The broad vision of the group’s research is to advance in the sustainability of chemical processes and their environmental benignity and to contribute to the implementation of circular economy and the solution of problems of large societal impact.

Starting from fundamental scientific targets, the ambition of the group is to move towards innovation of those chemical sectors interested in the further development of the process.

The activities of the group are broadly focused on heterogeneous catalysis using a systemic approach that covers material synthesis and modification, catalytic evaluation and mechanistic understanding, bringing the process as close as possible to commercial application. Characterization of the active sites under conditions close to those of the chemical reaction and correlation of their structure with their performance is always the basis for rationalization of the catalytic activity.

Beyond conventional catalysis based on thermal activation, and considering the growing importance of alternative energy types, the group is exploring alternative catalytic processes such as photo-/ electrocatalysis and plasma catalysis. In photocatalysis one of the objectives is the use of natural sunlight to obtain hydrogen from water with energy conversion efficiency over 5 % and COreduction to useful chemicals. Electrocatalysis aims at replacing noble metals for materials based on abundant elements. Electrical discharges in gases generate plasma containing various reactive components whose reactivity can be controlled by the presence of solid catalysts.

The list of solids used as catalysts includes medium and large pore zeolites, multifunctional metal-organic frameworks, supported metal and metal oxides and 2D nanomaterials going from graphenes to boron nitride, metal chalcogenides, MXenes and exfoliated layered double hydroxides and MOFs.


  • Synthesis from biomass residues
  • Engineering catalytic active sites
  • Doped graphenes
  • 3D sponges
  • Microporous graphitic materials


  • Mixed metal
  • Mixed linker
  • Post-synthetic modification
  • New structures
  • Core-shell composites

Boron Nitride

  • Synthesis by exfoliation
  • Synthesis through pyrolysis
  • Defect generation
  • Heterojunction
  • Superlattice


  • Synthesis
  • Post-synthetic modification
  • Junctions

Metal Chalcogenides

  • Synthesis by exfoliation
  • Synthesis through pyrolysis
  • Defect engineering
  • Heterojunction
  • Superlattice

Layered Double Hydroxide

  • Synthesis by exfoliation
  • Defect engineering
  • Heterojunctions


  • Incorporation of organic guest

  • Post-synthetic modification

  • Use as hard templates

Materials Applications

  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Electrocatalysis
  • Photocatalysis for Hgeneration and CO2 reduction
  • Liquid hydrogen storage compounds
  • Supercapacitors
  • Li-ion batteries
  • Gas diffusion layers