People » Dr. Sebastiano Campisi

non prestare orecchio alle menzogne, non farti soffocare dai maligni, non ti nutrire di invidie e gelosie
In silenzio soffro i danni del tempo: le aquile non volano a stormi. Vivo è il rimpianto della via smarrita
nell’incerto cammino del ritorno. Seguo la guida degli antichi saggi, mi affido al cuore ed attraverso il male”

Franco Battiato “Le aquile non volano a stormi”


Sebastiano Campisi is a post doctoral researcher (RTD-A) at Università degli Studi di Milano – Dipartimento di Chimica. He obtained his Bachelor in Chimica Industriale at Università degli Studi di Catania in April 2010, defending a thesis on Raman and AFM characterization of defectual graphene under the supervision of Prof. G. Compagnini and Prof. O. Puglisi.  In September 2010 he moved to Università degli Studi di Milano where he graduated in Chimica Industriale e Gestionale in 2012 and he received his Ph.D. in Industrial Chemistry in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Alberto Villa and Prof. Laura Prati. His research interest areas included the design of heterogeneous catalysts for the valorisation of biomass-derived compounds (glycerol, levulinic acid, HMF) and the characterization of catalytic solid-liquid interfaces. He had the pleasure to spend few months at Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI) in Villigen (CH), where he was introduced to the use of Operando spectroscopy for catalyst characterization under the guidance of Dr. Davide Ferri.  He was also involved in the DFT modelling of heterogeneous catalysts for alcohol oxidation thanks to the collaboration with Dr. David Willock.

In June 2016 he joined the group of Professor Gervasini. Here he focused on the development of novel materials for the removal of hazardous contaminants from industrial effluents (wastewater, gaseous emissions). Currently, he is involved in a project funded by the NOP Research and Innovation 2014-2020 and focused on the synthesis and characterization of composite materials for application in power-to-gas technologies in collaboration with RSE S.p.A.

The periods he spent abroad (Paul Scherrer Institut PSI, Villigen, CH; School of Chemistry – Cardiff University, UK; IRCELYON – CNRS – Lyon, France) completed his preparation and allowed him to build up relationships with foreign groups.

In 2013 his contribution on “Base-free glycerol oxidation: studying the effects of structural and acid properties of support in bimetallic catalysts” has been awarded with the PhD student EFCATS award during the EuropaCat XI Conference in Lyon.

In 2017 he received the prestigious “Best Ph.D Thesis on Catalysis” Award from Società Chimica Italiana.

In 2018 he has been selected for the “Make Our Planet Great Again” Short-Stay program, amongst more than 350 candidates.

