) pesticides, phenols and PAHs by means of HPLC with UV-VIS and fluorescence detectors, (v) carbon, hydrogen and sulfur content on solid/liquids samples by means of the CHS analyzer, (vi) the heating value of combustion of solid/liquid substances through the Mahler calorimeter bomb, (vii) the TOC (Total Organic Carbon) of aqueous solutions as well as (viii) the biological stability of a biomass with the Respirometric Dynamic Index (RDI) by means of the 3024 Costech International Respirometer. 
The experimental tests covering numerous technologies for environmental protection such as (i) tribo-electrostatic separation, (ii) mechano-chemical, (iii) stabilization/solidification, (iv) soil and sediment washing, (v) thermal treatments such as pyrolysis, gasification and incineration as well as (vi) biological treatments by means of the Esedra automated bioreactor.
The environmental monitoring activities concerns (i) the measurement of odor emissions by means of an integrated system combining several technologies (already on the market) such as ODOR PREP, ODOR TEL, SENSIGENT MSEM32 and (ii) a real-time monitoring of fine particles through the Optical Particle Counter (OPC) system. 
The laboratory also has an impressive experimental platform.
For more than twenty years the ETL is involved in research activities with participation in local, national and international projects. The head of the lab is prof. Michele Notarnicola. Furthermore, the experience in environmental impact assessment and decision support system of prof. Sabino De Gisi strengthens the ETL offer in the environmental field.

Collaborations with companies and institutions

The ETL works in environmental engineering issues of the 09/D1 "Materials Science and Technology" sector, with special reference to (i) solid waste management, (ii) remediation of contaminated sites, (iii) wastewater treatment and (iv) air emissions control.
Typically, research activities are conducted at pilot/industrial scale by means of appropriate collaboration with public institutions as well as major industry players. 
Hereinafter, significant activities are reported:
1)    Three-year cooperation agreement (2015-17) under the article 15 of the Italian Law 241/1990 on “activities preparatory to the remediation, urban and environment regeneration of the Mar Piccolo in Taranto” funded by the Special Commissioner of the Italian Government for urgent measures of remediation and environmental requalification of Taranto area (Souther Italy).
2)    Three-year research agreement (2011-2013) “Scientific and technical support for the preparation of the Municipal Solid Waste Plan of the Apulia Region” funded by the Apulia government, Department of Environmental Quality.
3)    Three-year strategic research project (2007-10) “Integrated strategies for the productive reuse of municipal wastewater in Apulia region (PS 91)” funded by the Apulia Government. 
4)    Annual research project (2006-07) “Technical and scientific supervision to the monitoring of diffuse emissions activities produced by the materials handling in the port of Taranto as well as study of the most suitable mitigation devices”, funded by Italcave SpA (research contract N.09/06 of 22/11/2006).
5)    Two year research project (2002-04) “SE.L.SY. – Sea-Land System: ConcertatedActions for the Coastal Zone Management” funded by the European Commission under EU-LIFE EVIRONMENT programme (contract no. LIFE00 ENV/IT/000090).