ENEA - Trisaia Research Centre
S.S. Ionica, km 419.5 75026 Rotondella (Matera)
Tel. +39-0835-974111, fax +39-0835-974292
Dr. Donato Viggiano
e-mail: [email protected]
The Trisaia Research Centre, set up in 1962 as a facility for the treatment of spent fuel
elements, is currently a multidisciplinary centre equipped to perform research and
development activities in a wide range of sectors: agro-biotechnology; laser applications;
technology innovation for industry; renewable energy sources (biomass and solar
energy); metrology; environmental monitoring; radioprotection; rare earths; waste
The Centre counts 260 employees. In December 2004 the Centre obtained the double
certification for the Integrated Environment Management System (according to the ISO
14001:96 regulation) and Safety (according to the OHSAS 18001:99 Standard).
Aerial view of the Trisaia Research Centre
The Centre was set up in 1962 in the Trisaia Inferiore, within the Rotondella Municipality,
at about 4 km from the Jonian Sea, close to the Sinni river and the Pantano di Policoro
Initially, the activities performed regarded the nuclear fuel cycle and the management of
several prototype plants for the development and qualification of nuclear processes and
components. In the second half of the eighties, the Centre started to convert its
activities, in the framework of a general strengthening of the facilities for the scientific
and technological research in southern Italy, expanding its competencies also through
the acquisition of young personnel. Presently, the Centre performs activities regarding all
the programmatic objectives of ENEA.
The Centre has a significant archaeological value, being situated in an area where in the
past, the Greek colony of Siris rose, notably the port area of the ancient city at the outlet
of the Sinni river. The acropolis, the sacred area and the necropolis of Siris have been
detected instead along the Castello di Policoro hill, where in 433-32 BC Heracleia was
built after the decadence and destruction of Siris. The different aspects of the life of the
Greek colonies are documented by the finds of exquisite manufacture stored in the
National Museum of Sirtide in Policoro and the National Archaeological Museum of
Metaponto. The plateau on which the Centre is situated was in ancient times occupied by
a great quantity of siroi, underground hollows, commonly defined as “potholes for
pagans”, where cereals were stored. In later times the siroi were sunk underground,
probably because they constituted a danger to men and animals. At the beginning of the
sixties, in the area were discovered seven/eight siroi, of which at least one, preserved
well enough to be studied.
Restored upper part of some “siroi” in the “Pothole of the Pagans”, located outside the
Centre. The “siroi” were used as storage sites for cereals
The activities, conducted with leading edge equipment and facilities, concern:
laser applications
technology innovation for industry
renewable energy sources (biomass and solar energy)
environmental monitoring
rare earths
waste treatment.
The agro-biotechnology activities touch upon a wide range of areas:
• quality improvement and diversification in agricultural produce;
• experimentation, demonstration and transfer of technologies and methodologies for
typical products of southern Italy. An Integrated Innovation Centre for Agrobiotechnologies has been established, aimed at developing innovation technologies and
systems, as well as providing advanced services to small and medium sized enterprises
of the field;
• information services to firms, concerning certification and evaluation of product quality;
• preparation, certification and furnish with reference materials.
Genomics Laboratory: Microarray Printing System
The Centre possesses an experimental station for research and development of laser
technology applications in the treatment of materials, used for:
• qualification of the laser welding process through microstructural, mechanical and
behavioural characterization;
• consultancy services to enterprises for the introduction of innovation processes based
on laser technology.
The activities, also conducted trough the CALEF Consortium, concern:
• innovative solutions for the creation of steel railway panels;
• applications of optical beams to light-weight aluminium alloys for naval and aerospatial
• welding of steel structural elements and structural components employed in the
aeronautics sector;
• cutting of parabolic shapes for solar concentrators;
• training activities, with the collaboration of other research bodies and institutions.
Laser application laboratory: detail of parabolic steel shape cutting
The Centre features facilities for the transfer of innovative technologies from research to
production and to enterprises, with particular reference to the southern Italy area:
• a Centre for automation technologies of the manufacturing process, that carries out
R&D activities to design and fabricate prototypes for the automation of the fruit and
vegetable and milk and dairy product sectors, as well as consultancy, support and
technology transfer to agroindustrial firms;
• a Services Centre providing assistance to SMEs for the retrieval and recycling of
industrial waste, designed to promoting the use of novel technologies and services in the
mechanics, textile, ceramics and tannery sectors;
• a Centre of innovation in goods transportation, in technology R&D and training, in the
field of transportation intermodality (railway-road-water) and diagnostic, in support to
the maintenance of transportation components and systems.
Centre for automation technologies of the manufacture processes: fruit and vegetables
calibration and automatic filling of containers
Research in the biomass sector is currently focused on two transformation processes,
steam explosion and gasification, aiming at
• defining and certifying chemical and physical characteristics of biomass in relation to its
application in the energy field;
• developing and qualifying technologies for the exploitation of biomass residues from
agricultural production and pruning, forests and wood waste (wood industry);
• implementing eco-compatible technologies for power generation from hydrogen
processed in fuel cells. The Centre possesses a laboratory for testing and qualifying solar
components and systems, whose activities concern mainly:
• certifying thermal efficiency of solar components;
• studying solar thermal desalination systems;
• studying concentrating solar plants for hydrogen production and power generation;
• setting a quality mark recognized at European level (Solar Keymark).