Main papers of the last three years


  • Campisi, S. (corresponding), Motta, D., Barlocco, I., Stones, R., Chamberlain, T. W., Chutia, A., Dimitratos, N.,  Villa, A. Furfural Adsorption and Hydrogenation at the Oxide‐Metal Interface: Evidence of the Support Influence on the Selectivity of Iridium‐Based Catalysts. 2022, ChemCatChem, e202101700.
  • Campisi, S. (co-corresponding), Capelli S., Ferri M., Villa A., Dann E., Wade A., Wells P. P., Dimitratos N.; On the role of bismuth as modifier in AuPdBi catalysts: effects on liquid-phase oxidation and hydrogenation reactions. 2021, Catal. Comm., 158, 106340.
  • Ferri, M., Campisi, S. (co-first author), Polito, L., Shen, J., Gervasini, A.; Tuning the sorption ability of hydroxyapatite/carbon composites for the simultaneous remediation of wastewaters containing organic-inorganic pollutants. 2021, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 420, 126656.
  • Campisi, S., Evangelisti, C., Postole, G., & Gervasini, A. Combination of interfacial reduction of hexavalent chromium and trivalent chromium immobilization on tin-functionalized hydroxyapatite materials. 2021, Applied Surface Science539, 148227.
  • Campisi, S.; Chan-Thaw, C. E.; Chinchilla, L. E.; Chutia, A.; Botton, G. A.; Mohammed, K. M. H.; Dimitratos, N.; Wells, P.; Villa, A. “Dual-Site-Mediated Hydrogenation Catalysis on Pd/NiO: Selective Biomass Transformation and Maintenance of Catalytic Activity at Low Pd Loading.” ACS Catalysis10(10), 5483-5492.
  • Galloni, M. G., Campisi, S. (co-first author), Marchetti, S. G., & Gervasini, A.  Environmental Reactions of Air-Quality Protection on Eco-Friendly Iron-Based Catalysts. Catalysts, 2020, 10(12), 1415.
  • Campisi, S.; Galloni, M. G.; Marchetti, S. G.; Auroux, A.; Postole, G.; Gervasini, A. “Functionalized Iron Hydroxyapatite as Eco‐friendly Catalyst for NH3‐SCR Reaction: Activity and Role of Iron Speciation on the Surface.” ChemCatChem 2020, 12 (6), 1676–1690.
  • Campisi, S.; Beevers, C.; Nasrallah, A.; Catlow, C. R. A.; Chan-Thaw, C. E.; Manzoli, M.; Dimitratos, N.; Willock, D. J.; Roldan, A.; Villa, A. “DFT-Assisted Spectroscopic Studies on the Coordination of Small Ligands to Palladium: From Isolated Ions to Nanoparticles. Phys. Chem. C 2020, 124 (8), 4781–4790.
  • Fovanna, T.; Campisi, S. (co-first author); Villa, A.; Kambolis, A.; Peng, G.; Rentsch, D.; Kröcher, O.; Nachtegaal, M.; Ferri, D. “Ruthenium on Phosphorous-Modified Alumina as an Effective and Stable Catalyst for Catalytic Transfer Hydrogenation of Furfural.” RSC Adv. 2020, 10 (19), 11507–11516.
  • Campisi, S.; Ferri, M.; Chan-Thaw, C.; Sanchez Trujillo, F.; Motta, D.; Tabanelli, T.; Dimitratos, N.; Villa, A. “Metal-Support Cooperative Effects in Au/VPO for the Aerobic Oxidation of Benzyl Alcohol to Benzyl Benzoate.” Nanomaterials 2019, 9 (2), 299.
  • Campisi, S.; Palliggiano, S.; Gervasini, A.; Evangelisti, C. “Finely Iron-Dispersed Particles on β Zeolite from Solvated Iron Atoms: Promising Catalysts for NH3-SCO. J. Phys. Chem. C 2019, 123 (18), 11723–11733.
  • Ferri, M.; Campisi, S.; Carniti, P.; Gervasini, A.; Shen, J. “Tunable Acidity in Mesoporous Carbons for Hydrolysis Reactions.” New J. Chem. 2020, 44, 5873 – 5883.
  •  Gervasini, A.; Campisi, S.; Carniti, P.; Fantauzzi, M.; Imparato, C.; Clayden, N. J.; Aronne, A.; Rossi, A. “Influence of the Nb/P Ratio of Acidic Nb P Si Oxides on Surface and Catalytic Properties.” Appl. Catal. A Gen. 2019, 579, 9–17.
  • Ferri, M.; Campisi, S.; Gervasini, A. “Nickel and Cobalt Adsorption on Hydroxyapatite: A Study for the de-Metalation of Electronic Industrial Wastewaters.” Adsorption 2019, 25 (3), 649–660.
  • Campisi, S.; Galloni, M. G.; Bossola, F.; Gervasini, A. “Comparative Performance of Copper and Iron Functionalized Hydroxyapatite Catalysts in NH3-SCR.” Catal. Commun. 2019, 123, 79–85.
  • Ferri, M.; Campisi, S.; Scavini, M.; Evangelisti, C.; Carniti, P.; Gervasini, A. “In-Depth Study of the Mechanism of Heavy Metal Trapping on the Surface of Hydroxyapatite.” Appl. Surf. Sci. 2019, 475 (December 2018), 397–409.