Mechanistic and kinetic study of the formation of humins and their precursors during fructose dehydration



Scientific disciplines

Chemical Sciences

Research direction

Process Design and Modeling

Affiliate site


The PhD project is proposed in the context of the transformation of sugars into fine chemicals, more specifically fructose into platform molecules for the chemical industry. The goal of the project is to understand and rationalize the reaction mechanisms of sugars by combined experimental and theoretical approaches. In particular, the selectivity of the transformations will be addressed, especially the pathways leading to oligomers and humins, mainly responsible of the efficiency losses in the transformation of sugars. The project will combine analysis (LC-UC-RI, GC-FID, LC-HRMS…), experimental kinetics and kinetic modeling, and will focus on reaction intermediates and side-reaction research. This will also imply a thorough analytical work on the comprehension of the chemical composition of the fluids. The results should allow for a better understanding of the chemical reactivity involved and pave the way toward operating conditions optimization of conversion processes. 
Through this project the candidate should thus be trained in a variety of techniques and approaches for the fundamental and applied research in the field of reaction engineering, kinetic modeling, catalysis, analysis and biomass transformation processes.

Keywords: sugars, reaction kinetics, kinetic modelling, humins 


  • Academic supervisor    Dr HUDEBINE Damien, IFPEN
  • Doctoral School    ED206 - Ecole doctorale Chimie, Procédé, Environnement
  • IFPEN supervisor    Dr ALLAIN Florent, Reactor modeling engineer, Reaction and Reactor Modeling Department,
  • PhD location    IFP Energies nouvelles, Lyon, France
  • Duration and start date    3 years, starting in fourth quarter 2023
  • Employer    IFP Energies nouvelles, Lyon, France
  • Academic requirements    University Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, or other related fields
  • Language requirements    Fluency in English and French (or willingness to learn French)
  • Other requirements    Knowledge in programming, experience in a lab environment
Encadrant IFPEN :
Dr ALLAIN Florent
PhD student of the thesis:
Promotion 2023-2026