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Physical-Chemistry & Analysis

Many of the products, processes and technologies crucial to the energy transition, are made up of multi-phase systems. This implies the presence of matter in different states: liquids like water and oils, gases such as methane, CO₂ and hydrogen, and solids such as the components of a wind turbine, battery, or engine, the walls of a pipeline or the rocks in a reservoir. Depending on the case, these different phases may be mixed to a greater or lesser extent and different molecules, from either the phases themselves of from additives that are introduced, are exchanged from one phase to another, or settle at the interfaces.

Competencies in "Physical-Chemistry & Analyses" aim to improve the behavior models of multi-phase systems to predict their properties and optimize their efficiency, their profitability and reduce their environmental impact. Our areas of expertise include the physical-chemistry of interfaces, the rheology of complex systems, the development of specific analytical methods and the integration of these physical and chemical characteristics in flow models for simulators.

These competencies are currently applied in all the R&D lines at TotalEnergies.


Experimental resources

Micromodels & Microfluids

Built in-house using the NOA technology (Norland Optical Adhesive) developed at ESPCI-ParisTech or sintering silicon beads, or laser engraving on glass based on microelectronic technologies, to visualize fluid flow dynamics at the micrometric scale.

A number of advanced microscopy techniques can be used for visualization: high-speed cameras, 3D confocal microscopes, Raman microscopes, etc.

The combination of physical measurements and image analyses produces physical models representative of the phenomena observed within temperature ranges of -40°C to 150°C and pressures of up to 300 bars in channels down to just a few microns in diameter.


Rheology & tensiometry

A large inventory of rheometers and tensiometers fitted with the latest innovative equipment are used to measure interaction energies at interfaces and the viscosity of complex systems in volume and at the interfaces.



Monitoring of liquid/liquid separation (up to a maximum limit of 9,000 l/hr), preparation of polymer solutions, formulation of reconstituted produced water to supply water treatment pilots, etc.


Additive manufacturing

From fast prototyping to complex experimental set-ups, our laboratories' additive manufacturing capabilities and our teams’ expertise in digital design, catalyze scientific exploration. The available equipment includes three 3D-printers for advanced materials, as well as a CNC machine and a 3D scanner, and the inventory continues to grow.


Test benches to study sweep efficiency in porous media

Various set-ups developed to study how fluids such as water, oils, liquid or gaseous CO₂, and gases, move through porous media (rocks, batteries, membranes, etc.). For example, the achievable temperature and pressure ranges enable us to study the formation of CO₂ hydrates in porous media during storage.


A high-level scientific community and local dynamics

The center has extremely high-performance laboratories and creates specific partnerships with universities to benefit from the latest expertise and create a high-level scientific community.

In 2015, a shared laboratory called "PIC" (Physical Chemistry of Complex Interfaces) was created in partnership with the École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de Paris (ESPCI) in Chemstart'up, so that progress in fundamental sciences could be rapidly integrated and ramp up our applied research.

The PERL has strong ties with the laboratories at the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, which stimulates local innovation.