Publications of excellent quality of the SIMAU Department researchers, year 2021 – SECOND SEMESTER

Colombani Nicolò, Fronzi Davide, Palpacelli Stefano, Gaiolini Mattia, Gervasio Mari Pia, Marcellini Mirco, Mastrocicco Micòl, Tazioli Alberto (2021). “Modelling Shallow Groundwater Evaporation Rates from a Large Tank Experiment. WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT, 35(10), pp. 3339-3354.

Abstract: A large tank (1.4 m x 4.0 m x 1.3 m) filled with medium-coarse sand was employed to measure evaporation rates from shallow groundwater at controlled laboratory conditions, to determine drivers and mechanisms. To monitor the groundwater level drawdown 12 piezometers were installed in a semi regular grid and equipped with high precision water level, temperature, and electrical conductivity (EC) probes. In each piezometer, 6 micro sampling ports were installed every 10 cm to capture vertical salinity gradients. Moreover, the soil water content, temperature and EC were measured in the unsaturated zone using TDR probes placed at 5, 20 and 40 cm depth. The monitoring started in February 2020 and lasted for 4 months until the groundwater drawdown became residual. To model the groundwater heads, temperature, and salinity variations SEAWAT 4.0 was employed. The calibrated model was then used to obtain the unknown parameters, such as: maximum evaporation rates (1.5-4.4 mm/d), extinction depth (0.90 m), mineral dissolution (5.0e-9 g/d) and evaporation concentration (0.35 g/L). Despite the drawdown was uniformly distributed, the increase of groundwater salinity was rather uneven, while the temperature increase mimicked the atmospheric temperature increase. The initial groundwater salinity and the small changes in the evaporation rate controlled the evapoconcentration process in groundwater, while the effective porosity was the most sensitive parameter. This study demonstrates that shallow groundwater evaporation from sandy soils can produce homogeneous water table drawdown but appreciable differences in the distribution of groundwater salinity. 

Alessandrino, L., Gervasio, M.P., Vincenzi, F., Colombani, N., Castaldelli, G., Mastrocicco, M. “Nutrients and carbon fate in two lowland contrasting soils amended with compost”, CATENA  206, (November), 2021, 105493

Abstract: The present study investigated the transient effects of compost application combined with minimum tillage followed by traditional fertilization in two contrasting agricultural soils of the Po River plain, where both nutrients leaching and carbon cycle were monitored for three years (2016–2019) via several campaigns of soil and groundwater sampling and gas emissions. The results of this work highlight that the effects of compost on nutrients leaching is transient and is soon lessened over time if new incorporations do not take place. Nutrients leaching was minimal on shallow groundwater quality with the following decreasing order: nitrate > ammonium > nitrite > phosphate. Moreover, the nutrients distribution profiles (nitrate, nitrite, ammonium and phosphate) also depended on the groundwater fluxes and on boundary conditions (geogenic sources and previous fertilizations). The soil organic carbon results highlight that its increase (approximately 1 ± 0.4% in both soils) was temporary and was not anymore discernible after three years since compost incorporation. The carbon dioxide emissions behave like the soil organic carbon, with an initial increase (approximately 66 ± 17 mM/m2/d in both soils) due to mineralization and a subsequent decrease, while no methane and hydrogen sulphide emission were detected. Moreover, carbon dioxide fluxes were also driven by the soil with nearly doubled fluxes in the site with a higher soil organic carbon baseline.

Khosravi, K., Barzegar, R., Golkarian, A., Busico, G., Cuoco, E., Mastrocicco, M., Colombani N., Tedesco D., Ntona M.M., Kazakis, N. “Predictive modeling of selected trace elements in groundwater using hybrid algorithms of iterative classifier optimizer” J. Cont. Hydrol. 242 (October), 2021, 144033

