2021-03- Postdoctoral position - Btex Isotopic fractionation for Gas Storage in aquifers Monitoring

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E2S: Energy and Environment Solutions

E2S UPPA, an I-Site since 2017

E2S UPPA, an I-Site since 2017

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"I-site" stands for “Initiatives Science-Innovation-Territoires-Economie".
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Postdoctoral position - Btex Isotopic fractionation for Gas Storage in aquifers Monitoring

Description of the position

The management of groundwater quality is a major concern when storing natural gas in aquifers [1]. As a key contribution, the monitoring of Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylenes (BTEX) natural attenuation by bio-chemical processes, d13C and dD isotope fractionation measurements is very promising [2]. However, to use such an approach on in situ samples, ones need a robust and accurate measurements chain (not standardized yet), and an adequate interpretation framework which is still subject to some debates.

To deal with these problems, researchers of two labs hosted at the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour (LFCR and IPREM) and of one industrial partner, STORENGY, have developed collaborations and obtained a support from E2S UPPA to fund a two years Post-Doctoral Research Associate position.

Thus, the recruited PDRA will have to tackle some of the above questions related to the BTEX isotopic fractionation for gas storage in aquifers monitoring. To do so, the PDRA will contribute:

  • First, to the establishment of an accurate database on some samples of natural gases and brine coming from underground gas storage in aquifer sites managed by STORENGY,
  • Second, to the development of dedicated experiments, molecular simulations and thermodynamic modelling to quantify possible BTEX isotopes fractionation due to physical mechanisms (solubility and diffusion).


[1] Hunkeler D., R.U. Meckenstock, B. Lollar, T.C. Schmidt, J.T. Wilson, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington D.C., 2009.
[2] Mancini S.A., A.C. Ulrich, G. Lacrampe-Couloume, B. Sleep, E.A. Edwards, B. Sherwood Lollar, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 191, 2003.
[3] Wanner P., D. Hunkeler, Chemosphere 219, 1032, 2019.


Tasks and proposed methodology

  • To improve and develop programs and tools for dimensioning energy systems using phase change materials (solid-liquid).
  • Conduct experiments on the characterization of phase change materials.
  • Develop methods for identifying parameters using genetic algorithms.
  • Optimization of thermal storage systems (sensible and latent).
  • Publication of research results (International Journals, conferences, etc.)


Work conditions

Location: Pau, France 

Hosting laboratories: IPREM and LFCR

Starting period: as soon as possible

Duration: 24 months

Employer: Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour

Monthly salary (after taxes): approximately 2200 euros
The salary of  the successful candidate will be based on  level chart  for  teaching and  research personnel  in  the  salary  system of  French universities.

Funding: This post doc position is funded by the project E2S UPPA (Energy Environment Solutions) whom core scientific domain focuses on Environment and Energy to meet challenges related to the energy transition, geo-resources, aquatic habitats and the environmental effects of natural and anthropogenic changes


Recruitment grade: young researcher (i.e. with PhD)

Required qualification: PhD in Geochemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or related domain.

Profile sought: Candidate capable of developing experimental protocols, with experience in numerical  simulations or motivated to strengthen his/her skills in this field.


Applications must be written in English and sumitted as a single .pdf file.

Required documents:

  • CV
  • Cover letter
  • Copy of the doctoral diploma.

Please submit your application by email to both of the two following addresses:

Dr. Isabelle le Hecho, isabelle.lehecho @ univ-pau.fr
Dr. Romain Vermorel, romain.vermorel @ univ-pau.fr


The deadline for submitting the application is March 31st, 2021