The Environmental Chemistry and Technology (ECT) group at the Department of Chemistry, Biology and Biotechnology of the University of Perugia

Coordinator: Prof. David Cappelletti,


Dr. Stefano Crocchianti, RU
Dr. Roberta Selvaggi, PTA
Dr. Bartolomeo Sebastiani, PTA
Dr. Chiara Petroselli, Post Doc
Dr. Federica Bruschi, Ph.D. student
Dr. Paola Gravina, Ph.D. student
Dr. Eleonora Marchetti, fellowship
Dr. Beatrice Moroni, fellowship

The scientific activity of the ECT group is focused on various aspects of environmental chemistry, which includes atmospheric chemistry and physics, atmospheric aerosols, chemistry of water and snow, applications of analytical chemistry to the characterization of environmental samples and the search of novel bio-indicators.

Unit: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Coordinator D. Cappelletti)
Chemistry and physics of atmospheric gases and aerosols; monitoring of atmospheric aerosols at urban and remote sites; indoor air pollution; Polar research;

Unit: Computational modelling of processes in the atmosphere (Coordinator S. Crocchianti)
Development and optimization of Lagrangian and Eulerian transport models; Source apportionment models;

Unit: Application of advanced analytical methods (Coordinator R. Selvaggi)
Monitoring, diagnostic and chemical characterisation of samples from various environmental matrices, including: mineral water, river and lake water, snow, particulate matter, soil, fossile and biomass derived fuels, food.

Research activities

1. Climatology of aerosol in the Arctic

Since 2011 the group is leading the aerosol vertical profiles activities at the Italian Arctic Base of Ny Alesund (Svalbard Islands). A long term dataset is available for analysis and modeling. Aerosol vertical profiles have been recorded also in various Italian cities (2009-2010, Milan, Terni, Merano).


2015 - AGAP: Atmospheric Gondola for Aerosol Profiling – Principal Investigator – supportato dall’ Italian Arctic Data Center (CNR).

Relevant publications

Lisa J. Beck, Nina Sarnela, Heikki Junninen, Clara J. M. Hoppe, Olga Garmash, Federico Bianchi, Matthieu Riva, Clemence Rose, Otso Perakyla, Daniela Wimmer, Oskari Kausiala, Tuija Jokinen, Lauri Ahonen, Jyri Mikkila, Jani Hakala, Xu‐Cheng He, Jenni Kontkanen, Klara K. E. Wolf, David Cappelletti, Mauro Mazzola, Rita Traversi, Chiara Petroselli, Angelo P. Viola, Vito Vitale, Robert Lange, Andreas Massling, Jakob K. Nøjgaard, Radovan Krejci, Linn Karlsson, Paul Zieger, Sehyun Jang, Kitack Lee, Ville Vakkari, Janne Lampilahti, Roseline C. Thakur, Katri Leino, Juha Kangasluoma, Ella‐Maria Duplissy, Erkki Siivola, Marjan Marbouti, Yee Jun Tham, Alfonso Saiz‐Lopez, Tuukka Petaja, Mikael Ehn, Douglas R. Worsnop, Henrik Skov, Markku Kulmala, Veli‐Matti Kerminen, Mikko Sipila, Differing mechanisms of new particle formation at two Arctic sites. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2020GL091334 (2021).

Rinaldi, M., Hiranuma, N., Santachiara, G., Mazzola, M., Mansour, K., Paglione, M., Rodriguez, C. A., Traversi, R., Becagli, S., Cappelletti, D., and Belosi, F. Ice-nucleating particle concentration measurements from Ny- ̊Alesund during the Arctic spring–summer in 2018, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 21, 14725–14748 (2021).

B. Moroni, C. Ritter, S. Crocchianti, K. Markowicz, M. Mazzola, S. Becagli, R. Traversi, R. Krejci, P. Tunved, and D. Cappelletti, Individual particle characteristics, optical properties and evolution of an ex- treme long-range transported biomass burning event in the European Arctic (Ny- ̊Alesund, Svalbard Islands), Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 125, e2019JD031535 (2020).

