Polyphenols Chemistry & material Science laboratory (PPM)

Research group 

Claudia Crestini, Full Professor
Matteo Gigli, Researcher
Massimo Sgarzi, Researcher
Heiko Lange, Researcher
Paolo Guzzonato, PhD Student
Daniele Massari, PhD Student
Nicolò Pajer, PhD Student 
Valeria Gagliardi, PhD Student
Simone Cailotto, Subject expert
Sebastiano Alessi, Alumni
Salvatore Caterino, Alumni
Giacomo Polon, Alumni  

Web site: https://www.unive.it/ppm

Research topics

The Polyphenols Chemistry & material Science laboratory at Ca’ Foscary university in Venice is one of the few Italian Laboratories with significant R&D activities in the field of sustainable chemistry and materials with a specific focus in lignin biorefinery, development of new hybrid materals and nanomaterials from renewable polyphenolic biopolymers. The work is focused at their structural characterization, catalysis, biomimetic catalysis and biotechnology in lignin, lignans and tannins oxidative modifications.

Present research activity is mainly directed towards the following topics:

  • Development of new hybrid nanomaterials from lignins: Lignin nanostructures; Lignin nanocapsules and nanoparticles for active controlled release; Lignin nanofibers for biomedical and cosmetic devices, carbon nanoparticles and nanofibers from lignin nanostructures.
  • Development of new materials and products by structural modification of natural polyphenols: person and home care products development with specific adhesion properties on hard surfaces. 
  • Lignin purification and catalytic upgrade via flow processes.
  • Development of supported catalysts and biomimetic catalysts for the activation of oxygen and hydrogen peroxide to the selective oxidation and functionalization of natural substances: lignans, terpenes, cardanols, nucleosides, lignins and lignin model compounds.
  • Development of immobilized catalysts from metalloporphyrins, methylrhenium trioxide  
  • Biocatalysis in processes of lignin degradation, with a special focus on the study of manganese peroxidase, laccases and laccase-mediator systems.
  • Structural characterization of polyphenolic biomolecules (lignins and tannins) by advanced heteronuclear NMR techniques and quantitative 2D heterocorrelated NMR spectroscopy. 
  • Study of supramolecular association-dissociation behavior in lignin. Structural characterization of archaeological wood materials. Evaluation of ageing processes. 
  • Detection of radical species by 31P- based spin trap systems in oxidative systems: Lipoxygenase, laccase, bleaching solutions.
  • Study on the role inorganic catalytic systems on the prebiotic synthesis of biomolecules from formamide. 

Last update: 14/02/2024