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Assistant Professor of Industrial chemistry [CHIM/04]


photocatalysis, heterogeneous catalysis, H2 economy, CO2 valorization, air and water purification, AOPs, photothermo-catalysis, hybrid catalysis

Researcher in Industrial chemistry

  • National Scientific qualification as full professor in the Italian higher education system, in the call 2021/2023 (Ministerial Decree n. 553/2021 and 589/2021) for the disciplinary field of 03/C2 -
    Industrial and applied chemistry.
  • National Scientific qualification as associate in the Italian higher education system, in the call 2021/2023 (Ministerial Decree n. 553/2021 and 589/2021) for the disciplinary field of 03/C2 -
    Industrial and applied chemistry.

Main topics:

a. Heterogenous Photocatalysis (VOCs removal, wastewaters treatment, photocatalytic water splitting, semiconductors-based photocatalysis)

b. Heterogenous Catalysis 

c. Production and purification of hydrogen

d. CO2 valorisation

ORCID:  0000-0002-2773-0017



Google Scholar:



CV Roberto Fiorenza, updated November 2023

Roberto Fiorenza holds the Bachelor Degree in Industrial Chemistry (2012) and  the Master Degree in Material Chemistry (2014) with 110/110 cum laude at the Department of Chemical Sciences of the University of Catania. On 12 December  2017 he passed the exam for the PhD in chemical sciences even at the Department of Chemical Sciences of the University of Catania with honors. He  works on the synthesis and characterization of new materials (catalysts) for environmental and energy applications (purification of air, water, production and purification of hydrogen), focusing his research on the semiconductors and on the TiO2-based materials. He is author and co-author of various papers in international peer review journals and reviewer of some international journals dealing with catalysis and material science .He teaches the courses "Suistainable Industrial Chemistry" (for the master's degree students in chemical science) and "Suistanable Industrial Chemistry and materials for the environmental protection " (for the PhD student). He is an official thesis tutor for both Bachelor and Master students.

In September 2022 he recevied the "Robert Karl Grasselli 2022" award from  the catalysis group of the Italian chemical society for the research in the heterogenous catalysis in gas-phase.

In June 2019 he received the "Adolfo Parmaliana 2019" award from the catalysis group of the Italian chemical society for the best doctoral thesis on the theme "catalysis for a sustainable development",the same work  was also awarded by the Gioenia Academy of Catania in the October 2018 (best doctoral thesis of 2018 in the field of chemical sciences), while in 2017 he received the "Young student award" at the international EMRS conference (European Materials Research Society) Spring Meeting 2017 in Strasbourg in the "Photocatalytic materials for energy and environment ” session.

He carried out part of his research work at the CNR-IMM of Catania (ESF SENTI project), at the University of Palermo with the research group of prof. Leonardo Palmisano, at the University of Namur (Belgium) with  the research group of prof. Bao-Lian Su and at the Plataforma Solar de Almeria (Spain) with the research group of prof. Sixto Malato.

In February 2022 he achieved the National Scientific qualification as associate in the Italian higher education system, in the call 2021/2023 (Ministerial Decree n. 553/2021 and 589/2021) for the disciplinary field of 03/C2 -Industrial and applied chemistry.

In November 2023 he achieved the National Scientific qualification as full professor in the Italian higher education system, in the call 2021/2023 (Ministerial Decree n. 553/2021 and 589/2021) for the disciplinary field of 03/C2 -Industrial and applied chemistry.

He is the principal investigator of the research project CO2@PHOTOTHERMOCAT "Removal of air pollutants and valorization of the produced CO2: hybrid catalysis to solve two issues at single blow"

Most relevant publications  Roberto Fiorenza

-Stefano Andrea Balsamo, Roberto Fiorenza,  Maria Teresa Armeli Iapichino, Francisco Javier Lopez-Tenllado, Francisco Jos´e Urbano, Salvatore Scirè "H2 production through glycerol photoreforming using one-pot prepared TiO2-rGO-Au photocatalysts Molecular Catalysis 547 (2023) 113346.

