Obiettivo 13. Promuovere azioni, a tutti i livelli, per combattere il cambiamento climatico*|Obiettivo 15. Proteggere, ripristinare e favorire un uso sostenibile dell’ecosistema terrestre
Coasts worldwide are experiencing ever-increasing flood risk and coastal erosion. To simultaneously enhance the efficiencyof coastal defence and improve the ecological status of coastlines, the scientific community has recently proposed the use ofnature-based solutions. Eelgrass canopies have the potential to contribute to coastal defence by attenuating waves andstabilizing sediments so that coastal erosion is reduced. However, the value of eelgrass in nature-based solutions has neverbeen assessed adequately. The ambitious goal of the SHIEELD project is to assess the protective value of eelgrass incoastal defence. To achieve this goal SHIEELD will investigate:- The flow resistance and wave attenuation of eelgrass canopies with laboratory experiments in an open-channelfacility and using eelgrass surrogates scaled following comprehensive similarity considerations, a novel device to measurethe drag force at a patch scale, flow diagnostic techniques and wave gages;- The effects of eelgrass below and aboveground biomass on sediment mobility with laboratory experiments and adedicated field campaign using an innovative portable flume.The project will develop novel tools to estimate eelgrass contribution to coastal defence in a range of hydraulic andenvironmental conditions. Findings of SHIEELD will be translated towards a policy brief so that water managers andpolicymakers can take more-informed decisions in the context of nature-based solutions. The proposed fellowship willenable a strong interdisciplinary collaboration between the applicant, a researcher with experience in flow-vegetationinteractions, and the supervisors, an expert in environmental fluid mechanics, and a world leader in nature-based solutionsfor coastal defence. During this fellowship the applicant will undertake specific and advanced training to enhance hisscientific, transferable and networking skills, and empower his career for a tenure track position or a managerial role.
Bubbles for life: hydrodynamic cavitation for water disinfection in developing countries, (2017-2019) - Responsabile Scientifico
Corporate-funded and donor-funded research
There are currently about 780 million people in the world who have no access to drinkable water sources. As a result of this, more than 3 million people die every year of sanitation and hygiene related issues and 99% of all deaths occur in developing countries. Such a water emergency is caused by several issues. Among these, the lack of appropriate water-treatment methods plays an important role. Technologies that are commonly and successfully used in the developed world cannot be used so easily in developing countries as they are associated with high costs of installation, maintenance and operation and they require the use of chemicals that are not easy to retrieve. This proposal intends to tackle this issue by further developing a promising technique called Hydrodynamic Cavitation. This technique relies on the principle of forcing water to flow in constricted regions and hence to make it boiling as a consequence of the low pressure levels it experiences. When pressure is restored, water bubbles implode violently generating plasma-type conditions where gas temperature reaches 14000 K and pressure peaks up to 1000 Atm. Such harsh conditions are lethal for any microorganisms and promote the formation of compounds with a strong oxidative power. HC does not require chemicals and has no high costs of maintenance and installation, which makes it a perfect candidate for applications in developing countries. Unfortunately, the current understanding of thephysical processes governing water-treatment through HC is very poor. This means that, there are no robust principles (or models) that can be used to design and calibrate cavitation reactors other than empirical trial and error procedures. The general aim of Bubbles4life is to bridge this knowledge gap by means of novel experiments and data analysis techniques, with a view to design reliable and low-cost reactors that can be used in developing countries.