Postdoctoral position in the field of MRI in porous media

CNRS CEMHTI Laboratory, Orléans, France

Scientific context

Refractory materials are widely used in the industry of high-temperature material processes (steel making, glass making, cement making...) because of their exceptional properties under extreme conditions, namely at high temperature and in presence of corrosive agents. They also are used in new applications in the field of new energy production (biomass gasification, dangerous industrial waste incineration and waste gasification). Although refractories have been studied for a long time, designing new high-performance refractory materials is still challenging for raw materials suppliers as well as refractory producers while predicting and optimizing the durability of adapted refractory materials requires the knowledge of a lot of properties since corrosion proceeds from multi-physics mechanisms involving reaction kinetics and transport – diffusion for gases, capillarity for liquids. Focusing on slag impregnation, the impregnation is mainly driven by capillary suction. The Refractory Ceramics group in CNRS CEMHTI has developed different experiments for modelling and simulating this impregnation mechanism. It is now aimed to develop an experiment allowing for the monitoring of in situ non-reactive impregnation using MRI. Unlike X-ray computed tomography, the acquisition time of MRI is compatible with impregnation kinetics of concern. An MRI device has been developed by the NMR/MRI group in the lab to monitor in situ impregnation of porous media with liquid. The capillary rising test consists of putting a cylindrical sample above a container full of liquid and putting the assembly inside the NRM probe to follow the imbibition front dynamically. Preliminary tests performed in 1D configuration have shown the reliability of the approach. The objectives of the project are now:

- To improve the experiment protocol and the interpretation of the results to obtain information on the space and time evolution of the saturation.

- To extend the 1D measurement technique to 2D and 3D.

Research activities

The post-doctoral fellow will contribute to MRI experiments of capillary impregnation of porous media with liquid by combining MRI techniques with relaxation time measurement.

- Sample preparation

- Improvement (if needed) and validation of the dedicated experimental device

- Capillary test

Profile of the applicant

The applicant is expected to have:

- Expertise in MRI especially in porous media. Characterization based on relaxation time measurement would be appreciated

- General knowledge about porous medium and specific characterization techniques

- Experimental development and NMR methodology

Work Context

CEMHTI research unit belongs to CNRS (unit of the Chemistry Institute), which is located in in Orléans. The laboratory develops strong expertise and original tools at national and international level to study physical and chemical properties of materials in extreme conditions. The researcher will join the NMR/MRI group which has a strong expertise in solid state NMR/MRI, high temperature NMR, diffusion experiments at high and very fields (up to 20 T).

Contact: Dr. Vincent Sarou-Kanian,