Abstract: Trace element (TE) pollution in groundwater resources is one of the major concerns in both developing and developed countries as it can directly affect human health. Arsenic (As), Barium (Ba), and Rubidium (Rb) can be considered as TEs naturally present in groundwater due to water-rock interactions in Campania Plain (CP) aquifers, in South Italy. Their concentration could be predicted via some readily available input variables using an algorithm like the iterative classifier optimizer (ICO) for regression, and novel hybrid algorithms with additive regression (AR-ICO), attribute selected classifier (ASC-ICO) and bagging (BA-ICO). In this regard, 244 groundwater samples were collected from water wells within the CP and analyzed with respect to the electrical conductivity, pH, major ions and selected TEs. To develop the models, the available dataset was divided randomly into two subsets for model training (70% of the dataset) and evaluation (30% of the dataset), respectively. Based on the correlation coefficient (r), different input variables combinations were constructed to find the most effective one. Each model’s performance was evaluated using common statistical and visual metrics. Results indicated that the prediction of As and Ba concentrations strongly depends on HCO3−, while Na+ is the most effective variable on Rb prediction. Also, the findings showed that the most powerful predictive models were those that used all the available input variables. According to models’ performance evaluation metrics, the hybrid ASC-ICO outperformed other hybrid (BA- and AR-ICO) and standalone (ICO) algorithms to predict As and Ba concentrations, while both hybrid ASC- and BA-ICO models had higher accuracy and lower error than other algorithms for Rb prediction.

Busico, G., Buffardi, C., Ntona, M. M., Vigliotti, M., Colombani, N., Mastrocicco, M., Ruberti, D. “Actual and Forecasted Vulnerability Assessment to Seawater Intrusion via GALDIT-SUSI in the Volturno River Mouth (Italy)” Remote Sensing 13(18) (September), 2021, 3632

Abstract: Coastal areas have become increasingly vulnerable to groundwater salinization, especially in the last century, due to the combined effects of climate change and growing anthropization. In this study, a novel groundwater methodology named GALDIT-SUSI was applied in the floodplain of the Volturno River mouth for the current (2018) and future (2050) evaluation of seawater intrusion accounting for the expected subsidence and salinization rates. Several input variables such as digital surface model, land use classification, subsidence rate and drainage system have been mapped via remote sensing resources. The current assessment highlights how areas affected by salinization coincide with the semiperennial lagoons and inland depressed areas where paleosaline groundwaters are present. The future assessment (2050) shows a marked increase of salinization vulnerability in the coastal strip and in the most depressed areas. The results highlight that the main vulnerability driver is the Revelle index, while predicted subsidence and recharge rates will only slightly affect groundwater salinization. This case study indicates that GALDIT-SUSI is a reliable and easy-to-use tool for the assessment of groundwater salinization in many coastal regions of the world.

Soana, E., Vincenzi, F., Colombani, N., Mastrocicco, M., Fano, E.A., Castaldelli G. “Soil Denitrification, the Missing Piece in the Puzzle of Nitrogen Budget in Lowland Agricultural Basins” Ecosystems 13(18) (July), 2021, 10.1007/s10021-021-00676-y

Abstract: Denitrification is a key process buffering the environmental impacts of agricultural nitrate loads but, at present, remains the least understood and poorly quantified sink in nitrogen budgets at the watershed scale. The present work deals with a comprehensive and detailed analysis of nitrogen sources and sinks in the Burana–Volano–Navigabile basin, the southernmost portion of the Po River valley (Northern Italy), an intensively cultivated (> 85% of basin surface) low-lying landscape. Agricultural census data, extensive monitoring of surface–groundwater interactions, and laboratory experiments targeting N fluxes and pools were combined to provide reliable estimates of soil denitrification at the basin scale. In the agricultural soils of the basin, nitrogen inputs exceeded outputs by nearly 40% (~ 80 kg N ha−1 year−1), but this condition of potential N excess did not translate into widespread nitrate pollution. The general scarcity of inorganic nitrogen species in groundwater and soils indicated limited leakage and storage. Multiple pieces of evidence supported that soil denitrification was the process that needed to be introduced in the budget to explain the fate of the missing nitrogen. Denitrification was likely boosted in the soils of the studied basin, prone to waterlogged conditions and consequently oxygen-limited, owing to peculiar features such as fine texture, low hydraulic conductivity, and shallow water table. The present study highlighted the substantial contribution of soil denitrification to balancing nitrogen inputs and outputs in agricultural lowland basins, a paramount ecosystem function preventing eutrophication phenomena.

