Institut Mines-Télécom is hiring an

Internship Master : Gas phase oxidation of organic pollutants by atmospheric oxidants

Douai, France
Internship

CONTEXT :

Public establishment belonging to IMT (Institut Mines-Télécom), placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, IMT Nord Europe has three main objectives: providing our students with ethically responsible engineering practice enabling them to solve 21st century issues, carrying out our R&D activities leading to outstanding innovations and supporting territorial development through innovation and entrepreneurship. Ideally positioned at the heart of Europe, 1 hour away from Paris, 30 min from Brussels and 1h30 from London, IMT Nord Europe has strong ambitions to become a main actor of the current industrial transitions, digital and environmental, by combining education and research on engineering and digital technologies.

Located on two main campuses dedicated to research and education in Douai and Lille, IMT Nord Europe offers research facilities of almost 20,000m² in the following areas:

- Digital science,

- Processes for industry and services,

- Energy and Environment,

- Materials and Processes.

For more details, visit the School’s website : www.imt-nord-europe.fr


Summer internship in Atmospheric Science

Furans are cyclic oxygenated volatile organic compounds (c-OVOC) that contain a furan ring (c- ×××CH=CH-O-O-CH=CH×××, c-C4H4O), as a base structure unit and various functional groups, i.e., hydroxy (-OH), aldehyde (-(H) C=O), ketone (-(R)C=O) and methyl (-CH3) groups that can replace hydrogen atoms at single or multiple ring positions. It is now well established that the major sources of the title compounds in the atmosphere are biomass burning, including domestic- and wild- fires, agricultural burning, and domestic fuel use. Furans have direct adverse effects to human health and once emitted in the atmosphere, they will be photochemically converted to secondary pollutants that will eventually lead to increased tropospheric ozone (O3) levels and secondary organic aerosols (SOA) formation. Therefore, furans impact both air quality and climate change.

Yet, there are very few studies regarding the atmospheric degradation of furans, limited to room temperature measurements (296 K) and there are even less mechanistic and end-product laboratory or field measurements in the literature. However, in real atmosphere, temperature is a variable parameter, and thus it can influence both the kinetics and mechanism of furans atmospheric oxidation. In conclusion, the detailed chemistry for these gas phase SOA precursors is currently not sufficiently understood.

The objective of this internship is to investigate the degradation of a series of furans compounds, by the major atmospheric oxidants, such as i) NO3, the principal night-time oxidant, ii) OH radicals, the major daytime oxidant, and iii) Cl atoms, important oxidant in coastal areas. In particular, the kinetics and oxidation products of furans will be studied deploying the state of the art thermoregulated atmospheric simulation chamber THAMALOS, available at IMT Nord Europe, deployed with state-of-the-art mass spectrometric and optical techniques for the real-time monitoring of both reactants and products. Experiments are planned in a wide temperature range, relevant to real atmosphere, aiming to, obtain crucial kinetic and mechanistic parameters of furans degradation. The anticipated results will enable us to estimate the lifetime of furans in the atmosphere, to identify their reaction mechanism and the formation of potential secondary products, and thus to assess the impact of furans on air quality.

The successful candidate should have a strong background in physical chemistry, infrared spectroscopic and mass spectrometric techniques. Good computer skills and knowledge of data treatment software (Excel, Origin Pro, Igor) will be required. Motivation and good communication skills will be appreciated. The candidate will have the opportunity to be trained in state-of-the-art analytical techniques, and work close to a dynamic international team of researchers.

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