Zeolites are employed as acidic catalysts in refining, petrochemistry, pollution abatement, and biomass. These microporous materials are crystalline structures built from corner-connected SiO4 and AlO4 tetrahedra. The enhancement of the acidic properties of zeolites by specific chemical and thermal treatments proceeds through structural and chemical changes at both volume and surface scales of the mineral.
In order to reduce the energy consumption of catalytic processes, one of the levers is to optimize catalysts. This optimization is accompanied by an ever-increasing need to characterize these solids. This is particularly the case for hydrotreating catalysts that produce fuels and chemical intermediates with low environmental impact.
The ever increasing market penetration of electrified vehicles, the diffusion of intermittent renewable energy sources, together with the growing public interest in environmental issues, are acting as a catalyst for research on smart-grid energy management. It is nowadays widely acknowledged that the growing number of electrified vehicles can cause very high peak electricity demand, which needs to be properly addressed and managed in order to avoid electricity demand/supply unbalance and system breakdown.
The use of solar energy to convert CO2 into hydrocarbons could mitigate two main problems : global warming and future energy demand. The photocatalytic route is pertinent, but the process yield remains low even for the most efficient developed materials and many questions stay opened regarding the intrinsic properties of the photocatalyst to be optimized and about the reactional mechanisms.
Alumina is a major catalytic material since it is the carrier of numerous industrial catalysts.. Indeed, its textural properties (porous volume, pore size distribution, specific surface area) and its reactivity can be tuned by synthesis, shaping and activation procedures which makes alumina particularly attractive and versatile. While the gamma phase is the most usual one, other polymorphs (delta or theta) could be preferentially chosen for specific applications.
The development of electricity production from wind power is growing very rapidly in France and worldwide. IFP Energies nouvelles is involved in the energy transition as a research and training player. Associated with the growth of installed power, monitoring and maintenance of wind turbines is becoming a major challenge. It is therefore important to detect and characterize defects that may appear in these structures as soon as possible, in order to prevent any significant degradation. However, the small number of sensors installed on a wind turbine must be taken into account.
The increase in the world population coupled with technological development will generate a growing demand for petrochemicals in the coming decades. This will contribute to the shift of the use of hydrocarbon resources to petrochemicals at the expense of fuels. Para-xylene is a molecule particularly sought after because it is involved in particular for the production of polyester fibers for clothing or resins. This molecule can be produced by isomerization reactions of other aromatic molecules of lower value. Heterogeneous catalysts are used to catalyze these reactions.
The control of alumina support textural properties is a very important task in the framework of innovative catalytic material manufacturing. Mass transport in the porous medium is strongly affected by the micro-structure and could decrease the impregnation efficiency of the active phase and the resulting catalytic activity. Alumina support is constituted of elementary crystals (a few Å) formed during the precipitation step, that stick together to form aggregates (a few nm).
The energy consumption in transportation is expected to double between 2020 and 2050. Biofuels should be a contribute to satisfy this demand while guaranteeing energy diversification and decreasing overall greenhouse gas emission. The production of second-generation bioethanol from lignocellulosic resources is one of the possible solutions and has been the subject of numerous R&I studies around the world.
A PhD position on corrosion and scaling in geothermal energy is proposed in collaboration between IFP Energies nouvelles, and Ecole des Mines de Saint-Etienne.