See my TEDx presentation made on 18 May 2024

Elza Bontempi is a researcher with expertise in all the aspects connected with the circular economy, with an interdisciplinary skill set. Indeed, she has extensive knowledge about materials and eco-materials, because she focalized her research on sustainability innovation (e.g., alternatives to waste landfilling), strategic environmental management, and sustainable raw materials recovery. Moreover, she also contributed to developing new strategies to promote the circular economy diffusion, by proposing preliminary simplified approaches to LCA, mainly dedicated to SMEs and legislators.

This work was highlighted by Science for Environment Policy, which is the news and information service published by Directorate-General Environment, European Commission

Finally, to advance the state of play about circular economy in higher education, she published a book about “Raw materials substitution sustainability” in 2017. This book is used as a reference for the students of the "Energy and Materials Sustainability" course of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology (, which is ranked as the 73rd university worldwide. 

Elza coordinated several projects about the circular economy and is assisting governmental entities with a wide range of sustainability strategies and policy development. In particular, she’s the scientific reference for the circular economy of the Lombardy Energy Cleantech Cluster. 

She is currently responsible for sustainability development actions for INSTM consortium. 

Elza was the TOP WORLD RESEARCHER (first position of reported 500 researchers by SciVal) for the research topic of Waste Incineration; Municipal Solid Waste; Carbonation; for the 2017-2020 period.

Full Professor in Fundamental Chemistry for Technologies (from 2011) at the University of Brescia (Italy).

Top Italian Scientist ( in Natural & Environmental Sciences, AREA: environmental chemistry. 

She is on the list of the UNSTOPPABLE WOMEN (the 1000 women who are changing Italy) and one of the 100 esperte.

For the publications list see: Google Scholar

Scopus Author ID: 7004176714




- 2012 International prize: “what are you doing for a better society?” (2nd position) from European Projects Association for the proposed project about the circular economy (waste recovery)

- 2016 International prize: “European Business Idea Competition on raw materials” from European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Raw Materials, for the proposed STARS project about the circular economy (waste recovery).

- 2018 Special mention on the national ITALIADECIDE prize for the development of new material for air particulate matter trap.

- 2018 Winner of Prize for “Enabling technologies and innovative solutions for sustainable cities” from the Italian association for industrial research (AIRI).

- 2018 Winner of the GAETANO MARZOTTO prize (22th November 2018) for the development of a new eco-material recovered from industrial by-products;

- 2018 Winner of the ITWIIN (Italian Women Innovators and Inventors Network) prize (assigned on 9th November 2018 for the development of a new eco-material recovered from industrial by-products;

- 2019 Innovation Village Award, for the best project in the frame of Global Agenda for sustainable development (4th April 2019).

-2019 Bronze medal award for the international poster contest of Remtech (the only permanent international event dedicated to remediation, climate changes, and circular chemistry), about new technology for sewage sludge treatment (September 2019)

-2020 national winner of the ENERGY GLOBE AWARD, the most significant environmental award worldwide.

-2021 finalist of the international ENERGY GLOBE AWARD prize, the most significant sustainability award worldwide

- 2022 International prize: SusCritMOOC business idea competition on Critical Raw Materials” from European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Raw Materials, for a patent about the low-energy microwave carbothermal extraction of critical raw materials

- 2022 Merit for the scientific and technological results granted by the mayor of Bienno

- 2023 Finalist of the Donna dell'anno Award, and awarded of a special mention

- 2023 Winner of the Premio 2031 Primo round (ex GAETANO MARZOTTO prize)

She was ranked among the World’s Top 2% outstanding Scientists in 2021, 2022, and 2023 (lists of researchers prepared by Elsevier BV, Stanford University, USA).

Some dissemination activities of my research

TV interview about critical raw materials and circular economy at the Automotive Business Summit 2023 (Sole 24 Ore)

All the event is available on: Sole 24 ore

TV interview about critical raw materials (CASA ITALIA RAI)