Scientific direction Development of key enabling technologies
Transfer of knowledge to industry

PhD : selection by topics

Engineering science >> Mechanics, energetics, process engineering
4 proposition(s).

modeling biomass torrefaction at pilot scale with data measured in laboratory at small scale

Département Thermique Biomasse et Hydrogène (LITEN)

Laboratoire de Préparation de la Bioressource



Torrefaction is a thermal pretreatment applied to biomass, carried out under neutral atmosphere for several tens of minutes, at temperatures between 200 and 300°C. Once treated, the solid exhibits properties closer to those of coal (fossil), making it suitable to the same industrial facilities as this latter. The biomass platform of CEA Grenoble has been equipped with a pilot-scale torrefaction oven (capacity: 150kg/h of wood). The results obtained in this pilot oven are always out of sync with the torrefaction data measured in the laboratory. Therefore, the validity of the change of scale for this process is questionable. The aim of this thesis is to improve the extrapolation at pilot scale of data measured with small analytical equipment. Three successive phd prepared in the laboratory, have led to a model representing the different chemical transformations of biomass during torrefaction. This model will be used in the proposed phd. This work will require to perform a lot of experimental investigations, in the laboratory (small scale) as well as to participate to torrefaction campaigns with the pilot.

Study of processes involving dense fluid for a circular economy with low environmental impact in the photovoltaic field.

Département des Technologies Solaires (LITEN)

Laboratoire Matériaux et Procédés Silicium



The photovoltaic industry (PV) generates a large volume of wastes. In addition to production waste (ingot chunk, kerf-loss powder, silicon scrap, etc.), increasing quantities of end-of-life PV panels will have to be treated by 2030. Considered since 2012 as WEEE waste, it is crucial to develop recycling processes. The processes currently used are essentially mechanical processes that primarily promote the recycling of glass and aluminum frame. The recovery of more critical materials such as silicon, silver, copper ? would give an attractive added values for stakeholder in the recycling field. One of the major barriers in the recovery of these materials is the elimination or the delamination of the encapsulation polymer layer (EVA) to allow full separation of the different layers constituting a PV panels (Glass/EVA/Si-Cells/EVA/Backsheet). To that end, some chemical and thermal processes exist in order to remove the EVA layer. However, these methods remain solutions that are not very respectful of the environment. They produce more or less significant levels of hazardous gaseous or liquid effluents. The challenge is to provide solutions with low environmental impact and economically viable. In this context, two CEA laboratories, the LPSD (DEN) and the LMPS (DRT) have carried out feasibility studies of a treatment process involving one or more non-polluting fluids under subcritical (SubC) or supercritical (SC) like CO2 and water for recycling of PV modules. This method involves little known diffusional and interaction mechanisms with the multilayer structure. The understanding of these mechanisms will eventually define the parameters applicable to the recycling process of PV panels to allow recovery of valuables materials (glass, Si, Ag, for example?.). The aim of the PhD is to explore the potential of processes using supercritical fluids under unconventional conditions for the realization of the different key steps in the treatment of PV panels: delamination and extraction of metals of interest. To understand these mechanisms, the candidate will have the opportunity: to design and make specifics samples, to implement treatments in supercritical and/or subcritical fluids as well as complex systems, to rely on advanced physico-chemical characterizations of surfaces and interfaces.

Numerical and experimental studies of a combined cooling and power cycle

Département Thermique Biomasse et Hydrogène (LITEN)

Laboratoire Systèmes Solaires Haute Température



The TRICYCLE project aims to study and develop a thermodynamic heat recovery cycle for the combined production of cold and low power electricity (5 kW of cold, 1 kW of electricity). The target temperature range is sufficiently low (80 to 160 °C) to target industrial heat recovery applications, but also heat networks and non-concentrated solar thermal energy. In the previous work, the thermodynamic modeling of the cycle was carried out and allowed the definition of an parallel architecture: the refrigerant vapor at the output of the generator can be used to feed the expander(production of electricity) and/or the condensation-expansion-evaporation part (production of cold). This is a unique cycle and not a juxtaposition of two machines (cold + generator), which makes it a particularly innovative system. The objective in 2019 of the project is to achieve an operational prototype of this combined cycle by integrating an expander to the existing absorption-chiller available in our laboratory. This thesis is the next steps of the project in order to: ? Conduct the experimental measurements of the TRICYCLE machine using an adapted instrumentation in order to better understand its behavior (static and dynamic) ? Conduct numerical simulations of the machine (under DYMOLA / MODELICA) and validate the models by comparison to the measurements ? Simulate the coupling of this machine with add-ons (heat storage and / or electrical storage) in a system (application: heat network, automobile, etc.).

Towards a better understanding of chemical species transfer while performing industrial materials post-functionalization under supercritical CO2 impregnation

Département des Technologies des NanoMatériaux (LITEN)

Laboratoire des Eco-procédés et EnVironnement



Post-functionalization (particularly under supercritical CO2 impregnation in our proposal) allows us to give new properties to a polymer by core impregnation with selected molecules. In this process, supercritical CO2 has two effects: it swells the polymer and transports additional molecules. Hydrophobia, thermal or mechanical reinforcement, improvement of electrical conductivity, colouring, UV resistance... are new targeted properties. A large part of the thesis will be devoted to experimental research and new measurement techniques. In addition, the measurement results will also feed into a multi-scale multi-physical (and chemical) modelling process. Once carefully validated, these physico-chemical models are expected to accurately predict the different stages of existing processes and help to develop new processes.

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