Datt, Gopal; Kotnana, Ganesh; Maddu, Ramu; Vallin, Örjan; Joshi, Deep Chandra; Peddis, Davide; Barucca, Gianni; Kamalakar, M. Venkata; Sarkar, Tapati (2021).

Combined bottom-up and top-down approach for highly-ordered one-dimensional composite nanostructures for spin insulatronics.
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 13 (31), 37500-37509

Abstract: Engineering magnetic proximity effects-based devices requires developing efficient magnetic insulators. In particular, insulators, where magnetic phases show dramatic changes in texture on the nanometric level, could allow us to tune the proximity-induced exchange splitting at such distances. In this paper, we report the fabrication and characterization of highly ordered two-dimensional arrays of LaFeO3 (LFO)–CoFe2O4 (CFO) biphasic magnetic nanowires, grown on silicon substrates using a unique combination of bottom-up and top-down synthesis approaches. The regularity of the patterns was confirmed using atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy techniques, whereas magnetic force microscopy images established the magnetic homogeneity of the patterned nanowires and absence of any magnetic debris between the wires. Transmission electron microscopy shows a close spatial correlation between the LFO and CFO phases, indicating strong grain-to-grain interfacial coupling, intrinsically different from the usual core–shell structures. Magnetic hysteresis loops reveal the ferrimagnetic nature of the composites up to room temperature and the presence of a strong magnetic coupling between the two phases, and electrical transport measurements demonstrate the strong insulating behavior of the LFO–CFO composite, which is found to be governed by Mott-variable range hopping conduction mechanisms. A shift in the Raman modes in the composite sample compared to those of pure CFO suggests the existence of strain-mediated elastic coupling between the two phases in the composite sample. Our work offers ordered composite nanowires with strong interfacial coupling between the two phases that can be directly integrated for developing multiphase spin insulatronic devices and emergent magnetic interfaces.

Daniele Eugenio Lucchetta, Riccardo Castagna, Gautam Singh, Cristiano Riminesi and Andrea Di Donato.

HSpectral, Morphological and Dynamical Analysis of a Holographic Grating Recorded in a Photo-Mobile Composite Polymer Mixture.

Nanomaterials   2021, 11(11), 2925

Abstract: We report on the morphological, spectral and dynamical characterization of one-dimensional transmission holographic volume phase gratings, whose refractive index contrast and nanometric pitch are dynamically controlled by an incident laser light. The grating is obtained by the photo-polymerization of a recently developed photo-mobile holographic composite polymer material. The observed changes in the refractive index contrast and grating pitch strongly suggest that the reversible all-optical real-time modulation of the obtained diffraction efficiency is induced by nano-fluidics.

Daniele EugenioLucchetta, Andrea Di Donato, Gautam Singh, Alessia Tombesi, Riccardo Castagna.

Optically tunable diffraction efficiency by photo-mobile holographic composite polymer material”.

Optical Materials Volume 121, November 2021, 111612)

Abstract: The presence of non-hexagonal rings in the honeycomb carbon arrangement of graphene produces rippled graphene layers with valuable chemical and physical properties. In principle, a bottom-up approach to introducing distortion from planarity of a graphene sheet can be achieved by careful insertion of curved polyaromatic hydrocarbons during the growth of the lattice. Corannulene, the archetype of such non-planar polyaromatic hydrocarbons, can act as an ideal wrinkling motif in 2D carbon nanostructures. Herein we report an electrochemical bottom-up method to obtain egg-box shaped nanographene structures through a polycondensation of corannulene that produces a new conducting layered material. Characterization of this new polymeric material by electrochemistry, spectroscopy, electron microscopy (SEM and TEM), scanning probe microscopy, and laser desorption-ionization time of flight mass spectrometry provides strong evidence that the anodic polymerization of corannulene, combined with electrochemically induced oxidative cyclodehydrogenations (Scholl reactions), leads to polycorannulene with a wavy graphene-like structure.

