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Laboratory link : http://www.icsm.fr/
In order to move towards circular economy, energy savings as well as raw material recycling must be implemented as fast as possible. These new processes must produce low quantities of effluents as well as use as few quantities as possible surface active agents or other fluids that need to be recycled. The phD subject proposed is balanced in theory and in experimental part: its aim is a approach understanding the physical chemistry that is the basis of the processes to be designed based on first principle knowledge, and not systematic essays. For example is currently extremely difficult and too expensive in practice to separate lipids from proteins without torrefaction, sterols from pesticides from agricultural products or extract valuable/toxic synthons or byproducts from effluents in pharmacologic synthesis.
Recent observations made at ICSM on rare earth separation and refining using surfactant-free microemulsions have evidenced that fine-tuned separation are possible via soft centrifugation. The work proposed for this phD in physical chemistry is to compare expected yields and fluxes that can be derived from fundamental knowledge of the free energy involved in phase transitions at nano- and meso- scale. This will allow innovative and economically acceptable recycling processes without emulsifiers but based on soft centrifugation.
The knowledge gained by the student in the experimental approach as well as critical comparison to theoretical expressions proposed in the literature will be crucial to be able to design any advanced separation process, whatever the domain of application for which an enormous demand is expected in the next twenty years.