Alma Mater Studiorum

University of Bologna

The university is engaged in identifying  novel sources of biomass, enzymes and bio-products; sustainable exploitation of marine life diversity; bio-refinery and new value chains for organic waste; innovative biobased building blocks for the synthesis of chemicals and added value molecules.

Area of Research

  • Development of industrial and environmental biotechnological processes in a circular bioeconomy frame
  • Focus areas include:
    • Multipurpose biorefinery processes for treating agro-industrial and urban (bio)wastes, surplus, and wastewaters
    • Integrated valorization with the production of biobased chemicals/monomers, biopolymers, and biofuels
    • Enzymatic processes for recycling and upcycling plastic packaging/items
    • Bioremediation strategies for decontaminating marine environments (water column and sediments), soils, and groundwater polluted with petroleum hydrocarbons and organohalogenated compounds
    • Exploitation of microbiomes for sustainable production of industrial high-value products from agro-industrial waste and by-products
  • Research activities include:
    • Enrichment/isolation, characterization, and selection of pure bacterial cultures or complex microbial communities with desired functionality
    • Design of bioprocesses
    • Monitoring through chemical, microbiological, and molecular biology methods
    • Optimization and validation in various reactor systems such as stirred tank reactors, biofilm packed bed bioreactors, or micro- and mesocosms for environmental bioremediation.

Expertise and Main Technologies

  • selection and characterization of microbial cultures/communities of interest for the treatment of complex biowastes, the production of biobased products,the biodegradation of environmental pollutants, the valorization of agro-industrial waste and by-products to obtain value-added compounds or for their re-use, for the preparation of microbial inoculants to increase crop productivity reducing the use of chemical inputs.
  • technological characterization and selection of microbial cultures for the preparation of innovative and functional foods and optimization of fermentation processes.
  • bioprocess development, optimization and validation in 1L to 10L conventional and innovative bioreactors or micro-/mesocosms
  • multi-omics (eg. metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics and metabolomics) characterization of microbiomes
  • advanced bioinformatic approaches for the treatment of microbiome multi-omics data, including the screening for secondary metabolites biosynthetic Gene Clusters, the construction and functional screening of metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs), the application of multidimensional statistics and the modeling of microbiomes, deriving modules, hubs and pathways involved in selected functions and phenotypes
  • culturomics

Key Organisms

Pure Microbial Cultures

Complex Microbial Communities

Synthetic Microbial Communities

Industrial Applications

  • The research can be of interest for different industries, as indicated by collaborations with a number of companies like Biosphere, Caviro, EniRewind, Hera, Novamont, among others.  

Industrial Sector

Bulk & Fine Chemicals


Food Ingredients

Material & Textiles

Scientific References



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