Post-Doctorat et Research contract


To reach the Carbon neutrality target in 2050 as announced Europe in its Green Deal, the electricity demand will be strongly increased for energy, transport and heating/cooling systems. For that, most countries consider clean and renewable energy resources (as wind and solar) as the main energy resources for the future. However, due to their intermittency and the need to keep a secure electricity supply, the energy storage will be an integral part of the modern electricity smart grid. One solution to store the renewable energy excess is what is commonly named ‘electro-fuels’. Hydrogen is often considered as the best candidate but suffers up to now from some drawbacks such as its storage capacity and safety. Another alternative is Ammonia (NH3), which can be considered as a ‘mere’ hydrogen (H2) carrier. So far, most applications rely on preliminary partial thermal cracking of NH3 to N2 and H2 to counteract the high ignition temperature of NH3 and its low flammability (a positive safety characteristic). The lack of knowledge regarding the oxidation chemistry of NH3 and the combustion process itself currently limits the optimization of NH3 combustion.


The SIAC project is 4-years funded by the French Government (ANR) bringing two laboratories (PC2A at Lille, and FITe at Orléans) and CERFACS recognized for their researches in combustion fields from fundamental kinetic to modelling turbulent combustion through experimental investigation of turbulence-premixed flame interaction.

PC2A is offering a 18-24 months postdoc position (starting beginning of 2024), mainly experimental, on topics related to NOx formation in ammonia premixed flames. To reach a better knowledge of the pollutant emission, it is necessary to perform laboratory scale experiments. The proposal is focused on three main targets that address the SIAC project.

First, low-pressure laminar flames will be studied by implementing an original experimental strategy based on advanced laser diagnostics to quantitatively detect radicals in ammonia, ammonia/hydrogen and also in ammonia/NO premixed flames. The experimental work will consist in acquiring a unique experimental quantitative database of NO formation in laminar flames using in‐situ advanced laser diagnostics (laser‐ induced fluorescence (LIF) and absorption) and probe sampling techniques (FTIR), detecting challenging trace species like NH2 and HNO to clarify the NO routes of formation. This experimental work will be performed in strong interaction with a PhD student already enrolled in the project with the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) and the LabEx CaPPA.

Second, chemiluminescence analysis in low-pressure flames will be performed in order to identify the possible correlation between the excited species (NO*, OH*, NH*, NH2*) and the corresponding species in their ground state. This information is fully relevant for the turbulent flame analysis as performed at FITe-Orléans.

Third, LIF and Planar LIF will be implemented in a canonical burner dedicated to the characterization of flame/vortex interaction. This FLAVOR burner from FITe will be installed at PC2A in order to characterize the reaction zone of the wrinkled flame using measuring NH and NH2.


Keywords: ammonia, NOx emissions, laminar combustion, spectroscopy, LIF, chemiluminescence

Academic requirements: PhD degree in the field of chemistry, chemistry-physics, and a strong aspiration to perform experimental work are required. Knowledge in the field of combustion chemistry and laser techniques are appreciated.

How to apply? Send a letter to the postdoc supervisors (Nathalie Lamoureux and Pascale Desgroux) before the 8th March 2024, CV and motivation letter, and recommendation letters.

Laboratory: PC2A,

Supervisors: Nathalie Lamoureux, Pascale Desgroux

Duration: 18-24 months, from April/June 2024

Funding: 100% ANR SIAC (Scientific Improvement of Ammonia Combustion) from the French national Agency of Research. The gross salary is approximately 2800€/month (depending on experiences)

Contact e-mail: nathalie.lamoureux(), pascale.desgroux()




Supervisors: Alessandro Faccinetto, Eric Therssen, Xavier Mercier

Duration and starting date: 18 months

Funding: ANR

The goal of the ANR INTERSTELLAR project (StudyINg ThE photophysics of laRge aSTrophysical hydrocarbon molEcuLar systems using LAboRatory analogues) is to explore the similarities between species formed in interstellar mediums (ISM) and flame-generated carbon species such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), fullerenes, and carbon nanoparticles, which are likely to play a key role in phenomena like aromatic infrared bands (AIBs) and other specific spectral signatures of the ISM.

