ITAE is organised in two buildings that are located within a short distance of each other.
The main building was inaugurated in 1992 and it spans on 3 floors for a total area of 4800 sq.m. The first level on ground floor includes 19 laboratories (see list below), warehouses at labs’ disposal, and other general utilities. The first floor hosts the research staff and administrative services offices. The second floor includes the Auditorium having a seating area (100 seats) and providing for conferences and teleconferences services, a little guesthouse for students, and the canteen. The roof is arranged in order to hold little prototypes to test.
The second building is called Test Centre; it was inaugurated in 2013, and it was built according to an Operating Institutional Agreement (Italian acronym AIP) between Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection, Sicily Industry Council and the National Research Council. It aims at creating an infrastructure that is able to offer a support service to the industry related to the development of innovative systems for energy production and environmentally-friendly fuels.
The following labs are located in the main headquarters:
- Catalysts for hydrogen production
- Direct-Alcohol Fuel Cells (DAFC), PEM electrolysers, solar-cells
- Polymeric electrolyte Fuel Cells
- Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
- Components for Adsorption heat pumps and thermal energy storage systems
- Materials for Adsorption heat pumps and thermal energy storage
- Materials for selective transport and hydrogen storage
- Synthesis of Electrocatalysts
- Fuels pre-treatment and catalysts preparation
- Biomass conversion processes
- Energy systems
Furthermore, 3 labs host shared research devices and equipment:
- GEN1 – X-rays, where the X-ray diffractometers (XRD), the X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and the X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) devices are installed.
- GEN2 – SEM, where the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with field emitter and micro analysis, and UV-Visible absorption spectometer.
- GEN3 – Materials, where the tools for the characterisation of materials through elemental analysis CHNS, BET porosimetry and thermogravimetric are installed.
The following testing rigs are located at the Test Centre:
- Polymer Electrolyte Ful Cells (Power class 1-5 kW, 10-20 kW and 50 kW for application in the transport field).
- Direct-Alcohol Fuel Cells (Power Class 1-5 kW)
- Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (Power Class from 1 kW to 5 kW)
- Hydrogen or syngas generators (Power until Nm3/h of H2) based on reforming (SR, ATR, POX, etc.) of liquid and gaseous hydrocarbon.
- Biomass gasifiers and syngas purification lines.
- Thermal energy conversion and storage.
- Hydrogen storage sistems with max capacity 1.0 kg of H2.
- Electrolysers connected to wind turbines or photovoltaics systems.
- Systems for transport