Biomaterials & Biominerals

This session is an invitation for scientists, engineers and clinicians, from both academia and industry, to share their scientific findings and knowledge in biomaterials and medical devices for tissue repair, replacement and regeneration as well as for diagnostic and interventional procedures.
Main topics for this session:
- Science and technology of metallic, polymer, ceramic and composite biomaterials;
- Biomaterial synthesis and characterization;
- Shape memory and superelastic biomaterials;
- Nanostructured biomaterials and surfaces for medical applications;
- Medical device design and development;
- Medical Mineralogy

Convened by Scientific Committee (

Chemical reactions occurring at biogeochemical interfaces often control the mobility of bulk and trace elements and drive mineral precipitation. This is due to processes ranging from the molecular scale to the macro scale, that involve living tissues, organic molecules released to the environment, microbes, fluids and (bio)minerals. These are central to environmental sciences, and a growing number of multidisciplinary studies provide significant insight into how life is causative of environmental processes and can offer opportunities to develop environmental technologies. This session solicits contributions that explore the interactions between life and minerals from the molecular to the macro scale. Biogeochemical interfaces of relevance can include biofilms, the rhizosphere, biological tissues and fluids in a wide range of natural and engineered environments. Studies from the molecular scale to the field scale are encouraged. Focus will also include biomonitoring of pollutant transfer processes to the biosphere.

Convened by Scientific Committee (

All submissions that advance experimental and theoretical approaches to the study of biominerals and biomaterials are welcome, regardless of empirical focus.

Convened by Scientific Committee (

Cultural Heritage

The protection of historical buildings and the safe use of structures against natural hazard are among the priorities of Mediterranean countries, where many heritages are available and constitute a source of income and social development.
Due to time effects, the historical masonry buildings are subjected to high-rate damage due to earthquakes and sudden loading and shocks. They are also interested by low-rate deterioration due to environmental factors (i.e., cracking, decay of surface layers, weakening of mortar joints, etc.) which may cause collapse of such buildings.
It is therefore necessary to protect the masonry buildings from seismic and environmental hazards. This protection requires up-to-date scientific skills, such as reliability-based assessment, natural hazard modelling, computer-aided modelling and restoration.

Convened by Tarek Elsayed (, Paulo Lourenco (, Alaa Chateauneuf (, Giuliana Cardani (

Understanding the deterioration mechanisms of the minerals that constitute monuments and objects of art, and designing inorganic materials to restore their properties, is a high priority in the science of cultural heritage preservation. This session will emphasize, but is not limited to, contributions aimed at understanding and controlling mechanisms of damage (e.g., salt crystallization), and use of phosphate, oxalate, and other mineral consolidants for restoration.

Convened by Scientific Committee (

All submissions that advance experimental and theoretical approaches to the study of cultural heritages are welcome, regardless of empirical focus.

Convened by Scientific Committee (

Processing, Engineering & Applications

The main objective of this session is to promote the dialogue among different disciplines about new characterisation methods, product tests, problem-solving, innovative applications and production processes dealing with natural mineral and stone resources and nature-inspired geomaterials that contribute to the sustainable development. This session welcomes oral and poster contributions on case studies, characterisation methods, product tests, innovative applications, production processes dealing with ores, minerals and geomaterials used in the past and nowadays.

Convened by Jan Elsen (

Exploitation of mineral resources, together with their industrial transformation, generates an enormous amount of wastes, representing a significant potential risk to the environment. The objective of this session is to highline the important role of mineralogy and geochemistry to provide tools that could help in the valorisations, prevention, remediation and reduction of the impact caused on the environment by mining activities and industrial activities. The goal of the session will be to offer the state of the art in this field, including from mineralogical/geochemical characterization of different types of industrial and mine wastes, to the role of mineralogy in the development of proposals for the remediation of mining and industrial sites, through the application of new analytical techniques or the development of study procedures.

Convened by Maarten Broekmans (, Dieter Rammlmair (

Advanced technologies and the accelerating move away from carbon-based fuels following COP21 in 2015 have highlighted the need for secure supplies of the metals required. Typically these metals have a high value and are in short supply due to the rarity of their occurrence and bottlenecks in their extraction. Strategically it is preferable to avoid a monopoly by country, region or enterprise and the overall criticality is a combination of supply, demand, geographic concentration and perceived political risk. Although recycling of some of these elements is greater than 50%, for many recycling is below 1%. This session will examine the properties of minerals that may offer a resource of Ga, Te, Ge, In, Hf, the platinum-group and the rare-earth elements as well as Co, Ta, Nb, V, Sn and Cr.

Convened by John Bowles (

A geopolymer is an aluminosilicate binder formed by alkaline activation of solid alumina- and silica-containing precursor materials like clays, sand, slags, wastes, and so on. Precursors strictly influence its physico-chemical and working properties). Advanced mineralogical techniques may provide important information for linking the molecular, microstructural, and kinetic data required to understand and control the behaviour of such materials during the polycondensation process as well as their use. Some themes may be (i) role of clay raw nature, (ii) understanding of the polycondensation kinetics and microstructure development, (iii) binder nanostructures, (iv) role of impurity phases in the reaction, (v) performance of geopolymer binders. The comparison with the hydration process and concrete will be welcoming.