This project specifically aims to characterize these large molecules similar to those found in the ISM and their photophysical properties, using original laboratory flames as sources of analogues for these large interstellar molecules and linking this to astrophysical observations. To achieve this, it is planned to combine a set of advanced experimental setups based on in-situ laser diagnostics and online measurements, the results of which will be utilized through theoretical studies.

These efforts will be conducted in collaboration with the Institute of Molecular Sciences of Orsay (ISMO) and the Laboratory of Physics of Lasers, Atoms, and Molecules (PhLAM) at the University of Lille within a clearly interdisciplinary scientific framework that brings together high-level technical skills and research equipment from the three laboratories involved in this project, each internationally recognized in their field of expertise.

The work will primarily involve characterizing in low-stabilized low-pressure flames, species potentially similar to those in the ISM, using advanced laser techniques such as laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and laser-induced incandescence (LII), and online methods such as time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOFSIMS) or Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) devices. Theoretical work conducted in collaboration with the ISMO laboratory will complement this project to assist in interpreting the emission characteristics of the diversity of species formed

Zainab SROUR

Supervisors: Florent LOUIS, Sonia TAAMALLI

Duration and starting date: 18 months

Funding: IRSN

During an accident in a nuclear facility involving a loss of containment, the radionuclides resulting from the fission of the fuel will be released into the environment in variable quantities depending on their volatility and the scenario. The development of tools for predicting the behavior of radionuclides once in the environment allows (i) to predict the environmental and health consequences and thus to be able to propose the implementation of countermeasures (evacuation, prophylaxis), (ii) to help implement interventions to manage the accident and post-accident situation, (iii) or even, according to Fukushima Daichi's experience feedback, to validate (by inverse method) the evaluations of reactor source terms when knowledge of the course of the accident situation is only fragmentary.

During the Fukushima Daichi accident, IRSN carried out release assessments and environmental dispersion simulations. Comparisons between simulations of iodine deposition with the C3X platform (short-range pX module and large-scale ldX module) and in-situ measurements have highlighted significant differences for iodine, while conversely the predictions for cesium appeared to be satisfactory. The analyzes of these differences have led to the proposal of avenues for research and in particular the need to consider, in dispersion simulation tools, the physico-chemical reactivity of iodine in the atmosphere, a phenomenon which could partly explain these disagreements.

The modeling of the reactivity in the gaseous phase with the chemistry-transport code CTM (Chemistry Transport-Model) leads to the formation of organo-iodine compounds whose decomposition kinetics are not known. Part of Figueiredo's thesis at IRSN (2017-2021) consisted in studying this decomposition by theoretical chemistry, in particular that of four organo-iodine compounds from four distinct chemical families (c-C3H5IO, CH2ICH2OH, CH2ICH(O) and CH2ICOOH) by reaction with the HO radical. The first reaction paths of decomposition of these four compounds have been determined (thermodynamics, transition state and activation energy). Nevertheless, the kinetic constants of the decomposition reactions of these four organo-iodine compounds remain to be determined through this post-doctoral position in order to include them in the CTM code developed during two previous PhDs (Trincal, 2015 and Fortin, 2019). The second objective of this work is to develop a reaction mechanism to describe the chemical reactivity of the other halogens (Br and Cl) and the interactions between halogens that can influence the behavior of iodine. Bromine and chlorine belong as iodine to the family of halogens and thus are expected to have relatively similar properties. Their behavior in the atmosphere can therefore be quite similar and could influence or modify that of iodine. This influence could be significant for seaside sites due to the presence of chlorine and bromine in greater quantities than inland. After improving the reaction mechanism in the gaseous phase (by adding the decomposition kinetics of organo-iodine compounds and by integrating the so-called "box-model" to describe the chemical reactivity of halogens Br and Cl), a study will be conducted to assess the influence of these models on the speciation of iodine in the environment and thus update the knowledge developed during the theses of Trincal and Fortin.


