Étude par simulation numérique du transfert de matière en extraction liquide-liquide : applications au transfert réactif et aux écoulements réels

La thèse, basée au CEA Marcoule, sera menée en collaboration entre l’Institut de Mécanique des Fluides de Toulouse et co-dirigée par E. Climent (Professeur INP-ENSEEIHT/IMFT) et S. Charton (Ingénieur chercheur au CEA Marcoule, HDR).

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Sujet de thèse

Liquid-liquid extraction is a key step of hydrometallurgical processes for the treatment and recycling of spent nuclear fuel, and more generally for the extraction-purification of metals (rare earth and transition metal that are now classified as « strategic metals »). Minimizing the amount of material needed for the development of these processes is a major constraint, from both economic and environmental issues, the simulation of chemistry-transport coupling is hence of growing interest in R & D activities. The thesis, in collaboration with the Institute of Fluid Mechanics in Toulouse, will focus on the development of models describing the reactive mass transfer process between the two immiscible liquid phases. It will focus on the transport, the transfer process and the consumption by a chemical reaction of a given compound between a single droplet and various types of flow (Poiseuille, shear, etc.). The influence of the hydrodynamics, physical properties (fluids density and viscosity), thermodynamics (diffusion coefficient, equilibrium constants), and chemical reaction kinetics (reaction order) will be studied by direct numerical simulation. The study, aimed at proposing correlations for the mass transfer resistance (Sherwood number) in solvent extraction processes, will be mainly numerical. But a special effort will be devoted to the definition and implementation of validation experiments, in conjunction with other ongoing researches at CEA Marcoule.

Contact : Eric Climent