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A joint laboratory to strengthen knowledge about materials for energy transition

The CNRS, the ENS of Lyon, IFPEN, Sorbonne University, University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and University of Strasbourg are creating the joint Carmen laboratory for the characterisation of materials for new energy sources.

Carmen aims to improve understanding of molecular and/or colloidal transport in complex porous substrates and develop new methodologies for detailed analysis of these porous materials.

Porous materials with potential for energy transition

Studying mesoporous or lamellar substrates such as catalyst supports and soils has a lot of potential for energy transition. These materials can be used for a number of applications, including biomass catalytic conversion, adsorbents for contaminant reduction and renewable energy storage.

Optimising these porous materials for new energy sources requires identifying the relationships between their structural and chemical properties and how they perform. Carmen’s work will therefore focus on the multi-scale characterization of their structure under operation conditions that are as close as possible to reality, known as operando, to link the structural properties to their transport properties and reactivity.

Bringing together laboratories of excellence

Carmen brings together three exceptional academic teams – from the CRMN1 (Centre for Very High Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) in Lyon, the IPCMS2 and PHENIX3 (Physical Chemistry of Electrolytes and Interfacial Nanosystems) – as well as teams from the IFPEN Research and Innovation Centre, making it the only consortium of its kind in the world.

The complementary skills of the research teams and the pooling of their high-performance equipment are major assets for this joint laboratory. Sharing skills and equipment in this way will give rise to a number of characterization techniques, including innovative in situ approaches, such as low and high-field NMR and imaging techniques combined with modelling.