-Roberto Fiorenza, Chiara Contarino, Vanessa Spanò, Maria Teresa Armeli Iapichino, Stefano Andrea Balsamo, "Photothermo-catalytic strategies for the CO2 valorisation using TiO2-based composites Catalysis Today 423 (2023) 114251.

-Roberto Fiorenza, Marianna Bellardita, Stefano Andrea Balsamo, Antonino Gulino, Marcello Condorelli, Giuseppe Compagnini, Salvatore Scirè, Leonardo Palmisano, "A solar photothermo-catalytic combined process for the VOCs combustion and the subsequent CO2 valorization using noble metal-free catalysts", Catalysis Today 413-415 (2023) 113949.

-S.A. Balsamo, E. La Greca, M. Calà Pizzapilo, S. Sciré, R. Fiorenza, "CeO2-rGO Composites for Photocatalytic H2 Evolution by Glycerol Photoreforming", Materials 16 (2023) 747.

-Vincenzo Patamia, Roberto Fiorenza,  Ilaria Brullo, Massimo Zambito Marsala, Stefano Andrea Balsamo,  Alfio Distefano, Pio Maria Furneri, Vincenzina Barbera,  Salvatore Scire`, Antonio Rescifina, "A sustainable porous composite material based on loofah-halloysite for gas adsorption and drug delivery" Materials Chemistry Frontiers 6 (2022) 2233.

-E.M. Malannata, L. Spitaleri, A. Gulino, S.A. Balsamo, S. Scirè, R. Fiorenza, "Removal of phthalates from water by unconventional La-based/WO3 photocatalysts",  European Journal of inorganic chemistry, (2022) e202200183.

-R. Fiorenza, R. Farina, E.M. Malannata, F. Lo Presti, S.A. Balsamo, "VOCs Photothermo-Catalytic Removal on MnOx-ZrO2 Catalysts" Catalysts 12 (2022) 85.

-R. Fiorenza, M. Bellardita, S.A. Balsamo, L. Spitaleri, A. Gulino, M. Conderelli, L. D’Urso, S. Scirè, L. Palmisano, “A solar photothermocatalytic approach for the CO2 conversion:Investigation of different synergisms on CoO-CuO/brookiteTiO2-CeO2 catalysts” Chem. Eng. J. 428 (2022) 131249.

-R. Fiorenza, S.A. Balsamo, M. Condorelli, L. D’Urso, G, Compagnini, S. Sciré, “Solar photocatalytic H2 production over CeO2-based catalysts: Influence of chemical and structural modifications” Catalysis Today  380 (2021) 187-198. 

- V. Patamia, D. Gentile, R. Fiorenza, V. Muccilli, P.G. Mineo, S. Scirè, A. Rescifina, “Nanosponges based on self-assembled starfish-shaped cucurbit[6]urils functionalized with imidazolium arms” Chemical Communications 57 (2021) 3664-3667

- S. Scirè, R. Fiorenza, M.Bellardita, L. Palmisano, “Catalytic applications of TiO2”. in Titanium dioxide (TiO2) and its applications Metal oxides series, Francesco Parrino and Leonardo Palmisano, Eds Elsevier pp 637-679 (2021). ISBN: 978-0-12-819960-2

-S. Filice, R. Fiorenza, R. Reitano, S. Scalese, G. Fisicaro, I. Deretzis, A. La Magna, C. Bongiorno, G. Compagnini, TiO2 Colloids Laser-Treated in Ethanol for Photocatalytic H2 Production ACS Applied Nano Materials, 3 (2020) 9127-9140.

-M. Bellardita, R. Fiorenza, L. D'Urso, L. Spitaleri, A. Gulino, G. Compagnini, S. Scirè, L. Palmisano, Exploring the Photothermo-Catalytic Performance of Brookite TiO2-CeO2 Composites Catalysts 10 (7) (2020) 765.

-R. Fiorenza, Bimetallic Catalysts for Volatile Organic Compound Oxidation. Catalysts 10 (6) (2020) 661.