Convened by Scientific Committee (

Nature, quality, quantity, size and morphology of crystals grown in nature and laboratory are influenced by several parameters: temperature, reactants concentration, presence of chemical “impurities”, gas concentration, droplets, nanoparticles, microbes are among them. Knowing and understanding how crystals nucleate and grow both in geological and biological environments may provide the basis for the design of novel materials.

Convened by Gennaro Ventruti (, Ruggero Angelico (

Several methods for materials processing are used in materials science research in order to a better understanding of many material properties. The laser is one of them. It is also used for modifying the material surface. The aim of this session is to collect all the laser applications in materials science.

Convened by Nuno Ferreira (

All submissions that advance experimental and theoretical approaches to processing, engineering and applications of minerals and materials are welcome, regardless of empirical focus.

Convened by Scientific Committee (

Environment & Technology

High-tech metal mineral resources have become increasingly important for the global modern industry, not the least regarding “green” or “clean” technology and electronics applications. Most of the high-tech metals (e.g., In, Li, Ta and a majority of the rare earth metals) and their host minerals were originally discovered in Europe. Yet, these discoveries have so far not led to any larger-scale resource supply on the world market. Instead, the current industry is severely dependent on such mineral resources from single countries or regions outside of Europe. In order to avoid a future supply-risk situation, the European Union has identified the need for a more diversified global supply, including the possible utilisation of intra-European resources. The European bedrock has already proven to be enough variable and fertile to form concentrations of a number of high-tech metal minerals but the question is whether these concentrations also can be sufficiently large to become economically feasible raw material resources. In this session we invite contributions on high-tech metal mineral targets in Europe and outside the European Union.

Convened by Erik Jonsson (, Krister Sundblad (

This session is focussed on natural occurrence, mineralogical and chemical characteristics, properties, synthesis and industrial applications of porous and nanostructured minerals and materials (such as clay minerals, zeolites, oxides nanoparticles, layered double hydroxide nanoparticles). Contributions in health and environmental applications are welcome.

Convened by Scientific Annalisa Martucci (, Fabio Tateo (

Growing modern prosperity leads to the extraction and use of more sources and to the production of more waste. In order to preserve raw natural materials as well as to reduce the landfill deposition of hazardous products, the reuse of stabilised wastes and/or by-products is stimulated also by H2020 Work Programmes. According with this ambitious aim and with the need to find new sources representing an increasing priority particularly for Europe where more than 20% of the resources used are imported, this section is devoted to innovative processes, services and products that increase waste materials stabilization, reuse and recycle, including their sustainability assessment. The session welcomes oral and poster contributions on product tests, new application and case studies.

Convened by Elza Bontempi (, Claudia Belviso (, Giuseppe Tomasoni (

The aim of this session is to exchange and discuss ideas and information across the full spectrum of scientists who are working on microstructures, processing, evolution, application, novel developments and future outlook of materials and minerals for a safe environment.

Convened by Scientific Committee (

The major objective of this session is to show how the thermal treatment technologies (incineration/melting) decompose municipal solid waste (MSW) at high temperatures and generate a variety of products. Thermal treatment techniques including incineration, melting, and vitrification are commercially applied in Japan, EU countries, China, and USA, as an efficient approach for safe disposal of solid waste. Such techniques lead to the generation of a variety of solid materials including incineration ash and molten slag.
The ash/slag residues present some very interesting characteristics from the civil engineering viewpoints similar to those of gravel (such as granulometry, bearing capacity, frost resistance, hardness, and thermal expansion). As a consequence, they may be utilized as additive for the fabrication of precast concrete, roadbed construction, asphalt pavement, permeable bricks, interlocking blocks and so forth. The long-term planning for the disposal/utilization of such products, therefore, cannot be implemented without comprehensive knowledge of the components/minerals, since each characterizing phase will render its own influence on the weathering rate and the release of effluents to the environment. Such knowledge also provides the possibility of controlling combustion process in order to enhance the quality of the ultimate products and to minimize the soluble forms of heavy metals.
This session will certainly draw the attention of a wide scope of scientists from environmental engineering to material sciences.

Convened by Amirhomayoun Saffarzadeh (, Takayuki Shimaoka (

Nano & Micro

The use of nanomaterials as efficient catalysts to the development of sustainable catalytic processes is a hot topic due to its relevance for the chemical industry, as well as for address environmental issues, and it is attracting more and more researchers from all over the world. The session is expected to cover different issues, from fundamental to applied aspects of the nanocatalysis, and will strive to bring together members from the academia and industry. Moreover, the session is intended to be an international forum to share the most recent knowledge and ideas in the nanocatalysis field and to help the increase of knowledge in nanochemistry worldwide.

