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MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc-PhD Position#CD22-50: CO2 storage in soil treated with low carbon footprint alternative binders


Job Information

Université Gustave Eiffel
Research Field
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Application Deadline
Type of Contract
Job Status
Hours Per Week
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND
Marie Curie Grant Agreement Number
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description

In the context of climate change, the reduction of greenhouse gases, the saving of resources and energy sobriety in accordance with the adaptation to climate change are urgent concerns. The collective awareness can be favorable for the reduction of traffic in cities. This change in practice will lead to a decrease in the performance levels required for the design of low traffic structures.

However, the carbon footprint of earthworks is known to be significant. This footprint is mainly related to the transportation of materials during earth moving works. Soil treatment is known to be the second largest contributor to CO2 emissions after transportation. Currently, soil stabilization is performed with conventional binders, usually with hydraulic binder. The common binders used in earthworks are generally materials with a high carbon footprint, from the extraction of the raw materials to the realization of the works.

In recent years, climate hazards have demonstrated the need to increase the permeability of urban soils to allow the soil to absorb the flow of rainwater more easily.

The different findings mentioned above indicate a fundamental change that must be implemented in earthworks. For example, unpaved tracks will become an interesting alternative to the usual bituminous pavement. The practice of soil stabilization in its current form will need to be improved by other more environmentally friendly treatment alternatives. The alternative solutions must provide an acceptable level of permeability and at the same time be a means of CO2 storage.

Recent research work has shown that the organization of the compacted soil microstructure is shaped by the wetting path of the soil studied. The structure of the soil particle aggregates is formed during the wetting of the soil. These aggregates are then stacked and deformed by compaction without impacting the porosity level (Sediki et al. 2016).

At the laboratory scale, the study conducted by Ranaivomanana et al. 2016 showed that compaction of natural soil allows to decrease the pores corresponding to the size of the inter-aggregate space. In the case of treated soil, the compaction action promotes hydration and contact between the aggregates constituting the soil matrix and the binder (Ranaivomanana et al. 2018).

Under the kneading compaction effect, the tortuosity value of the soil matrix is strongly impacted by the compaction state of the soil matrix (Das et al. 2022c, Ranaivomanana et al. 2021, 2022b). These previous studies show that the mechanical performance of compacted soil is intimately linked with its microstructure induced by compaction. The microstructure itself can be regulated by the quality of implementation.

As for the carbonation response, Deneele et al 2021 showed the positive effect of carbonation on soil behavior. According to Das et al 2022d, the evolution of the natural carbonation front observed on a real dike exposed under climatic loading is a slow process. Carbonation appears to generate a stable barrier layer that limits the evolution of the carbonation front in the soil matrix.

Previous research work shows the possibility of CO2 storage in soil compacted with hydraulic binders.

The objective of this thesis is to study the different possibilities of optimizing CO2 storage in compacted, treated and permeable soil consolidated with alternative binders with low ecological footprint. The thesis work can be divided as follows: A first phase of geotechnical and mineralogical characterization of materials, stabilization with binders of nature to be defined. Then, a thorough microstructural study to highlight the level of CO2 storage. This part of the thesis will focus on the investigation of the microstructure (MIP, BJH, SEM, XRF, XRD, ATG...) and thus deduce the mechanism that governs the carbonation. The identified mechanism will then be modeled by ratiometric Laser Induced Fluorescence to study the durability and/or the degree of reversibility of CO2 storage by the soil.


Research Field
Education Level
Bachelor Degree or equivalent
Research Field
Education Level
Bachelor Degree or equivalent
Research Field
Education Level
Bachelor Degree or equivalent

At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.

At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.


Additional Information


High-quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree, delivered by Université Gustave Eiffel

Access to cutting-edge infrastructures for research & innovation.

Appointment for a period of 36 months based on a salary of 2 700 € (gross salary per month).

Job contract under the French labour legislation in force, respecting health and safety, and social security: 35 hours per week contract, 25 days of annual leave per year.

International mobility will be mandatory

An international environment supported by the adherence to the European Charter & Code.

Access to dedicated CLEAR-Doc trainings with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with a Career development Plan.


Eligibility criteria

Applicants must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (career breaks excluded) and not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Career breaks refer to periods of time where the candidate was not active in research, regardless of his/her employment status (sick leave, maternity leave etc). Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must fulfil the transnational mobility rule: incoming applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 previous years.
  • One application per call per year is allowed.
  • Applicants must be available full-time to start the programme on schedule (November 1st 2023).

Application rules are enforced by the French doctoral system which specifies a standard duration of 3 years for a full-time PhD together with the MSCA standards and the OTM-R European rules as follows.

Citizens of any nationality may apply to the programme.

There is no age limit.

Selection process

Please refer to the Guide for Applicants available on the CLEAR-Doc website:

Additional comments

The First step before applying is contacting the PhD supervisor. You will not be able to apply without an acceptation letter from the PhD supervisor.

International mobility: Please contact the PhD supervisor for any additional detail on job offer.

There are no restrictions concerning the age, gender or nationality of the candidates. Applicants with career breaks or variations in the chronological sequence of their career, with mobility experience or with interdisciplinary background or private sector experience are welcome to apply.

Support service is available during every step of the application process by email:

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
Université Gustave Eiffel