[1].      PhD of Julien Trincal « Modélisation du comportement de l’iode dans l’atmosphère », 2015

[2].      PhD of Camille Fortin « Etudes par simulations numériques et moléculaires de la réactivité atmosphérique de l'iode », 2019

[3].      PhD of Alexandre Figueiredo « Etudes cinétiques de la photolyse hétérogène de l'iode moléculaire et modélisation de l'hydroxylation radicalaire en phase gazeuse d'iodures organiques oxygénés », 2021

[4].      PhD of Hanaa Houjeij « Etude expérimentale des réactions de capture/désorption des iodes gazeux (I2, CH3I) sur des aérosols environnementaux », 2020

Keywords: halogens, atmospheric chemistry, molecular simulations, modelling

Perla TRAD

Supervisors: Guillaume VANHOVE, Laure PILLIER

Duration and starting date: 13 months, flexible start from October 2023 to January 2024.

Funding: CPER ECRIN (

Combustion-driven processes are still responsible for a large proportion of energy production and conversion worldwide. Thus major reductions in pollutant emissions and improvements in fuel efficiency should be sought, and can be reached by means of fuel-lean mixtures of renewable fuels. Controlled initiation of the combustion is however a crucial step towards widespread application of such conditions, with wide ranges of application including piston engines, constant volume combustors, gas turbines and aeronautic engines. However, fuel ignition is highly dependent on the chemical kinetics associated with Low Temperature Combustion (LTC) [1].

The chemical mechanisms relevant to LTC include the formation of unstable peroxides, the structure of which reflects the initial fuel. The reactivity of a fuel in this temperature regime is therefore highly constrained by its structure. This is a strong incentive towards the development of predictive models which must be validated with reliable data in this temperature regime and under rarely investigated fuel-lean conditions.

To this end, a burner dedicated to the study of stabilized cool flames has recently been designed and validated in PC2A [2-4]. The potential to perform detailed kinetic studies through a number of optical and analytical diagnostics, including Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence (PLIF), chemiluminescence, thermometry and gas chromatographic techniques, has been demonstrated. Moreover, the potential of Particle Imaging Velocimetry (PIV) techniques for the determination of cool flame propagation velocities has been established. This paves the way towards exciting upcoming experimental campaigns, which are planned in 2024 and to which the candidate will participate:

1- Among them, the panel of diagnostics associated to the burner will be extended to VUV photoionization mass spectrometry/PhotoElectron PhotoIonization Mass Spectrometry, in collaboration with the DESIRS beamline of Synchrotron SOLEIL, allowing the selective detection and quantification of elusive products, such as the hydroperoxides responsible for radical-chain branching.

2- Further development of the PIV technique towards determination of cool flame burning velocities for new fuels will be achieved in collaboration with CORIA and LMFL laboratories.


[1] S. S. Goldsborough, S. Hochgreb, G. Vanhove, M. S. Wooldridge, H. J. Curran, C. J. Sung, Advances in rapid compression machine studies of low- and intermediate-temperature autoignition phenomena. Prog. Energy Combust. Sci. 2017, 63, 1-78.

[2] T. Panaget, K. Potier, S. Batut, A. Lahccen, Y. Fenard, L. Pillier, G. Vanhove, How ozone affects the product distribution inside cool flames of diethyl ether, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute 39 (2023) 325-333.

[3] K. De Ras, T. Panaget, Y. Fenard, J. Aerssens, L. Pillier, J. W. Thybaut, G. Vanhove, K. M. Van Geem, An experimental and kinetic modelling study on the low-temperature oxidation of oxymethylene ether-2 (OME-2) by means of stabilized cool flames, Combustion and Flame 253 (2023) 112792.

