My research activity is related to the general fields of Chemical Reaction Engineering and Process Intensification applied to catalytic transformations and multiphase reactive media. Studying, understanding, modelling and optimizing the couplings between physical phenomena and chemical reactions are the general drivers and are applied to usual reactor technologies (fixed bed, stirred tanks) or more advanced ones (micro-structured reactors, multifunctional reactors, etc.). One particular aspect of my research is to try to bridge the gap between chemists and chemical engineers by doing both chemical reactor engineering fundamental studies and chemical applications with actual demanding and hot chemistries. The objectives can be reactor characterization, methodological developments, data acquisition, the research of optimized conditions (including the reactor itself!) for a given chemistry, scale up issues (pilot demonstrations), batch to continuous transpositions or various modelling developments. Applications are wide and concern all the areas where catalysts and multiphase reactive processes can be employed: fine chemistry, energy and fuels, specialty chemicals, biomass transformation, material synthesis, environment, depollution…
In this general background, my research can be articulated in 3 sub-topics, often interlinked:
a) Reactor (and flow) structuration
This sub-topic includes the general study (momentum, mass, heat transfer) of open cell solid foam, monolithic reactors and micro-packed beds for G-L-S and G-S applications as alternatives to traditional packed beds. Fine and statistical characterizations of the objects using micro-tomography and image analysis as well as specific coatings procedures are also developed. It also covers various and versatile multiphase microfluidic approaches (falling film, segmented flows) for multiphase media also including solid suspension handling. Fundamental characterizations of hydrodynamics and transfers as well as applied demonstrations in model or demanding chemistries are done.
Typical G-L flow confined inside a milli channel containing a solid foam internal (top left); G-L-S slurry segmented flow in a millichannel (top right) allowing the controlled circulation of solid particles (catalyst, reactant, product); Typical Cross Sections of structured monolith and foam objects obtained through X-Ray microtomography for fine and statistical structure characterizations (middle); Typical Stainless Steel Foam internals: uncoated (down left) and coated with a Pd@CNT catalyst ( down right).
b) Process Intensification and data acquisition for demanding chemistries
This sub-topic addresses process intensification studies on various multi-functionnal micro-reactor concepts combining reaction(s), heat exchange, separation(s) and compartmentalization applied to hot and demanding chemistries but also material synthesis. What is a demanding chemistry? A chemistry where physical limitations of the reactor are likely and can alter the overall performance or limit the operating window of traditional reactors… Methodologies for appropriate reactor choice and data acquisition strategies are also addressed using high throughput experimentation with continuous microfluidic tools and numerical data treatments. All these aspects are studied within the framework of the labcom’ DATAFAB within the Process Intensification plateform held in AxelOne Campus facility.
Illustration of various structured multiphase segmented flows at milli-scale demonstrating their versatility (left). They can be used for process intensification and scale up of various demanding chemistries (top right) and as multiphase intensified labtools for kinetic data acquisition (down right).
c) Reactor (and Kinetic) Modelling
This sub-topics deals with all the actions done in reactor and kinetic modelling. For reactor modelling it covers traditional approaches using CRE tools both at the reactor or grain level in stirred tanks or fixed bed reactors. These models can be used for design but also for but also . Multiphase CFD developments are also studied to include a fine and physically relevant description of G-L mass transfer and heterogeneous catalytic reaction in 3-phases Reactors including partial wetting. These models are developed and validated for extrapolation and intrapolation issues.
Confrontation of experiments and CFD modelling of a G-L-S reactive flow (hydrogenation) involving partial wetting issues inside a 3D-printed micro TBR (top); Traditionnal modelling of heat transport inside a G-L upflow fixed bed reactor containing foam internals (down).
Traditional experimental and numerical tools are developed essentially for macro-kinetic modelling. Various catalytic chemistries have been studied including Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis (CO and CO2), OX-ZEO process but also various hydrogenations & oxidations chemistries.
ANR : COMET, NANOTRAP, INCH, DATAFAB, IRSIS
FUI (et PSPC) : DISCOVER, QUALITY AIR, AURA, AIRCLEAN
43 Bd du 11 Nov. 1918
(B. P. 82007)
69616 Villeurbanne CEDEX FRANCE
+33 (0)4 72 43 17 67 (team PCM)
+33 (0)4 72 43 17 94 (team MMAGICC)
+33 (0)4 72 43 17 56 (Communication)