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Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

The aim of this class is based on the close relationship between the Geosciences world and its materials (or Geomaterials) and the Material Sciences, for the development of renewable energy and building sustainability. Through the know-how transfer of basic knowledge and thematic insights on geomaterials and their application in the sectors of renewable energy and building sustainability, the student will acquire skills at the interface of different scientific disciplines (such as mineralogy, ore mineralogy, petrography, engineering, ...) and will raise awareness about the concept of sustainable development. This form of development is based on the concept of environment safeguarding where living conditions and resources are used to continue to meet human needs without undermining the integrity and stability of the natural system.

The main knowledge acquired by students include:
- elements of physico-chemical characterization of materials;
- knowledge of the main natural sources of raw materials;
- basic concepts of comparative techniques for the understanding physical phenomena occurring in materials;
- knowledge of advanced techniques for alternative electricity production;
- development of knowledge on materials designed or potentially suitable for energy storage;
- knowledge of new building materials for energy efficiency.


Knowledge acquired during the classes of Physics (I and II), Mineralogy and Laboratory of Mineralogy, and Petrography.

Course programme

The class is structured in modules that include 24 lessons of 2 hours each, namely 48 hours of frontal lectures and guided tutorials.

Climate, Energy, Materials, and Sustainability
- Course Introduction & Climate Change
- The Global Energy Landscape
- The Global Materials Landscape
- Carbon Dioxide Capture and Sequestration

Future Nonrenewables Energy Sources
- Unconventional Hydrocarbons
- Nuclear Energy & Nuclear-Waste Management and Disposal

Renewable Energy Sources
- Renewable Energy Overview
- Wind Energy
- Photovoltaics
- Electrochemical Energy Storage - Li-Ion Batteries

Materials: In-Depth Analysis
- Perovskites

Sustainable Buildings

Didactic methods

- Frontal lectures in the classroom with the aid of electronic presentations.
- Open discussions (or short tests) to verify the comprehension of covered topics.
- Possible workshops with experts from the different scientific sectors.

Learning assessment procedures

Oral examination of about 30/45 minutes.

Reference texts

Teacher's handouts of the on-screen presentations used by the teacher for lectures.

Specific topics can be developed by means of the following books:
- D.S. Ginley & D. Cahen - Fundamentals of Materials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (2012)
- M.F. Ashby - Materials and Sustainable Development (2016)