Astolfi Paola, Giorgini Elisabetta, Perinelli Diego Romano, Vita Francesco, Adamo Fabrizio Corrado, Logrippo Serena, Parlapiano Marco, Bonacucina Giulia, Pucciarelli Stefania, Francescangeli Oriano, Vaccari Lisa, and Pisani Michela (2021).
Cubic and Hexagonal Mesophases for Protein Encapsulation: Structural Effects of Insulin Confinement.”.

LANGMUIR, 37, pp. 10166-10176.

Abstract: Monoolein-based cubic and hexagonal mesophases were investigated as matrices for insulin loading, at low pH, as a function of temperature and in the presence of increasing amounts of oleic acid, as a structural stabilizer for the hexagonal phase. Synchrotron small angle X-ray diffraction, rheological measurements, and attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to study the effects of insulin loading on the lipid mesophases and of the effect of protein confinement in the 2D- and 3D-lipid matrix water channels on its stability and unfolding behavior. We found that insulin encapsulation has only little effects both on the mesophase structures and on the viscoelastic properties of lipid systems, whereas protein confinement affects the response of the secondary structure of insulin to thermal changes in a different manner according to the specific mesophase: in the cubic structure, the unfolding toward an unordered structure is favored, while the prevalence of parallel β-sheets, and nuclei for fibril formation, is observed in hexagonal structures.

Spagnuolo Simone, Rinaldi Zila, Donnini Jacopo, Nanni Antonio. “Physical, mechanical and durability properties of GFRP bars with modified acrylic resin (modar) matrix.” Composite Structures, 262, 15April 2021, n°113557.

Abstract: Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) bars are currently used as internal reinforcement of concrete structures, as an alternative to traditional steel rebars, to avoid corrosion problems and durability issues. GFRP bars are usually made of continuous glass filaments embedded within a polyester (for non-structural applications) or vinyl ester resin. These resins have been used for many years in several technological fields and widely employed as matrices for composite materials with structural functions. However, since the matrix plays a fundamental role in protecting the fibers from the external environment, the development of new organic matrices able to withstand aggressive environmental conditions while keeping a low cost of production is certainly of great interest. In this study, the possibility of using a modified acrylic resin (ModAR), never employed for such applications, as matrix for GFRP bars has been investigated. Physical, mechanical and durability tests have been carried out, according to international standards, to evaluate the technical feasibility of using ModAR matrices. Experimental results showed that ModAR GFRP bars are able to offer high thermal resistance while keeping physical and mechanical properties within standard limits.

DPisani Michela, Astolfi Paola, Sabbatini Simona, Carloni Patricia (2021).
TAntioxidant Activity Level, Bioactive Compounds, Colour and Spectroscopic Analysis (UV-Vis and FT-IR) of Flavoured Drinks Made with Wine and Sour Cherries (Prunuscerasus Var. austera)”.
CFOODS, 10(8), pp. 1953.

Abstract: In recent years, the increase in consumer interest towards simpler and authentic lifestyles has led to an explosive growth in the production and business of typical agri-food products and, among these, of wines and its derived beverages. With the aim of promoting a typical Italian beverage, the so-called “Vino di visciole” or “Visner”, listed in the national table of traditional agri-food products, the antioxidant and colour properties of fifteen samples from different provinces of the Marche region and obtained with different recipes were analysed. The “in vitro” total antioxidant activity (TAA) determined using ABTS assays, total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), total anthocyanins content (TAC), and colour (Somers assay) were measured. In addition, a spectroscopic FT-IR and UV-Vis analysis was carried out to analyse samples with multivariate techniques. The results showed that the production area, the recipe, and the type of cherries used to make the alcoholic beverage do not influence the antioxidant properties and the phytochemical contents of the samples. The multivariate treatment of the spectroscopic features (mainly UV-Vis) rather allowed the differentiation of samples with high antioxidant activity using easy and low-cost instrumental techniques that require little time and can be employed in routine analysis.

