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CDD PhD candidate [M / F] (fixed-term contract) - development of a hybrid electro-separation/degradation system for the treatment and valorization of wastewater

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : mardi 31 mai 2022

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General information

Reference : UMR7274-EMMMOU-002
Workplace : NANCY
Date of publication : Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Scientific Responsible name : Emmanuel Mousset
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 19 September 2022
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

TITLE: Combination of hybrid electroseparation/electrodegradation in a novel reactive electro-mixing reactor for the treatment of wastewater and recovery of value-added inorganic compounds

The problem of the scarcity of water supply combined with its growing demand, especially in agriculture and industry and which is becoming widespread on an international scale, constitutes a major challenge. Current wastewater treatment plants are not always designed to completely eliminate biorecalcitrant compounds, as the biological treatments applied conventionally are not suitable. In addition, manufacturers are subject to new regulations which require the development of innovative and low-cost treatment or recycling processes. Beyond the treatment necessary to comply with regulations at the outlet or for the reuse of treated wastewater, the interest of recovering and reusing value-added compounds is increasingly taken into account, not only in an environmental point of view, but also with economic, social and geopolitical considerations. Nutrients such as phosphorus or other critical raw materials (rare earth metals, …) are present in the effluents and could therefore be recovered.
The objective of this project is to develop an alternative, sustainable and innovative process implementing an electrochemical reactor with mobile microfluidic cells which would make it possible both to eliminate non-biodegradable compounds while recovering value-added inorganic compounds. Moreover, these heterogeneous processes offer the possibility of avoiding the addition of chemical reagents, of reducing the energy consumed and of operating with low saline effluents. This will involve developing the concept of reactive electro-mixtures, initiated by the management team. For this, studies of materials/electrolytes interfaces will be coupled with studies of electrochemical engineering as well as studies of (electro)-chemical kinetics and reactivity in solution. The electro-separative (electro-sorption; electrodeposition: electro-precipitation) and electro-degradative (electro-oxidation) processes will be studied alone and then in hybrid mode within the same reactor. The influence of operating parameters (inter-electrode distance including sub-millimeter, current density/electrode potential, rotation speed of the electro-blade, electrode materials) will be studied. Particular attention will be paid to the matrix effect (salinity, presence of inhibitors, etc.) by gradually increasing the degree of complexity of the medium from the synthetic solution to the real effluent. The consequences on the types of by-products generated will be studied with a view to limiting or even avoiding the release of undesirable intermediates. The mechanisms related to the selectivity of the separation and the conversion will be studied and optimized. The thesis will include a substantial experimental part, accompanied by modeling to predict the phenomena involved.
The thesis will be part of a project earned by the management team and funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR), called REMixSyn.

Biorecalcitrant organic pollutants; Electrolyte/electrode interface; Electrodeposition; Electro-oxidation; Electro-precipitation; Electro-sorption; Process intensification; Wastewater treatment; Valorization of effluents.

• Chemical engineering
• Electrochemistry
• Environmental chemistry

Work Context

• MSc degree in chemical engineering or environmental engineering. Knowledge in electrochemistry and analytical chemistry will be appreciated.
• Motivated for research activities
• Experimental and modeling skills
• Adaptation and autonomy skills

The PhD will be located mainly at the Reactions and Chemical Engineering Laboratory in Nancy (France) (LRGP, UMR 7274, https://lrgp-nancy.cnrs.fr/), in the PERSEVAL department (Processes for environment, security and valorization of resources). One mobility of several months can be planned in USA in another renown complementary laboratory.

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