[4] T. Panaget, N. Mokrani, S. Batut, A. Lahccen, Y. Fenard, L. Pillier and G. Vanhove, Insight into Ozone-Assisted Low-Temperature Combustion of Dimethyl Ether by Means of Stabilized Cool Flames, J. Phys. Chem. A 125 (2021) 9167−9179.

Keywords: Low Temperature Combustion, Kinetics, Pollutant reduction, bio- and e-fuels, optical and analytical diagnostics.

Academic Requirements: A PhD degree in the fields of Combustion Chemistry and/or Laser diagnostic techniques and a strong aspiration to perform experimental work are required.

Contact e-mail: Guillaume.vanhove(), laure.pillier()


Tirthankar MITRA


Supervisors: Pascale Desgroux, Nathalie Lamoureux,

Duration: 18-24 months, from February/March 2023

Funding: 100% PEPR MONTHY.

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In 2021, the French government launched a broad investment plan “France 2030”, in connection with the ecological transition. This plan aims to decarbonize French industry in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by 2030.  Hydrogen combustion is a promising energy source to reach the carbon neutrality in many applications, including transport, industrial processes and energy conversion. In particular, the French acceleration strategy on decarbonized hydrogen is supported by the Priority Research Program and Equipment (Programme et Equipements Prioritaires de Recherche) PEPR-H2 of the plan “France 2030”.

The MONTHY project is funded by PEPR-H2 for a period of 4 years. This project brings together three French laboratories internationally recognized for their research in combustion (CORIA, EM2C, PC2A) and allows the recruitment of several PhD and postdocs on fundamental research on H2 combustion.

The objectives of MONTHY project are to understand through a joined experimental and numerical analysis the nitrogen oxides formation in an environment representative of future hydrogen-air industrial combustion chambers. Results will lead to the first understanding and modeling of the impacts of H2 fuel dilution by H2O on NOx production in a turbulent reactive flow.


PC2A laboratory is offering an 18-24 month postdoc position, mainly experimental, on topics related to NO formation in laminar premixed H2/O2/N2 flames. Although the kinetic pathways responsible for the NO formation in hydrogen flames are known: thermal-NO at high temperature and NNH and N2O pathways occurring at intermediate temperature, the latter two pathways are affected by large uncertainties while having  a large contribution in turbulent flames. Thus, there is a crucial need to validate a detailed kinetic model for NO formation in a wide range of hydrogen flames.

By implementing an original experimental strategy based on advanced laser diagnostics to quantitatively detect radicals and atoms in hydrogen flames and on an optimal selection of flames allowing to emphasize one NO pathway over the others, the objective of this postdoc position is to contribute to the elucidation of the NOx formation pathways in hydrogen flames. The experimental work will  consist in acquiring a unique experimental quantitative database of NO formation in laminar H2-air flames using in-situ advanced laser diagnostics (laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS)) and probe sampling techniques (FTIR), detecting challenging trace species like NH and HNO to clarify the NNH-route of NO formation, and  finally assess the consistency of H2O dilution as a primary NOx reduction strategy for H2-air flames. LIF and CRDS techniques are already well mastered in the PC2A laboratory ( but never applied in H2/O2/N2 premixed flames. Depending on the candidate profile, he/she can be involved in the kinetic simulation work to identify the formation pathways of NOx and N2O emissions.



Keywords: Combustion, Chemical kinetic, NOx emissions, Laser-based spectroscopic diagnostics


Academic requirements: PhD in the field of chemistry, chemistry-physics, and a strong aspiration to perform experimental work are required. Knowledge in the field of combustion chemistry and laser techniques are appreciated.


Laboratory: PC2A

Contact e-mail: pascale.desgroux[chez]univ-lille[point].frnathalie.lamoureux[chez]univ-lille[point].fr,