PhD - Polymerization and Modelling of vinylidene fluoride

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Description du poste

The Project

In recent years, the group at the CP2M (ex C2P2 laboratory), and their partner at the LAGEPP have made extensive progress in the dispersed phase polymerization of vinylidene fluoride (VDF) in aqueous media.  The resulting polymer, PVDF, is used in numerous applications, including deep sea drilling, engineering coatings, membranes, and as binders for Li-ion batteries.  The main objective of the current Ph.D. project is to work with our industrial partner Arkema to build upon past experience, and to use new polymerization experiments to develop advanced process models of VDF polymerization in order to clearly differentiate between chemical effects, and process effects in the manufacture of this commercially important polymer.


The successful candidate will design and run experiments at the CP2M, participate in the development of an experimental programme in the industrial laboratory, and build process models based on the outcome of the experiments that link polymerization kinetics, mass transfer and thermodynamics to predict reactor performances.


The Laboratories


The PhD will be centred in the laboratories of the CP2M laboratory, and the experimental work will be supervised by Dr Timothy McKenna.  There is a recently renovated laboratory, dedicated exclusively to the polymerization of VDF under industrial conditions. The lab is equipped with a pair of pilot plant reactors, as well as will several smaller reactors for specific applications.  There is also a range of specific characterization equipment for granulometry, thermal properties, as well as for measuring the molecular weight distribution of the polymer.  Model development will be carried out in collaboration with Dr. Nida Sheibat-Othman of the LAGEPP UMR 5077.  Dr Othman has extensive experience in the modelling of dispersed phase polymerizations and has worked closely with Dr McKenna on the previous experimental programmes.

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