PhD position in Combustion/Physical chemistry

    ChemistryPhysical chemistry
    EngineeringChemical engineering
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    12/08/2022 18:00 - Europe/Brussels
    France › Orleans


Current liquid fuels are derived from petroleum, and their total or partial replacement by renewable biomass-derived products should be realized in the near future. A possible use of biofuels requires in-depth knowledge of their combustion kinetics and of the nature and quantity of pollutants formed during their oxidation and their interactions with hydrocarbons.

Ethers can potentially be used as biofuels and their oxidation has recently attracted the attention of researchers, including our team. However, most of these studies focus on the pure fuel, and very few focus on the interaction of the ether with a representative hydrocarbon fuel that would be very unreactive at low temperatures. In this project, we plan to study the oxidation kinetics of hydrocarbons such as propane and iso-butane (among others) in a mixture with dimethyl ether in particular, and heavier ethers. This will make it possible to trigger the reactivity of hydrocarbons at lower temperatures and to study the interaction between the chemistry of the hydrocarbon and the ether as well as the oxidation pathways of the alkyl radicals produced during oxidation and the low-temperature pathways of which are rarely studied in detail. The reaction pathways will be elucidated using detailed identification of the species formed during oxidation and by detailed kinetic modeling.

This project has 2 aspects : (1) experimental studies and (2) kinetic modeling.

- The experiments will be carried out in a jet-stirred reactor able to operate in a wide range of temperatures (500–1400K), pressures (1-40 atm), equivalence ratio (0.1-4) and residence time (40 ms–2s). Experiments will also be done using a tubular flow reactor currently under construction. Reactants, products and oxidation intermediates will be measured by chromatographic analyses (GC) and by infrared absorption (FTIR). In order to elucidate the low temperature reactivity, some analyses will also be done by UHPLC-HRMS (Orbitrap), a system available at ICARE. It will be possible to identify the formation of highly oxygenated compounds, similar to those presented as responsible for the formation of particles in the troposphere. If pandemic conditions allow, it will also be possible to carry out an additional study at Berkeley (Advanced Light Source, Berkeley National Laboratory), also in a jet-stirred reactor coupled to a synchrotron sourced photoionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

- Kinetic modeling will be based on the previous studies carried out by our team [1–3]. Relevant sub-mechanisms will be developed and integrated into our ether oxidation mechanism.

The selected candidate will have a three-year doctoral contract, conditioned by a re-registration each year to the graduate school. The net monthly remuneration is about 1400 euros monthly. The student is encouraged (in addition to his PhD research) to do teaching, which increases the monthly income to approximately 1600 euros net. The laboratory is located in Orléans (France), a medium-sized student city close to Paris. The student will have the possibility to attend international conferences and meetings during his/her PhD.


[1] Serinyel, Z.; Lailliau, M.; Thion, S.; Dayma, G.; Dagaut, P., An experimental chemical kinetic study of the oxidation of diethyl ether in a jet-stirred reactor and comprehensive modeling. Combustion and Flame 2018, 193, 453-462.

[2] Thion, S.; Togbé, C.; Serinyel, Z.; Dayma, G.; Dagaut, P., A chemical kinetic study of the oxidation of dibutyl-ether in a jet-stirred reactor. Combustion and Flame 2017, 185, 4-15.

[3] Z. Serinyel, M. Lailliau, G. Dayma, P. Dagaut, A high pressure oxidation study of di-n-propyl ether. Fuel, 263 (2020) 116554.


To apply: Send an e-mail with CV to zeynep.serinyel@cnrs-orleans.fr

More Information

Offer Requirements

    Chemistry: Master Degree or equivalent
    Engineering: Master Degree or equivalent


  • B.Sc. in Chemistry, Chemical or Mechanical Engineering.
  • The candidate should hold a M.Sc degree or equivalent (in a related field) in order to be admitted to a PhD program in France.
  • Willing to do experimental work is a must, and basic knowledge of combustion and/or a previous internship on a combustion-related topic would be a plus.
  • Proficiency in English is required. The candidate is expected to write scientific papers and attend to international conferences.
  • Ability to work in autonomy, and within a team.

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EURAXESS offer ID: 801700


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