Cristina Minnelli ,Laura Cianfruglia, Emiliano Laudadio, Giovanna Mobbili, Roberta Galeazzi, Tatiana Armeni. (2021).
Effect of epigallocatechin-3-gallate on egfr signaling and migration in non-small cell lung cancer

Abstract: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) represents a difficult condition to treat, due to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase domain mutations, which lead to ligand-independent phosphorylation. Deletion of five amino acids (ELREA) in exon 19 and mutational change from leucine to arginine at position 858 (L858R) are responsible for tyrosine kinase domain aberrant activation. These two common types of EGFR-mutated forms are clinically associated with high response with Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKI); however, the secondary T790M mutation within the Tyrosine Kinase Domain (TKD) determines a resistance to these EGFR-TKIs. Using molecular dynamic simulation (MD), the present study investigated the architectural changes of wild-type and mutants EGFR’s kinase domains in order to detect any conformational differences that could be associated with a constitutively activated state and thus to evaluate the differences between the wild-type and its mutated forms. In addition, in order to evaluate to which extent the EGFR mutations affect its inhibition, Epigallocatechin 3-Gallate (EGCG) and Erlotinib (Erl), known EGFR-TKI, were included in our study. Their binding modes with the EGFR-TK domain were elucidated and the binding differences between EGFR wild-type and the mutated forms were evidenced. The aminoacids mutations directly influence the binding affinity of these two inhibitors, resulting in a different efficacy of Erl and EGCG inhibition. In particular, for the T790M/L858R EGFR, the binding modes of studied inhibitors were compromised by aminoacidic substitution confirming the experimental findings. These results may be useful for novel drug design strategies targeting the dimerization domain of the EGFR mutated forms, thus preventing receptor activation.

Pierluigi Stipa, Stefania Marano, Roberta Galeazzi, Cristina Minnelli, Emiliano Laudadio (2021).
Molecular dynamics simulations of quinine encapsulation into biodegradable nanoparticles: A possible new strategy against Sars-CoV-2”.

Abstract: A new coronavirus disease, SARS-CoV-2, has spread into a global pandemic in December 2019. Since no specific therapeutic drugs for treating COVID-19 have been approved by FDA, recent studies suggest that the known antimalarial quinine and its derivatives (chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine) inhibit receptor binding of the viral particles and inhibits the strong “cytokine storm”, which is the main cause of death among infected patients. In particular, the natural alkaloid quinine has shown to possess a better safety profile and greater tolerability compared to its derivatives. Dosage optimization of quinine is still necessary as the currently available dosage forms have controversial pharmacokinetics and safety profiles. Therefore, repurposing quinine dosage forms to improve its pharmacokinetics and safety profile may be necessary to support its use against SARS-CoV-2. In this context, biodegradable/biocompatible polymeric nanoparticles may provide a safe site-specific and controlled quinine delivery, reducing the frequency of drug administration and the dose. In this study, a full atomistic molecular dynamics simulation approach has been used to investigate the use of poly-(glycolic acid) and poly-(lactic acid) and their copolymer poly-(lactic-co-glycolic acid) as potential delivery systems for lipophilic quinine to get insights into the mechanism of quinine encapsulation and release at the atomic/molecular level.

Stefania Marano, Cristina Minnelli, Lorenzo Ripani, Massimo Marcaccio, Emiliano Laudadio, Giovanna Mobbili, Adolfo Amici, Tatiana Armeni, Pierluigi Stipa (2021).
Insights into the antioxidant mechanism of newly synthesized benzoxazinic nitrones: In vitro and in silico studies with dpph model radical”.
ANTIOXIDANTS, 8, pp. 1-17.

