San Donato Milanese, 21 July 2023 - Eni’s Chairman, Giuseppe Zafarana, and CEO Claudio Descalzi today welcomed the Minister of Economy and Finance, Giancarlo Giorgetti, the President of Lombardy, Attilio Fontana, the Councillor for Economic Development of Lombardy, Guido Guidesi, and the Mayor of San Donato Milanese, Francesco Squeri, to Eni’s Research Centre in Bolgiano to illustrate the technological solutions at the core of the company's decarbonisation strategy.
Eni’s Bolgiano Research Centre has been a space dedicated to innovation since 1985. The site includes a cluster of scientific labs working on research and development of new technologies in areas ranging from geosciences and engineering to chemistry and materials science, aiming to achieve new efficiency and more sustainability targets that can be applied at industrial level. Within the Bolgiano Research Centre, Eni promotes proprietary and breakthrough technologies for decarbonisation within its three main research areas: renewables and new energies, decarbonisation’ solutions, circular and bio products.
The visit saw the presentation of the most significant results achieved in these areas by Eni's R&D including projects and technologies for the decarbonisation of transport through agro-energy development and the EcofiningTM technology which also allow to obtain biofuels from biological waste and raw materials not in competition with food supply chains. As part of the circular economy framework, Eni is strongly committed to the use of waste material as a primary energy source, as well as, the use of Waste&Residues, such as, used frying oils, animal fats and PFAD (Palm Fatty Acid Distillate). For this reason, Eni, has developed a "Biofeedstock Database", in which bio raw materials of different types are characterised and studied to predict their effectiveness in the production of biofuels. The Eni Database, which currently contains more than 400 biofeedstocks, is among the first in the world and one of the richest in terms of variety of the characterised biomaterials.
Innovative projects in the field of robotics were also presented, designed to automate and digitise environmental monitoring operations and asset integrity, research on new renewables and on energy storage, as well as systems and products in the field of carbon capture, storage and utilisation. Special focus was given to technologies that could prove to become 'technological breakthroughs' and to scientific collaborations with leading universities and research centres in Italy and worldwide. These, include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), ENEA (National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development) and CNR (National Research Council) with which Eni is engaged in research on fusion energy. This could represent a real 'game changer' in the field of decarbonised energy because - once scaled up to an industrial level - it has the potential to generate large quantities of zero-emission energy though a safe and virtually unlimited processes.
Eni is a technology-intensive company with 7 research centres in Italy, over 1,000 researchers and 8,000 patents. Innovation is the tool that Eni uses of to address the complex challenges posed by the energy transition, with the aim of offering increasingly decarbonised solutions, services, and products as well as the creation of new business models. Each new result achieved by Eni Research contributes to reaching Net Zero’s objective by 2050, with an approach based on the principle of technology neutrality, according to which there is no single solution to achieve the energy transition, but rather a technology mix adaptable to different applications and needs.