Ferrero, L., Cappelletti, D., Busetto, M., Mazzola, M., Lupi, A., Lanconelli, C., Becagli, S., Traversi, R., Caiazzo, L., Giardi, F., Moroni, B., Crocchianti, S., Fierz, M., Mocnik, G., Sangiorgi, G., Perrone, M. G., Maturilli, M., Vitale, V., Udisti, R., and Bolzacchini, E., Vertical profiles of aerosol and black carbon in the Arctic: a seasonal phenomenology along 2 years (2011-2012) of field campaigns, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16, 12601--12629 (2016).

2. Atmosphere-Criosphere interaction

Deposition of contaminants on the snow and ice surface over the main glaciological apparatus in Svalbard islands and Italian appenines.


2020-2022: SMIVIA – Snow-coverage Modeling, Inversion and Validation using multi-mission multi-frequency Interferometric SAR in central Apennine (bando ASI, DC-UOT-2019-017).
2019: BC-HOR - Spatial Distributions of Black Carbon and Mineral Dust in Air and Snow Surface Layers on the Hornsund Glaciers, Principal investigator, INTERACT EU project, Funded by H2020 (Grant Agreement No. 730938).
2018-2020: BC-3D – Spatial Distribution of Black Carbon and Mineral Dust in Air and Snow Surface Layers upon Svalbard Glaciers – Principal Investigator – project. N. 283466, finanziato dal Norwegian Research Council, con il programma Svalbard Strategic Grant (SSG, 2018).
2017-2021: SIDDARTA – Source Identification of (mineral) Dust to AntaRcTicA - Local unit Coordinator, finanziato dal MIUR con il programma PNRA 2016.
2013-2014: Coupling of climatic system components and physical, chemical and biological processes at the interface in the Arctic – Local Unit Coordinator - Progetto Bilaterale finanziato dal MAE - PGR00168 (2013-2014) - Italia-Korea.

Relevant publications

Bertò, M., Cappelletti, D., Barbaro, E., Varin, C., Gallet, J.-C., Markowicz, K., Rozwadowska, A., Mazzola, M., Crocchianti, S., Poto, L., Laj, P., Barbante, C., and Spolaor, A., Variability of Black Carbon mass concentration in surface snow at Svalbard, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21, 12479–12493 (2021).

Francois Burgay, Elena Barbaro, David Cappelletti, Clara Turetta, Jean-Charles Gallet, Elisabeth Isaksson, Barbara Stenni, Giuliano Dreossi, Federico Scoto, Carlo Barbante, Andrea Spolaor First discrete iron(II) records from Dome C (Antarctica) and the Holtedahlfonna glacier (Sval- bard), Chemosphere, 267, 129335 (2021).

Spolaor, A., Varin, C., Pedeli, X., Christille, J.M., Kirchgeorg, T., Giardi, F., Cappelletti, D., Turetta, C., Cairns, W.R.L., Gambaro, A., Bernagozzi, A., Gallet, J.C., Bj ̈orkman, M.P., Barbaro, E. Source, timing and dynamics of ionic species mobility in the Svalbard annual snowpack, Science of The Total Environment 751, 141640 (2021).

Spolaor, A., Barbaro, E., Cappelletti, D., Turetta, C., Mazzola, M., Giardi, F., Bj ̈orkman, M. P., Lucchetta, F., Dallo, F., Pfaffhuber, K. A., Angot, H., Dommergue, A., Maturilli, M., Saiz-Lopez, A., Barbante, C., and Cairns, W. R. L. Diurnal cycle of iodine, bromine, and mercury concentrations in Svalbard surface snow, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 19 13325–13339 (2019).