Abstract: Synthetic nitrone spin-traps are being explored as therapeutic agents for the treatment of a wide range of oxidative stress-related pathologies, including but not limited to stroke, cancer, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases. In this context, increasing efforts are currently being made to the design and synthesis of new nitrone-based compounds with enhanced efficacy. The most researched nitrones are surely the ones related to α-phenyl-tert-butylnitrone (PBN) and 5,5dimethyl-1-pyrroline N-oxide (DMPO) derivatives, which have shown to possess potent biological activity in many experimental animal models. However, more recently, nitrones with a benzoxazinic structure (3-aryl-2H-benzo[1,4]oxazin-N-oxides) have been demonstrated to have superior antioxidant activity compared to PBN. In this study, two new benzoxazinic nitrones bearing an electron-withdrawing methoxycarbonyl group on the benzo moiety (in para and meta positions respect to the nitronyl function) were synthesized. Their in vitro antioxidant activity was evaluated by two cellular-based assays (inhibition of AAPH-induced human erythrocyte hemolysis and cell death in human retinal pigmented epithelium (ARPE-19) cells) and a chemical approach by means of the α,α-diphenyl-β-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging assay, using both electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and UV spectrophotometry. A computational approach was also used to investigate their potential primary mechanism of antioxidant action, as well as to rationalize the effect of functionalization on the nitrones reactivity toward DPPH, chosen as model radical in this study. Further insights were also gathered by exploring the nitrone electrochemical properties via cyclic voltammetry and by studying their kinetic behavior by means of EPR spectroscopy. Results showed that the introduction of an electron-withdrawing group in the phenyl moiety in the para position significantly increased the antioxidant capacity of benzoxazinic nitrones both in cell and cell-free systems. From the mechanistic point of view, the calculated results closely matched the experimental findings, strongly suggesting that the H-atom transfer (HAT) is likely to be the primary mechanism in the DPPH quenching.

Nadia Gruber, Liliana Orelli, Cristina Minnelli, Luca Mangano, Emiliano Laudadio, Giovanna Mobbili, Pierluigi Stipa (2021).
Amidinoquinoxaline-based nitrones as lipophilic antioxidants.”
CANTIOXIDANTS, 10, pp. 1-10.

Abstract: The potential of nitrones (N-oxides) as therapeutic antioxidants is due to their ability to counteract oxidative stress, mainly attributed to their action as radical scavengers toward C- and Ocentered radicals. Among them, nitrones from the amidinoquinoxaline series resulted in interesting derivatives, due to the ease with which it is possible to introduce proper substituents within their structure in order to modulate their lipophilicity. The goal is to obtain lipophilic antioxidants that are able to interact with cell membranes and, at the same time, enough hydrophilic to neutralize those radicals present in a water compartment. In this work, the antioxidant efficacy of a series of amidinoquinoxaline nitrones has been evaluated regarding the oxidation of 2-deoxyribose and lipid peroxidation. The results have been rationalized on the basis of the different possible mechanisms involved, depending on some of their properties, such as lipophilicity, the ability to scavenge free radicals, and to undergo single electron transfer (SET) reactions.for lipophilic quinine to get insights into the mechanism of quinine encapsulation and release at the atomic/molecular level.


PANDA Phase One”

THE EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL. A, Eur. Phys. J. A (2021) 57:184.

Abstract: The Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) in Darmstadt, Germany, provides unique possibili- ties for a new generation of hadron-, nuclear- and atomic physics experiments. The future antiProton ANnihilations at DArmstadt (PANDA or PANDA) experiment at FAIR will offer a broad physics programme, covering different aspects of the strong interaction. Understanding the latter in the non- perturbative regime remains one of the greatest challenges in contemporary physics. The antiproton–nucleon interaction studied with PANDA provides crucial tests in this area. Fur- thermore, the high-intensity, low-energy domain of PANDA allows for searches for physics beyond the Standard Model, e.g. through high precision symmetry tests. This paper takes into account a staged approach for the detector setup and for the delivered luminosity from the accelerator. The available detector setup at the time of the delivery of the first antiproton beams in the HESR storage ring is referred to as the Phase One setup. The physics programme that is achievable during Phase One is outlined in this paper.

D. Rinaldi, L. Montalto, P.P. Natali, F. Davì. 

Elasto-optic properties and internal stress analysis for monoclinic and trigonal crystals

Journal of Instrumentation, Volume 16, August 2021 P08018

Abstract: EWe study the elasto-optic behaviour of monoclinic and trigonal crystals. The eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the dielectric impermeability tensor under stress are evaluated by the means of the approximated formulae obtained by Sirotin. The parameters which characterize Bertin’s surfaces and fringe patterns in conoscopic observation are determined as functions of either residual or applied stress. Later, the photoelastic constants, and the rotation of the optic plane and optic axes bisector are estimated in order to allow for the evaluation of the residual or applied stress by conoscopic measurements. Finally, we obtain the dependence of the refraction indices on the stress. The knowledge of these crystal properties is mandatory for applications in high physics energy, security, geological prospection and in crystals for photonics and medical applications. The evaluated photoelastic constants allow the development of methodologies for an easy and fast quality control via stress distribution detections by means of conoscopic observation, even for strongly anisotropic crystals. As a case study we apply these results to the cases of monoclinic Lu2(1-x)Y2xSiO5 (LYSO) and trigonal LiNbO3 (Lithium Niobate).

