Professor Maria Grazia De Angelis

Personal Chair in Thermodynamics of Materials and Processes



1.109 Sanderson Building

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Engineering Discipline: 

  • Chemical Engineering

Research Institute: 

  • Materials and Processes

Research Theme: 

  • Carbon Capture and Separation Processes
  • Systems Modelling from Atoms to Processes


I joined the University of Edinburgh in 2020 as Chair in Thermodynamics of Materials and Processes after working 15 years at the University of Bologna, Italy‚ where I hold an Associate Professorship in Chemical Engineering.
My international experience includes research stays at the North Carolina State University (USA), National Technical University of Athens (Greece), Universidad Nacional del Sur (Argentina), University of Melbourne (Australia).
My work is focused on the study and development of materials, processes and simulation methods for fluid separations, CO2 capture, biofuels upgrading, water purification, packaging, biomedical processes.  
The research approach is problem-oriented and adopts a systematic strategy that encompasses experimental testing, molecular, macroscopic and multiscale modeling tools.  

Go to the  Group SusProM Website 

Academic Qualifications: 

-PhD in Chemical Engineering, 2002, University of Bologna
-Master Degree in Chemical Engineering, 1998, University of Bologna

Professional Qualifications and Memberships: 

-Chair of the Working Party on Thermodynamics and Transport Properties, European Federation of Chemical Engineers (EFCE) , 2022-present 

-Treasurer and Vice President, European Membrane Society Council, 2019-2023

Research Interests: 

Biodegradable polymers and sustainable pathways for membrane separation applications and packaging flexible films:

Multiscale modeling of fluid sorption and transport in polymeric materials - including Machine Learning

Novel materials for membrane separations: mixed matrix membranes and others

In recent years a number of new materials has entered the picture into the membrane world: new high performance polymers, 2d nanomaterials like graphene, crystalline porous materials like Metal Organic Frameworks, etc. Due to polymer flexibility and processability, a feasible solution seems the one of incorporating variable percentages of such fillers in the polymer and produce thin films out of them.  
The activity regards the addition of graphene and graphene oxide to polymers, as well as the addition of Zeolite and ZIF-8. The aim is to provide emerging separation processes, like CO2 capture, with improved materials and possibly provide also an explanation to the observed behavior with the use of models.  

Evaluation of polymeric membranes performance in multicomponent conditions
Polymeric membranes are a sustainable alternative to traditional, energy-intensive separation methods in many applications such as gas separation and Carbon Capture. A precise evaluation of the membrane performance in realistic conditions and in the presence of impurities is required to cut the process costs and extend the membranes lifetime.  
One of the main issues is associated, especially in the process of natural gas and biogas purification, to the presence of CO2, which promotes membrane softening and exhibits a non-ideal behavior engaging competition with the other gases. Such aspects require tailored and time consuming experiments.  
In this activity, experimental data are collected with a sophisticated equipment which allows to monitor the behavior of binary and ternary mixtures (for the first time!) in high performance membranes. The data are used to generate generalized relationships and provide validation to  predictive thermodynamic and molecular models which can extend the experimental results in wide operative ranges and offer a fundamental insight of the process.  
The results of such project will allow engineers to design and select more efficient membrane process conditions and materials, and expand the range of application of membrane technologies.  


Associate Member of IChemE
Member of AIDIC (Italian Association of Chemical Engineering)
Member of European Membrane Society
Member of AIChE

Further Information: 

-Member of the Editorial Board of Membranes

-Editor of the Special Issue "Fundamentals of Transport in Polymers and Membranes—Honorary Issue for Professor Giulio C. Sarti" 2022 

-Editor of the Special Issue "Gas Transport in Glassy Polymers" 2020-2021

-Watch my webinar “Membranes for CO2 Capture: Thermodynamic aspects” given during the EFCE Spotlight Talks, December 3rd 2020.  Organized by the European Federation of Chemical Engineers.
-Host of the European Membrane Society Live Webinars Series, watch them on Youtube