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CODE 108099
SEMESTER 1° Semester


The course is proposed as particularly suitable for the "Materials Scientist: Technology Specialist" profile or in the framework of the training of Chemical and Process Engineering.



The course aims to introduce students to the issues of the current context of energy transition. In this scenario, attention will be focused on "power to gas" and "gas to power" electrochemical technologies studied through chemical-physical models applied on different phenomenological scales, highlighting the relevance of microscopic properties on macroscopic performance in a scale- industrial up.


Participation in the proposed training activities (lectures, exercises, visits, seminars), individual study and group discussion will allow the student to:

- orient himself in the current context of energy transition (environmental constraints, green technologies, renewable resources, hydrogen carrier, state of the art and potential developments, ...)

- know the main types of electrochemical cells, their potential and the related optimization margins both for the production of energy and for its storage in the form of hydrogen or syngas;

- know the fundamentals of operation of electrochemical cells by discriminating processes, properties and chemical-physical constraints that govern them (electrochemical kinetics, material and energy transport phenomena, material characteristics, ...).

- learn how to set up simulation models of electrochemical cells by discriminating the phenomenological scale of interest and the relative correlations with the other scales (from the cell components up to the plant)

- gain experience in computer simulation, using commercial or open-source software integrated with ad hoc written codes, for design, predictive, diagnostic or control purposes

- learn how to manage experimental data and design a preliminary design of experiment for the validation of models and the identification of chemical-physical parameters

- apply the acquired skills to specific contexts of environmental engineering, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the applicable solutions and estimating the main performance indexes and environmental impact.


For successful learning, basic knowledge of mathematical analysis, chemistry and physics is required.

No formal propaedeutics are envisaged.


The teaching includes face-to-face lessons in the classroom. The presentation of theoretical contents is alternated with lessons with computer exercises to encourage learning and discussion of specific application examples. Supplementary activities such as educational visits or seminars may also be proposed.

Transversal skills in terms of communication and independent judgment will be acquired through the discussion of concrete examples of complex problems.


The program of the teaching includes the presentation and discussion of the following topics:

1. Contextualizing the energy transition

- The environmental problem

- Sources and technologies for energy production

- The hydrogen carrier

- Role of chemical-physical models

2. Types of electrochemical cells

- Characteristics: materials, reactions, configurations, performances.

- Applications: in "Gas to Power" and "Power to Gas" modes (fuel cells and electrolysers)

- State of art

3. Operation of electrochemical cells

- Thermodynamics and kinetics (Nernst, Butler Volmer, Faraday, polarization contributions, …)

- Macroscopic and local balances of material and energy

- Key Performance Parameters and Environmental Impact Indicators

3. Modelling

- Setting up of the equations describing the processes of interest on different phenomenological scales (from the cell components to the plant system)

- Main simulation tools: programming logics and software

- Computer exercises

4. Model validation

- Processing and interpretation of experimental data

- Identification of chemical-physical parameters

- Design of experiments

6. Supplementary activities

- Visit to the CapLab - Electrochemical Cells for Carbon Capture and Energy Transistion laboratory (joint laboratory of the University of Genoa - EcoSpray Technologies)

- Seminar by insdustry experts or professors of other universities

- Educational visits to related research or industrial realities.


The teaching material used during the lessons will be available on Aulaweb. The notes taken during the lessons and the material in Aulaweb are sufficient for the preparation of the exam. Some texts will be suggested in class for further study. 


Exam Board


ELISABETTA ARATO (President Substitute)



Lessons will start in accordance with the calendar proposed by the School of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



During the course, students will be asked to prepare a paper relating to a specific application to be presented at the final exam which will consist of an oral test. There will be 2 exam sessions available for the 'winter' session (January and February) and 3 exam sessions for the 'summer' session (June, July, September). Furthermore, the test can also be taken during any teaching breaks scheduled in autumn and spring.


The oral exam includes the discussion of the prepared report and a couple of questions that may concern the entire program presented in class, formulated in terms of theoretical questions or in the form of application problems. The exam aims to ascertain the specific skills acquired and above all the ability to use them combined together to orient themselves in concrete applicative cases. The quality of the presentation, the correct use of technical terminology and the ability to critical reasoning will also be evaluated.

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
21/12/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
21/12/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
02/02/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
02/02/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
07/06/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
07/06/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
20/06/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
18/07/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
18/07/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
13/09/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
13/09/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale


Working students and students with SLD, disability or other special educational needs certification are advised to contact the teacher at the beginning of the course to agree on teaching and exam methods that, in compliance with the teaching objectives, take into account the personal learning modalities and provide suitable compensatory tools.

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
Affordable and clean energy
Affordable and clean energy
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Responbile consumption and production
Responbile consumption and production
Climate action
Climate action