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PhD Position: Design of innovative electrodes to optimise the interactions between microorganisms and electrodes in bioelectrochemical systems (LGC Toulouse, France)

Starting date: 1st October 2024
Contract duration : 3 years
Funding : INP Toulouse (B-Best PEPR)
Doctoral school : Mécanique, énergétique, génie civil, procédés (MEGEP) Keywords : bioelectrochemical systems, microorganisms, biofilms, electrochemistry, bioeconomy This thesis project is part of the B-BEST priority research programme and equipment (PEPR), which is an integral part of France's "bio-based products, industrial biotechnologies - sustainable fuels" acceleration strategy. The PEPR is a funding instrument dedicated to research to "prepare the biomass conversion technologies of tomorrow" at low technology readiness levels (TRL) ranging from 1 to 4. The aim of this strategy is to focus on the key challenges related to the conversion of biomass into bio-based products for a sustainable transition to the bioeconomy and circular economy. In this context, bioelectrochemical systems (BES) are emerging, low TRL technologies that can be used to recover "waste" biomass (wastewater, bio-waste, agro-industrial waste, etc.). BES are based on the ability of microorganisms naturally present in the environment to oxidise biomass on the surface of conductive materials (electrodes) by developing electroactive biofilms, thereby generating an electric current (flow of electrons). This electric current can then be used at the cathode to produce value-added compounds such as hydrogen, methane or 'platform' molecules for ...

PhD Position: Sustainable bioelectrochemical process for the degradation of halogenated “forever chemicals” (LGC Toulouse, France)

Starting date: 1st October 2024
Contract duration: 3 years
Funding : INP Toulouse
Doctoral School : Mécanique, énergétique, génie civil, procédés (MEGEP) Keywords: bioelectrochemical processes, water treatment, micropolluants, microorganisms, biofilms, electrochemistry, analytical chemistry Organic micropollutants (MPs) are mainly man-made contaminants that can have toxic effects on living organisms at very low concentrations. MPs are contained in cosmetics, medicines, plant protection products and cleaning products, etc.: MPs are ubiquitous. They are found in wastewaters, surface waters and drinking water, with a direct impact on the environment, biodiversity and human health. In 2021 in France, it was estimated that around 147 tons of MPs were contained in the 5 billion cubic meters of treated water from wastewater treatment plants. Among the most widespread MPs, halogenated compounds are particularly problematic because of their recalcitrance and toxicity. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFASs), are well known for their remarkable chemical stability, even earning them the title of "forever chemicals". The aim of this PhD is to develop a bioelectrochemical system for the selective degradation of halogenated MPs prior to a coupling with conventional biological treatments. Bioelectrochemical systems are based on the development of electroactive microbial biofilms on the surface of electrodes. These low-energy processes are of interest for ...

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