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Impact of atmospheric particles chemical composition on their oxidizing potential H/F

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Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UMR7376-HENWOR0-001
Workplace : MARSEILLE 02
Date of publication : Friday, June 19, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Henri WORTHAM
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Atmospheric particles (PM) are responsible for about 43,000 premature deaths per year in France. However, these estimates are based on mass concentrations of PM (µg.m-3 air) without taking into account the toxicity of their chemical constituents. In-vitro tests of Oxidative Potential (PO) measurement have been recently developed to estimate the harmfulness of PM, and an automatic continuous measurement device is in development at the IGE. After validation of this device by inter-comparison with off-line PO measurements on particles collected on filter, the objective of the project will be to study, by laboratory and field experiments, the causal link between the PO level and the detailed PM chemical composition. Particular attention will be paid to the joint evolution of PO and PM chemistry during the progressive PM oxidation in the atmosphere. This work will open up perspectives of primary importance for air quality management since the joint analysis of the chemistry and PO of PM should allow a coupled identification of the PM sources and their health impact.

Work Context

This thesis work will be a closely collaboration between the Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry (LCE, UMR7376, Marseilles France) and the Institute of Environmental Geosciences (IGE, UMR5001, Grenoble France) in order to associate the online measurement device of the PO of atmospheric aerosols (toxicity proxy) developed at the IGE with the online measurement devices for organic and mineral chemical composition available at LCE. The main location for the thesis will be the Aix-Marseille site (St Charles campus in Marseilles) but frequent travel and stays of a few weeks will be organized at the Grenoble University campus in St Martin d'Hères. The doctoral student will be enrolled at the Doctoral School "Environmental Sciences" (ED 251) of the University of Aix-Marseille but will benefit from the double supervision of Pr. Henri Wortham from the University of Aix-Marseille and Ms. Gaelle Uzu from Grenoble Alpes University.
As a result, applicants must hold a Masters or equivalent diploma. During the PhD thesis, the candidate will have to operate the analyzers and then process the data from the systems for measuring the PO and the chemical composition of atmospheric aerosols. Therefore, applicants must have solid skills in chemistry, especially in analytical chemistry, as well as in statistics for data processing. In analytical chemistry, experience with aerosol mass spectrometers (AMS, ACSM, etc.) is desired, while in statistical processing knowledge of software such as IGOR or R is requested.

Additional Information

The PhD work include participation to field campaigns in France and possibly in Europe. The campaigns duration will be a few weeks (4 to 8 weeks). The dates are not yet known but will be strongly constrained by the availability of the partners, the climatic conditions and the availability of the instruments. This will have implications on annual leave dates.

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