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Univ. Paris-Saclay

Sujet de stage / Master 2 Internship

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Low-Carbon Cement: Real-Time X-ray Studies of Material Carbonation

Contact: Levenstein Mark, , mark.levenstein@cea.fr, +33 1 69 08 57 34
The carbonation of cements is a promising route to decreasing the net CO2 emissions of the concrete industry. However, cement carbonation is poorly understood and surprisingly complex. This internship will be focused on using real-time X-ray diffraction analysis to understand the carbonation pathway of model cements.
Possibility of continuation in PhD: Oui
Deadline for application:31/01/2023

Full description:
The production of conventional Portland cements accounts for up to 10% of global CO2 emissions. Approximately 40% of this CO2 comes from the energy expended by heating the raw limestone and clays needed to produce the cement, while the remaining 60% is released from the carbonates trapped within the limestone. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of this released CO2 is re-captured when cements are hardened through standard hydration processes. To reduce net CO2 emissions, a growing number of researchers and start-up companies (e.g., CarbonCure, Solidia, Fortera) are working to set cements through a combination of hydration and carbonation to re-capture released CO2. However, the carbonation of cements is poorly understood. In fact, we have recently shown that it can proceed through surprisingly complex multi-step pathways.

Thus, the aim of this internship is to investigate the carbonation of a simple Ca(OH)2 cement model system into CaCO3 using scanning X-ray diffraction (XRD) coupled with a microfluidic sample environment for control of CO2 flow (Fig. 1b). Other cement formulations, including cementitious additives and binding agents will also be studied. Microfluidic experiments will be complemented by microscopy, pH, and gravimetric analyses of larger cement pieces.
Technics/methods used during the internship:
X-ray diffraction, Rietveld refinement, microfluidics, scanning electron microscopy, optical microscopy, dynamic vapor sorption, soft lithography.

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