Convened by Luísa Margarida Martins (tbc) (, Piero Mastrorilli (, Maria Michela Dell'Anna (

The overall goal of this session is to provide most up-to-date information about recent developments in different novel magnetic materials and future applications paying attention on basic aspects and on magnetic properties suitable for applications in geology, materials science, physics, biology, chemistry, biomedicine cultural heritage. Potential topics of interest include, but not limited to:
- nanoscaled magnetism;
- novel magnetic materials and applications
- amorphous and nanocrystalline magnetic materials and applications.

Convened by Davide De Peddis (, M. Luisa Fdez-Gubieda Ruiz (, Ramon Egli (

Recently new methods of clay minerals purification and surfaces modification were developed in view to produce functional polymer-clay nanocomposites. An important role in such processes belongs to the clay particle shape and size. An important development was reached for natural mineral nanotubes and fibres such as halloysite, imogolite, sepiolite, palygorskite, and others. Clay nanotubes may be loaded with anticorrosion, antioxidation or antibacterial agents. Sustained controlled release of chemical agents from such nanotubes provides smart features for polymer composites. Fibrous clays afforded significant reinforcement properties to the nanocomposites of particular interest in the assembly with biopolymers and other green polymers giving rise to functional bionanocomposites.

Convened by Scientific Committee (

With recent developments in the polymer, ceramic, sensor, and fuel cell technology, a range of novel materials have been developed and manufactured for advanced, compact, and electronic industry. Polymers, silicons, and other materials have received much attention in recent years. The session of “Advanced Functional Materials” gives the most recent research results on polymer, fine ceramics, sensor, green fuel cells, and all other topics pertaining to Materials Science. The content of this session mainly covers, but is not limited to, the broad spectrum of advanced functional materials on photovoltaics, organic electronics, carbon materials, nanotechnology, liquid crystals, magnetic materials, surfaces and interfaces, and biomaterials, in both physics and chemistry disciplines. Convened by Scientific Committee (
Graphene is one of emerging topics in basic science and technology. Its wide application is strongly based on the ease and cost of fabrication as well as biochemical, chemical and physical functionalization. Functionalization routes also include graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide. All undertaken modification measures bring new functionalities to graphene and related materials which let to consider them as new material for electronics, chemical sensing, Environment protection, medicine and electrochemical power sources. The session welcomes high quality presentations on the most recent and meaningful advances in the synthesis and modification of graphene and its derivatives.

Convened by Jerzy Lukaszewicz (


Gems are minerals which are valued for their beauty and rarity. The purpose of this session is to gather the latest results related to aesthetic mineralogy, from descriptions of new occurrences of coloured gem minerals to the state-of-the art of advances in the scientific knowledge of their formation, their geologic and/or geographic origin, and to establish their mineralogical identities, in order to answer the unknowns of the question "why do minerals sometimes become gems?". The session will encompass all aspects related to coloured gem studies from field to laboratories including geology and genesis of the deposits, crystallography, gemmology, geochemistry, and experiments for natural and synthetic gems. Contributions will bring together academics, industry, mineral collectors and museum curators alike working to discover the secrets of the birth of these beautiful mineral specimens.

Convened by Scientific Committee (

The importance of knowing and understanding the ore characteristics and basic mineralogy during mineral processing is key to ensuring an efficient and profitable operation. This session is dedicated to experienced users presenting what they feel are their lab's best practices in the field of Automated Mineralogy or SEM-EDS (MLA, QEMScan, XRD, XRF, XCT, etc.). This would be beneficial in exposing the audience to potentially different methods than they are familiar with, to be a forum for users to present advances in utilizing software methods or sample preparation protocols, and to look to the future in discussing how uncommon analytical techniques can be integrated into process mineralogy.

Convened by Dylan Goudie (, Shaun Graham (

This session deals with reactions at mineral-water interfaces, involving liquid and ice phases. The application of different techniques ranging from classical experiments like zeta-potential, surface charge determination, or adsorption measurements, over modern surface sensitive methods, such as non-linear spectroscopy, synchrotron techniques, or atomic force (or other) microscopy, to modelling approaches including surface complexation models, molecular dynamics simulations, or ab initio techniques, continues to improve the understanding of mineral-water-interface structures and processes. Combined approaches on a given system to obtain a complete picture are still rare.
In the applied mineralogy context, relevant mineral-water interface processes include for example the wetting of surfaces, the behaviour of mineral suspensions or nano-materials, nucleation- , growth-, and interfacial transport processes. Modelling studies interpreting experimental results on the molecular scale on the one hand side or applying thermodynamics on the other hand side, ideally converge to a universal picture, thus improving understanding on the large scale by including detailed mechanistic understanding. Thermodynamic descriptions of interfaces involving detailed process understanding may increase the predictive power of modelling approaches.
Relations between molecular scale processes and macroscopic results and applications are of interest, concerning experimental techniques, simulations, but also interpretations. Contributions concerning the study of mineral-water-interfaces in the above context, including associated experimental and theoretical techniques are welcome.

Convened by Frank Heberling (, Johannes Lützenkirchen (,
Ahmed AbdElMonem (, Alberto Striolo (

All submissions that advance experimental and theoretical approaches not included in the other sessions are welcome.

Convened by Scientific Committee (