Post-Doctorat et Research contract


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.

Funding: CPER ECRIN (

Laboratory: PC2A

Supervisors: Guillaume VANHOVE, Laure PILLIER

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

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


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 31th October 2023, CV and motivation letter, and recommendation letters.

Laboratory: PC2A,

Supervisors: Nathalie Lamoureux, Pascale Desgroux

Duration: 18-24 months, from January/February 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()