-R. Fiorenza, A. Di Mauro, M. Cantarella, A. Gulino, L. Spitaleri, V. Privitera, G. Impellizzeri, Molecularly imprinted N-doped TiO2 photocatalysts for the selective degradation of o-phenylphenol fungicide from water. Mater. Sci. Semicond. Process 112 (2020) 105019.

-R.Fiorenza, A. Di Mauro, M. Cantarella, C. Iaria, E.M. Scalisi, M.V. Brundo, A. Gulino, L. Spitaleri, G. Nicotra, S. Dattilo, S.C. Carroccio, V. Privitera, G. Impellizzeri, "Preferential removal of pesticides from water by molecular impriting on TiO2 photocatalysts". Chem. Eng. J. 379 (2020) 122309.

-M. Bellardita, R. Fiorenza, L. Palmisano, S. Sciré, “Photo-catalytic and photo-thermo-catalytic applications of cerium oxide-based materials”, in Cerium Oxide (CeO2): Synthesis, Properties and Applications, Metal Oxides series, Salvatore Scirè and Leonardo Palmisano Eds, Elsevier, pp. 109-167 (2020). ISBN: 9780128156612. doi:

-R. Fiorenza, S. Scirè, L. D’Urso, G. Compagnini, M. Bellardita, L. Palmisano, “Efficient H2 production by photocatalytic water splitting under UV or solar light over variously modified TiO2-based catalysts” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy 44 (2019) 14796-14807.

-R. Fiorenza, A. Di Mauro, M. Cantarella, V. Privitera, G. Impellizzeri,  “Selective photodegradation of 2,4-D pesticide from water by molecularly imprinted TiO2“, J.  Photoche. Photobio A:Chem 380 (2019) 111872.

-R. Fiorenza, M. Bellardita, S. Sciré, L. Palmisano,  “Photocatalytic H2 production over inverse opal TiO2 catalysts” Catal. Today 321-322 (2019) 113-119.

-R. Fiorenza, M. Bellardita, S. Sciré, L. Palmisano, Effect of the addition of different doping agents on visible light activity of porous TiOphotocatalysts” Molecular Catalysis 455 (2018) 108-120.

-R. Fiorenza, M. Bellardita, T. Barakat, S. Sciré, L. Palmisano, “Visible light photocatalytic activity of macro-mesoporous TiO2-CeO2 inverse opals , J. Photochem. Photobio. A: Chem. 352 (2018) 25-34.

-R. Fiorenza, S. Scirè; A.M. Venezia,  Carbon supported Ru-Co bimetallic catalysts for the H2 production through NaBH4 and NH3BH3 hydrolysis, Int. J.  Energy Research 42 (3) (2018) 1183-1195.

-S. Filice, G. Compagnini, R. Fiorenza, S.Scirè, L. D’Urso, M. E. Fragalà, P. Russo, E. Fazio, S.Scalese, “Laser processing of TiO2 colloids for an enhanced photocatalytic water splitting activity”, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 489 (2017) 131-137

-R.Fiorenza, M. Bellardita, L. Palmisano, S. Scirè,  “A comparison between photocatalytic and catalytic oxidation of 2-Propanol over Au/TiO2–CeOcatalysts Journal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical 415 (2016) 56-64. 

-R.Fiorenza, C. Crisafulli, G. G. Condorelli, F. Lupo, S. Scirè, “Au-Ag/CeO2 and Au-Cu/CeOcatalysts for volatile organic compounds oxidation and CO preferential oxidation”  Catalysis Letters 145 (2015) 1691-1702.


Academic Year 2021/2022

Academic Year 2020/2021

Main themes:

a. Preparation and characterization of heterogeneous catalysts and semiconductor materials (TiO2, CeO2)

b. Catalysis and Photocatalysis for purification of air (VOCs removal) and water (removal of dyes, phenolic compounds, pesticides)

c.  Photocatalytic water splitting and photoreforming

d. CO2 valorisation (CCU  and CCS)

e. Hybrid catalysis (Photothermo-catalysis)