Foto del docente

Rita Mazzoni

Associate Professor

Department of Industrial Chemistry "Toso Montanari"

Academic discipline: CHIM/03 General and Inorganic Chemistry

Curriculum vitae

Qualification: Associate Professor at the University of Bologna (Department of Industrial Chemistry “Toso Montanari”) SSD 03/B1 Fundamentals of chemical science and inorganic systems, CHIM03 Inorganic Chemistry. Researcher from October 2006 to september 2019 at the same Department. Post-doc position from January 2005 to september 2006 at the same Department.

Prof. Rita Mazzoni research activity is documented by 63 publications, for two of which a “front cover picture” has been attributed, 2 book chapter and 2 European Patents.

Main research interests

Prof. Rita Mazzoni research interests are focused on the rational design synthesis and application of homogeneous catalytic systems for sustainable biomass conversion (e.g. bio-oil mixtures, HFM and bio-ethanol valorization) and energy transition (water oxidation, hydrogen production, acqueous phase reforming) based on group 7-11 metal complexes which combine cyclopentadienone, carbonyl and N-heterocyclic carbene ligands in mononuclear complexes or cyclopentadienil, carbonyl and bridging ligands in dinuclear complexes. More in details principal research interests are described as in the following:

  • Rational design of homogeneous ruthenium based catalytic systems for the development of innovative processes toward the conversion of bio-based platforms (e.g. 2,5-hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF), 2,5-bis-hydroxymethylfurfural (BHMF), bio-ethanol from waste) to building blocks for green and energy transition (second generation bio-fuel) and for sustainable materials such as bio-based polymers;
  • Design, synthesis and application of Earth-abundant transition metal complexes (e.g. Fe and Mn) which combine cyclopentadienone and N-heterocyclic carbene ligands for energy transition (water oxidation, hydrogen production, acqueous phase reforming) and for the development of sustainable materials for sensor applications, flame behaviour control and bio-inorganic applications (e.g. anticancer pro-drugs development);
  • Design, synthesis and application of dinuclear iron complexes bearing bridging ligands suitable for the proton responsive electrocatalytic production of hydrogen from acidic hydrogen sources.
  • Sustainable processes for the synthesis of multifunctionalized smart polymers and nanomaterials;
  • Design of recyclable molecular (single site) catalytic systems by means of biphasic (ionic liquid) approaches or by immobilization on polymers techniques.

Ph.D. in Chemical Science

1 January 2002-31 december 2004. Awarded in April 2005. The Ph.D. project was aimed at the design, synthesis, characterization and application in catalytic transformation of transition metal complexes. Main reaction studied employed rhodium based homogeneous catalysts for hydroformilation and hydrosililation reactions with functionalized cyclopentadienyl ligands. Iron multifunctionalized ferrocenes were also developed for flame retardant applications.


Best presentation during the IV Sigma Aldrich Young Chemists Symposium (2004). The talk titled "Immobilization of [Rh(NBD)(C5H4CO2(CH2)2OH)] on Poly(propylenimine) Dendrimers" has been published as a newsletter on the Aldrichimica Acta, vol. 37, 2004, N°1.

Best PhD thesis in inorganic chemistry (XVII cycle) by the Inorganic Chemistry Division of the Italian Chemical Society in occasion of its the XXXIII National Conference (Siena 11-16 July 2005).

Editorial activity

Guest editor for Catalysts (MDPI): special issue "Ligand Design in Metal Chemistry: Reactivity and Catalysis"


1) F. Cavani, V. Zanotti, R. Mazzoni, C. Lucarelli, C. Cesari, T. Tabanelli, F. Puzzo, Improved process for the transformation of primary aliphatic alcohols into higher aliphatic alcohols, patent WO2019193079 (A1) (2019) assigned to University of Bologna.

2) L. Busetto, M.C. Cassani, R. Mazzoni. Procedure for the preparation of metal complexes containing hydroxycarbonylcyclopentadienide ligands. EP 1258487A1, (2002) assigned to University of Bologna.


Bachelor and master degree in Industrial Chemistry: several courses on General, Inorganic and Inorganic Material Chemistry;

Master - MaCoF in composite materials - Faenza - IT.

Ph.D. courses: Organometallic complexes for sustainable homogeneous catalysis; Transition metals and lanthanides in medicinal chemistry.

Tutor of 4 post doc and 2 Ph.D.; co-tutor of 5 Ph.D.;

Tutor of 15 master degree thesis and co-tutor of 8 master degree thesis;

Tutor of 23 Bachelor degree thesis and co-tutor of 10 bachelor degree thesis.

Further affiliations

  • Member of the Centre for Industrial Research, Renewable Sources Environment, Sea, Energy (CIRI-FRAME).
  • Member of the scientific commitee of the Center of Catalysis – University of Bologna.