Palmieri Silvia, Tittarelli Francesca, Sabbatini Simona, Fatone Francesco, Stipa Piero (2021).
Effects of different pre-treatments on the properties of poly-hydroxy-alkanoates extracted from side-streams of a municipal wastewater treatment plant

Abstract: The paper deals with effects of two different widespread extraction methods (conventional extraction and Soxhlet extraction) and four different pre-treatments (homogenization with pressure and with blades, sonication, and impact with glass spheres) on the extraction yields and properties of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) extracted from biomass coming from an innovative process (short-cut enhanced phosphorus and PHA recovery) applied in a real wastewater treatment plant. The results show that the two different extraction processes affected the crystallization degree and the chemical composition of the polymer. On the other hand, the extractive yield was highly influenced by pre-treatments: homogenization provided a 15% more extractive yield than the others. Homogenization, especially at high pressure, proved to be the best pre-treatment also in terms of the purity, visual appearance (transparency and clearness), thermal stability, and mechanical performances of the obtained PHA films. All the PHA films begin to melt long before their degradation temperature (Td > 200 °C): this allows their use in the fields of extrusion or compression moulding. Synopsis: Optimizing the extraction of PHAs from municipal wastewater gives a double beneficial environmental impact: wastewater treatment and circular bio-based carbon upgrade to biopolymers for the production of bioplastics and other intersectoral applications.

Carlorosi Cecilia, Giosuè Chiara, Le Ngoc V.A., Mobili Alessandra, Nguyen Vu Trong T., Nguyen Huu Long P., Pugnaloni Fausto, Tittarelli Francesca.
Rehabilitation project of Quang Tri Old Citadel in Vietnam: integrated analytical approach from material characterization to architectural heritage valorization.
Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development 2021, 10.1108/JCHMSD-02-2021-0028

Abstract: TThis paper presents the outcomes of the international project “Protecting Landscape Heritage: a requalification project as an instrument for the re-birth of Quang Tri Old Citadel in Vietnam”, achieved with scientific cooperation between the Università Politecnica delle Marche (Italy) and Hue University of Sciences (Vietnam) funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam. The research focuses on the Quang Tri Citadel, founded in 1809 and now in an advanced state of degradation. Design/methodology/approach: For the purpose of rehabilitation, the wide multidisciplinary project first examined the historical context of the military model, the architectural aspects of the structure, the characterization of the existing materials, the degradation levels of different parts, and, finally, a proposal of the suggested interventions. Findings: The original structure and geometry were extrapolated and studied. Building materials were produced with nearby raw materials. Firing temperatures of bricks ranged from 800 to 1,000 °C, hydraulic lime was supposed the binder of the mortar with a calcination temperature lower than 1,000 °C. Damage assessment was provided and after these analyses a requalification project was proposed so the cultural heritage can play a role for the future in the dialog between different cultures. Originality/value: The requalification project achieved by an integrated analytical approach defines aspects in relation to the restoration of the structures, enabling compliance with the geometry, techniques, building materials used in the original construction and allowing its guardianship and management to align with the historical context of the architectural heritage. © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.

Bedini Maria Angela, Bronzini Fabio (2021).
Priority in post-earthquake intervention
TERRITORIO, 96, pp. 1-10.

Abstract: The paper first examines the three components that summarize the fundamental structure of seismic risk: hazard, exposure, vulnerability (and urban vulnerability). Based on the three components considered, the study highlights the positive elements and strategic errors committed and to explains the paradigm shift necessary to overcome the prevailing focus of interventions on the installation of new temporary wooden houses. With reference to the negative and positive aspects found in experiences, the aim of the study is the proposal of improvement solutions and new rules to guide the post-earthquake phase. The research findings identify the need to plan the post-earthquake phase in advance and to consider it a priority over the emergency phase.