3. Long term aerosol measurements at the Regional Background site of Monte Martano

The site of Monte Martano (MM) has been set up in the 2009 by a joint research project of the University of Perugia and ARPA Umbria, funded by the Umbria Region and in part supported by a grant of Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio of Perugia. Since 2013 the monitoring site is part of the Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System (SDS-WAS, network of the World Metrological Organization (WMO) for the observation of the Saharan dust advections. Since 2017 we joined the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) network (EMEP Regional Site n. IT00019R). There are various activities at the site, which include the characterization of Saharan dust intrusions and the use plant leaves as passive sampling for air pollutants.


2008-2015: Air quality: Source apportionment of particulate matter in urban environment in Umbria – Principal Investigator – Finanziato da ARPA Umbria (Principal Investigator).
2009-2010: Aerosol vertical profile by tethered balloon over the cities of Terni, Milano and Merano, Principal Investigator – Finanziato da Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Terni e Narni and EURAC (Bolzano).
2009: Realization of a high altitude air quality monitoring station for the study of transnational pollutants transport, Principal Investigator – Finanziato da Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Perugia.
2008-2012: Chemical and morphological characterization of particulate matter in Umbria, finanziato dalla Regione Umbria (PI).

Relevant publications

Chiara Petroselli, Elena Montalbani, Gianandrea La Porta, Stefano Crocchianti, Beatrice Moroni, Chiara Casagrande, Elisa Ceci, Roberta Selvaggi, Bartolomeo Sebastiani, Isabella Gandolfi, Andrea Franzetti, Ermanno Federici, David Cappelletti, Characterization of long-range transported bioaerosols in the Central Mediterranean,  Science of The Total Environment, 763, 143010 (2021).

B. Moroni, S. Castellini, S. Crocchianti, A. Piazzalunga, P. Fermo, F. Scardazza, D. Cappelletti Ground-based measurements of long-range trans- ported aerosol at the rural regional background site of Monte Martano (Central Italy), Atmospheric Research, 155 23–36 (2015).

C. Petroselli, S. Crocchianti, B. Moroni, S. Castellini, R. Selvaggi, S. Nava, G. Calzolai, F. Lucarelli, D. Cappelletti Disentangling the major source areas for an intense aerosol advection in the Central Mediterranean on the basis of Potential Source Contribution Function modeling of chemical and size distribution measurements, Atmospheric Research 204 67-77 (2018).

L. Ferrero, M. Castelli, B. S. Ferrini, M. Moscatelli, M. G. Perrone, G. Sangiorgi, G. Rovelli, L. D’Angelo, B. Moroni, F. Scardazza, G. Mocnik, E. Bolzacchini, M. Petitta, and D. Cappelletti Impact of black carbon aerosol over Italian basin valleys: high resolution measurements along vertical profiles, radiative forcing and heating rate, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 14, 9641-9664 (2014).

4. Atmospheric dispersion and pollutants forecast.

Lagrangian and Eulerian models are run daily to forecast Saharan dust intrusions at the MM site. This activity is conducted in collaboration with the SDS-WAS center at the Barcelona. Moreover, pollution forecasts (O3, NOx, PM) are conducted daily in collaboration with ARPA Umbria with the CHIMERE model. Long term campaign for pollutants dispersion in urban context by mobile measurements platforms.


2012-2015: PMETRO: Particulate matter monitoring in real time by means of a mobile station. Principal Investigator - finanziato da ARPA Umbria, Regione dell’Umbria and Comune di Perugia.
2005: Structure and dynamics of species of atmospheric interest of relevance for Greenhouse effect and global warming, Principal Investigator – Finanziato da Galileo Project, Italian-France Coordinated action.

Relevant publications

Crocchianti, S., Del Sarto, S., Ranalli, M.G., Moroni, B., Castellini, S., Petroselli, C., Cappelletti, D, Spatiotemporal correlation of urban pollutants by long-term measurements on a mobile observation platform, Environmental Pollution, 268, Article number 115645 (2021).