Participation to national and international conferences

“Ad Hoc” presentation XXVII Conference of Italian Chemical Society, 2021 Cyclopentadienone-NHC Iron(0) electrocatalysts for water oxidation”

Participation to several national and international conferences on Green Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Catalysis (90 oral or poster contributions).


National Collaborations: same Department

Prof. Fabrizio Cavani, Prof. Stefania Albonetti, Prof. Francesco Basile, Drs. Tommaso Tabanelli, Dr. Andrea Fasolini (biomass transformations and hydrogen production);

Prof. Ivan Rivalta (theoretical calculations);

Prof. Erika Scavetta, Prof. Isacco Gualandi, Dr. Federica Mariani (electrocatalytic and sensor applications);

Prof. Laura Mazzocchetti, Prof. Tiziana Benelli (polymer chemistry);

Prof. Fabrizio Passarini (LCA);

Prof. Andrea Mazzanti (advanced NMR techniques).

National collaborations

Prof. Marco Lucarini, Prof. Paola Franchi (EPR measurements) - Department of Chemistry - University of Bologna;

Prof. Manuela Bartolini (SMALP applications) - Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology - University of Bologna;

Prof. Emilia Sicilia, Prof. Gloria Mazzone (theoretical calculations) - University of Calabria.

International collaborations

Prof. Beatriz Royo (Instituto de Tecnologia Quımica e Biologica da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Av. da Republica, EAN, 2780-157 Oeiras, Portugal);

Prof. Fahmi Himo (Department of Organic Chemistry, Arrhenius Laboratory, Stockholm University, 10 691, Stockholm, Sweden)

Prof. R. Tom Baker (Chair, CIC Catalysis Division Canada Research Chair in Catalysis Science for Energy Applications Dept. of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences and CCRI, 30 Marie Curie, BSC 407A, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, CANADA;

Prof. Hansjörg Grützmacher Laboratorium für Anorganische Chemie, Vladimir-Prelog-Weg 1, ETH Hönggerberg, HCI H 131 8093 Zürich;

Prof. Martin Albrecht Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry , University of Bern , Freiestrasse 3, 3012 Bern (Switzerland);

Prof. Paul Newman School of Chemistry, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK;


Caviro S.P.A. (winery production chain: supplier of waste bio-ethanol platform);

Biolchim S.P.A (sustainable production of fertilizers).

GST s.r.l. (development of industrial chemical processes).

Polynt S.P.A. (development of sustainable industrial chemical processes by homogeneous catalysis)


- PRIN2022 – Piano Nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza, addressed to Progetti di Ricerca di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale”. D.D. n. 104 del 2/2/2022, Project title: Biomass-derived alcohols and polyols valorization and use by dehydrogenation/hydrogenation reactions promoted by bifunctional and proton-responsive homogeneous catalysts (ALCOVAL)”, codice 20225N5T5B – CUP J53D23008500006"

- “Ecosystem for Sustainable Transition in Emilia-Romagna, project funded by European Union under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), Mission 04 Component 2 Investment 1.5—NextGenerationEU, Call for tender n. 3277 dated 30/12/2021, Award Number: 0001052 dated 23/06/2022”

- Regional project POR-FESR 2014-2020 - VALSOVIT – “Sustainable valorization of wine waste for chemical and cosmetic industry”. Participation to the group coordinated by Prof. Fabrizio Cavani.

- Horizon 2020 / BBI-JU; Call: H2020-BBI-PPP-2014-1 (2014-2019) - FIRST2RUN (G.A. nr. 669029) “Flagship demonstration of an integrated biorefinery for dry crops sustainable exploitation toward biobased materials production” - Participation to the group coordinated by Prof. Fabrizio Cavani.

- POC-UNIBO/POC-MISE 2020 “Improved process for the transformation of primary aliphatic alcohols into higher aliphatic alcohols”.

- PRIN Projects 2002, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2015 (participation to the group coordinated by Prof. Luigi Busetto or Prof. Valerio Zanotti):

- FARB project of the University of Bologna (2014-2015) “Catalytic transfromation of biomass-derived materials into high added-value chemicals”.

- Strategic project of the University of Bologna (2007-2009): Agro-Energy farm: biomass pyrolysis and upgrading of the liquid fraction for fuel production”.

Scientific and organizing commitee

Member of the scientific commitee and of the organising commitee of four editions (VIII, IX, X, XI) of the Sigma Aldrich Young Chemists Symposium (2008-2011);

Member of the scientific commitee of the XVIII Day of Chemistry in Emilia Romagna (2018).

Elected member of the Directive Commitee of the Young Group of the Italian Chemical Society (two triennial mandates 2006-2008 and 2009-2011).

Elected member of the Directive Commitee of the Emilia Romagna section of the Italian Chemical Society (2018-2020).

Member of the Organizing Commitee of 46° National Conference in Inorganic Chemistry of the Italian Chemical Society (2018).

Member of the teaching board of the Ph.D. course in Nanoscience for Medicine and Environment (2017 to date).

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