500 kWt fluidized bed steam gasification plant
The Integrated Centre for Metrology is a complex of laboratories equipped with cuttingedge machinery, all SIT certified or about to be certified. The Centre constitutes a major
reference point for the manufacturing industries of southern Italy in the field of nondestructive testing. The Centre conducts research on applied metrology and qualification
of materials and components. The main research areas concern:
• certification services of materials and components (SIT and ISO 9000 certificates);
• training of qualified personnel in the sector of quality control, measurements and tests,
R&D of new products and technologies.
Non-destructive analysis on building materials: elaboration of thermographic images
performed on Palazzo Agresta D’Alessandro (Rotondella – MT)
The activities concern the following subject matters:
• environmental monitoring/forecasting services;
• analysis of the level of air, soil and water pollution in agricultural, urban and industrial
• analysis for environmental reclamation;
• environmental monitoring in areas destined to waste disposal (monitored rubbish
• characterization of the environmental impact of agricultural and industrial activities;
• environmental quality control in support to the Protected Designation of Origin
agricultural product;
• training of qualified personnel in the environmental sector.
The Centre also works as a reference point for the national networks monitoring acid rain
and radioactivity in the Mediterranean Sea.
Chemical biological laboratory: HPLC chromatographer
The Institute for Radioprotection (IRP) is present in five ENEA Centres (Bologna,
Casaccia, Frascati, Saluggia and Trisaia) and conducts activities regarding:
• physical and environmental radioprotection surveillance, that ENEA, as manager of
facilities and laboratories capable of emitting ionizing radiations, is obliged to carry out as
prescribed by law;
• research, development
radioprotection techniques.
The IRP also provides on demand by national, local and private institutes, radioprotection
evaluations on activities carried out by structures and laboratories capable of emitting
ionizing radiations. The IRP of the Trisaia Centre performs radiotoxicology surveillance
activities and Whole Body Counter measurements for employees, presenting a high level
of contamination risk.
Counter, with mobile bed and NaI(TI) detector
Within the activities on new materials, a pilot plant has been set up for the development
and optimization of hydrometallurgical processes for the treatment of industrial waste
and sludge and the retrieval of ultrapure metals (rare earths, indium, gallium, PGM –
Platinum Group Metals – germanium, gold, copper, etc.). The activities specifically linked
to the plant, supported by a laboratory of process control, concern:
• R&D of chemical processes for separation and purification of high added value metals;
• technological transfer to the Italian industry of the know how necessary for producing
those metals;
• development of techniques for process control and automation.
Rare earths plant: dissolution process
The activities concern development and experimentation of:
• optimization processes of productive cycles for reducing production of waste and
• waste treatment and disposal of waste: solid urban waste, waste containing asbestos,
hospital waste, special waste, hazardous and non-hazardous waste (for emergency
• processes for the exploitation of waste and sludge, also polymer based (plastic, gum,
carbon fibres) for energy and material recycle;
• techniques for the treatment of waste flows for the exploitation of contained metals
(biodegradable organic substances, metallic materials, etc.);
• anaerobic digestion of humid waste selected from urban and agri-food industry residues
for energy recycling;
• treatment of civil purifier effluents to be reutilized as irrigation water;
• pollution remediation
The Centre possesses research laboratories and pilot plants for the development of
innovative processes and technologies as well as industrial-sized mobile plants for
emergency actions and environmental reclamation.
Mobile plant for thermal treatment of waste and reclamation of polluted sites
A visit to the laboratories and experimental plants of the Trisaia Centre enables to
acquire a satisfying picture of the activities carried out, and a direct knowledge of
processes, technologies and their applications.
To arrange to visit the Centre contact:
Maurizio Matera tel. +39-0835-974564, fax +39-0835-974740
[email protected]
By car: Motorway A3 (Rome-Reggio Calabria) - exit Lauria Nord: continue on S.S.
653 until the entrance to the S.S. 106 Ionica, direction Reggio Calabria Motorway
A14 (Bologna-Taranto) - exit Palagiano: take S.S. 106 Ionica, direction Reggio
By train: Bari-Taranto-Sibari line, Policoro or Nova Siri Station
By bus: From Rome: Roma-Trebisacce line – SAJ Lines (Tel. +39-0981-500331)
From Naples: Napoli-Policoro line – Grassani&Garofalo Lines (Tel. +39- 0835901443) From Bari: Bari-Taranto-Cosenza line – SAJ Lines (Tel. +39-0981-500331)
By plane: Bari Airport
Address of the Centre
ENEA - Trisaia Research Centre
S.S. Ionica, km 419.5 75026 Rotondella (Matera)
Tel. +39-0835-974111, fax +39-0835-974292