Tositti, L., Moroni, B., Dinelli, E., Morozzi, P., Brattich, E., Sebastiani, B., Petroselli, C., Crocchianti, S., Selvaggi, R., Goretti, E., Cappelletti, D. Deposition processes over complex topographies: Experimen- tal data meets atmospheric modeling, Science of The Total Environment 744, 140974 (2020)

S. Sandrini, S. Fuzzi, A. Piazzalunga, P. Prati, P. Bonasoni, F. Cavalli, M. C. Bove, M. Calvello, D. Cappelletti, C. Colombi, D. Contini, G. de Gennaro, A. Di Gilio, P. Fermo, L. Ferrero, V. Gianelle, Michele Giugliano, P. Ielpo, G. Lonati, A. Marinoni, D. Massab\'o, U. Molteni, B. Moroni, G. Pavese, C. Perrino, M. G. Perrone, M. R. Perrone, J.-Ph. Putaud, T. Sargolini, R. Vecchi, S. Gilardoni, Spatial and seasonal variability of carbonaceous aerosol across Italy, Atmospheric Environment, 99, 587-598 (2014).

B. Moroni, D. Cappelletti, F. Marmottini, F. Scardazza, L. Ferrero, E. Bolzacchini, Integrated single particle-bulk chemical approach for the characterization of local and long range sources of particulate pollutants, Atmospheric Environment, 50, 267--277 (2012).

5. Search of novel bioindicators

The ECT group has a strong collaboration with the Ecology group of the DCBB in developing novel bioindicators. The latters include chironomids, bees, butterflies and some mammalian predators. The work is mainly focused on the determination of trace compounds in the tissues of the potential bio-indicators with advanced analytical methodologies.


2014-2015: Biodiversity and biomagnification in lepidoptra: effects of atmospheric deposition and soil nature – Principal Investigator – finanziato da ARPA Umbria

Relevant publications

E. Goretti, M. Pallottini, R. Rossi, G. La Porta, T. Gardi, B.T. Cenci Goga, A.C. Elia, M. Galletti, B. Moroni, C. Petroselli, R. Selvaggi, D. Cappelletti, Heavy metal bioaccumulation in honey bee matrix, an indicator to assess the contamination level in terrestrial environments, Environmental Pollution, 256, 113388 (2020).

E. Goretti, M. Pallottini, M. I. Ricciarini, R. Selvaggi, D. Cappelletti Heavy metals bioaccumulation in selected tissues of red swamp crayfish: an easy tool for monitoring environmental contamination levels, Science of the Total Environment 559 339-346 (2016)

6. Atmosphere-plant-bacteria interactions

The ECT group has a long standing collaboration with the microbiology group of the DCBB in the study of the interaction of atmospheric pollutants that may be deposited on the plant leaves and defining the role of bacterial population leaving on the plants themselves. Sampling and characterization of pollutants adsorbed on the plant leaves is the main contribution of the ECT group at the project.


2022-2023: ECOROADS – Innovative barriErs for mitigation of noise and Chemical pOllution from ROADS, PON 2014-2020, (cod. ARS01_00752) Perugia unit coordinator.
2016: SINERGIA - Fillobiorisanamento: utilizzo delle interazioni piante-batteri come strumento innovativo per il trattamento biologico di inquinanti volatili per la sicurezza negli impianti produttivi - Local Unit Coordinator – finanziato da INAIL con il programma BRIC.

Relevant publications

Andrea Franzetti, Isabella Gandolfi, Giuseppina Bestetti, Emilio Padoa Schioppa, Claudia Canedoli, Diego Brambilla, David Cappelletti, Bartolomeo Sebastiani, Ermanno Federici, Maddalena Papacchini, Roberto Ambrosini, Plant-microorganisms interaction promotes removal of air pollutants in Milan (Italy) urban area, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 384, 121021 (2020).

E. Federici, C. Petroselli, E. Montalbani, C. Casagrande, E. Ceci, B. Moroni, G. La Porta, S. Castellini, R. Selvaggi, B. Sebastiani, S. Crocchianti, I. Gandolfi, A. Franzetti, D. Cappelletti Airborne bacteria and persistent organic pollutants associated with an intense Saharan dust event in the Central Mediterranean, Science of the Total Environment 645 401-410 (2018).