PhD position in Toulouse-Albi (France)

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    Université de Toulouse 3 - Paul Sabatier
    Professions and applied sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1) (Up to the point of PhD)

APR 19 Program funded PhD POSITION (3 years)

Laboratoire Hétérochimie Fondamentale et Appliquée, UMR CNRS 5069

Laboratoire RAPSODEE, UMR CNRS 5302


"Catalysis, processes and preclinical studies: from CO2 to the synthesis of bioactive molecules"

PhD supervisors: Daniel Pla, Montserrat Gómez and Doan Pham Minh.

Keywords: CO2 / CH4 reforming - Heterogeneous catalysts - Syngas - Hydroaminomethylation - Bioactive amines - Preclinical studies.


This PhD thesis project aims at developing the synthesis of bioactive amines of pharmacological interest via sustainable methodologies. To illustrate how disruptive methodologies can be implemented in synthesis, this PhD proposal combines catalysis and medicinal chemistry approaches towards the exploration of the nitrogen-containing products exhibiting a great potential for the accelerated discovery of active principles.

Thus, a synthetic catalytic sequence is envisaged, starting from the reforming of CO2 and CH4 (greenhouse gas) which leads to the formation of syngas (CO + H2),1 which will be employed in the next step of hydroaminomethylation (HAM, Figure 1), an attractive transformation from an environmental point of view (atom efficiency, without concomitant products formation other than water) and economic (inexpensive alkenes, suppression of purification steps, energy saving). As a result, the design of catalysts suitable for these two processes (reforming and HAM) is essential.

The PhD student will receive a top-notch training in chemistry and chemical engineering to tackle this multidisciplinary project. The expertise of the LHFA team (Fundamental and Applied Heterochemical Laboratory, Toulouse), concerning the development of (nano)catalysts for their applications in synthesis,2 and that of the RAPSODEE team (Research Albi in Structured Solids, Energy and Environment Engineering, Albi),1 on reforming reactions and process engineering, will lead to a synergy and complementarity appropriate for the development of the project. This will offer a favorable framework for the training of a PhD student who will acquire solid skills in sustainable chemistry and chemical engineering to later integrate the industry or academy. The geographical proximity of the two laboratories is an important asset for developing research between different sites in the region.


Figure 1. From CO2 to functionalized amines with potential biological activities by a sustainable catalytic sequence.



This 3-years PhD project will start in October 2019. It is addressed to highly qualified and talented graduate students with an enthusiastic interest in synthesis and catalysis. Applications shall include a motivation letter, a detailed Curriculum Vitae and the contact of at least one referee.

Motivated students have the opportunity to join the research group Metallic Systems Applied in Catalysis (SYMAC, LHFA, CNRS-Université de Toulouse 3-Paul Sabatier) and the laboratory RAPSODEE (École Nationale Supérieure des Mines d'Albi-Carmaux).

Contacts: Prof. Montserrat Gómez (gomez@chimie.ups-tlse.fr) and Dr. Doan Pham Minh (doan.phamminh@mines-albi.fr).



1. a) B. Rêgo de Vasconcelos, Phosphates-based catalysts for synthetic gas (syngas) production using CO2 and CH4, PhD thesis, University Toulouse 3, France (2016); b) B. Rego de Vasconcelos, D. Pham Minh, N. Lyczko, T. Son Phan, P. Sharrock, A. Nzihou, Fuel 226 (2018) 195–203; c) T. Son Phan, A. Razac Sane, B. Rêgo de Vasconcelos, A. Nzihou, P. Sharrock, D. Grouset, D. Pham Minh, Appl. Catal. B: Environmental 224 (2018) 310–321.

2. a) T. Dang-Bao, C. Pradel, I. Favier, M. Gómez, Adv. Synth. Catal. 359 (2017) 2832–2846; b) I. Favier, M.-L. Toro, P. Lecante, D. Pla, M. Gómez, Catal. Sci. Technol. 8 (2018) 4766-4773; c) A. Reina, I. Favier, C. Pradel, M. Gómez, Adv. Synth. Catal. 360 (2018) 3544-3552; d) M. Rodríguez-Rodríguez, P. Llanes, C. Pradel, M. A. Pericàs, M. Gómez, Chem. Eur. J. 22 (2016) 18247-18253; e) Y. Gu, I. Favier, C. Pradel, D. L. Gin, J.-F. Lahitte, R. D. Noble, M. Gómez, J.-C. Remigy, J. Membrane Sci. 492 (2015) 331-339.





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