Enrico Drioli

7 Sep 2012


Doctor in Chemistry, University of Naples 1965

Research Interests

Membranes in Artificial Organs, Integrated Membrane Processes, Membrane Preparation Transport Phenomena, Membrane Distillation and Membrane Contactors, Catalytic Membrane and Catalytic Membrane Reactors


2012 Emeritus Professor, University of Calabria

2011 – Present Coordinator of Erasmus Mundus Doctorate in Membrane Engineering (EUDIME)

2009 – Present, Visiting WCU Professor, Dept of Energy Engineering, Hanyang University

2002 – 2008, Director, Institute on Membrane Technology(ITM) of CNR

2008, Present, Founding Director, Institute on Membrane Technology

1993 – 2001, Director, Institute on Membranes and Chemical Reactors of the National Research Council

1982 – 1985, Dean of the School of Engineering, University of Calabria

1981-2011 Full Professor, School of Engineering, University of Calabria

Recent Projects


Coordinator and Scientific Responsible for the KACST-ITM Joint research Program and for the KISR-ITM joint project.

Professional Activities & Awards

2012, Honorary Membership of the Czech Society of Chemical Engineering

2011, “Richard Maling Barrer Prize” of the European Membrane Society, for his “outstanding contributions to membrane science and technology”

2009, Doctorate Honoris Causa from University of Paul Sabatier of Toulouse, France

2005, International Cooperation Honor Award, Membrane Industry Association of China (MIAC) for special dedication to International Cooperation between China and Europe in the field of membrane science and technology

2005 – Present, Guest professor, Jiangsu Polytechnic University, China

1999, Honorary President, European Membrane Society

1992, Doctorate Honoris Causa in Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Russian Academy of Science

1991, Honorary Professor, China Northwest University in Xi’an, Shaanxi, China

1982 – 1998, President, European Society of Membrane Science and Technology (European Membrane Society)

Member of the Advisory Board of the “Journal of Membrane Science” and of the “Polish Journal of Chemical Technology”; Member of the Editorial Board of Desalination, Separation Science and Technology and various other inter. Scientific Journals.

Exec. Editor: Applied Water Science Journal, Springer Berlin Heidelberg (Germany)

Exec. Editor (for Europe): Membrane Water Technology, Techno Press (Korea)

Author of about 650 scientific papers, 18 patents, and 18 books


Membrane Engineering and Process Intensification

The world’s population has crossed the figure of seven billions and is still growing at significant rate. The demand of associated material utilities and energy has emerged even at a higher rate due to modern life style. On the other hand, most of the conventional resources of raw material and energy are following the depleting trend. The environmental concerns allied with the industrial growth and implementation of more stringent rules and regulation point out additional issues for the modern society and process industry. These facts clearly indicate the need of revolutionary changes in state-of-the-art processes and equipment designs being practiced in process industry. The sustainable growth of process industry is strictly adhered with the most economical and efficient use of energy and raw materials and overcoming the environmental problems.

Membrane technology addresses the most severe problems of the modern society including the rational use of energy and material resources to extract the maximum benefits from them, exploring new sources for energy and raw materials and handling of the environmental problems. Membrane engineering has proven its excellent coherence with the recommendation of process intensification strategy to cope with these challenges. Desalination is the typical case where the membrane based processes have reduced energy consumption 10 times of the conventional thermal process. Membrane engineering is not only a smart tool to save the energy but it provides the innovative and exciting ways to generate and utilize the power from sustainable resources. Fuel cells have really fueled the innovative ideas of generating and storing energy. The blue energy generated from the salinity gradient is expected to be one important source of power production in near future.

Membrane technology offers extremely interesting path way to utilize the raw material in a more efficient way. The membrane reactors possess the capability to increase the efficiency and productivity of the processes through better control of molecular interactions and selective separation. The simultaneous conversion and separation achieved in such systems comes with numerous rewards. The development of the membranes based on new nanostructured material with specific morphology and configuration offers the possibility to improve selectivity and permeability of the new generation membranes. The immobilization of the catalyst in specific structure of such membranes provides an interesting approach for the catalyst designing and hence boosting the process efficiency.  The idea of integrated systems has established novel concepts to use the potential of a process in the most proficient fashion. In case of fresh water production, membrane bio reactors, membrane operations and integrated membrane systems are providing interesting solutions to different water problems. The development of the membranes with high selectivity for certain species opens new horizon to obtain the materials from sustainable resources.

New innovative unit operations membrane based such as Membrane Distillation and Membrane Crystallizers, Membrane Condenser, Membrane Emulsifier, etc.  will contribute to redesign a modern process engineering .

Relevant bibliography

1. Enrico Drioli ,  Adele Brunetti ,  Gianluca Di Profio and Giuseppe Barbieri, Process intensification strategies and membrane engineering, Green Chem., 2012,14, 1561-1572.

2. Enrico Drioli, Efrem Curcio, Membrane engineering for process intensification: a perspective, Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology,Volume 82, Issue 3, pages 223–227, March 2007.

3. Enrico Drioli, Enrica Fontananova, Future progresses in membrane engineering, presented in XXIX EMS Summer School on Membranes, Nancy France, 10-13 July 2012

4. Andrzej Górak, Andrzej Stankiewic, Research Agenda for Process Intensification Towards a Sustainable World of 2050,