Junior Research Scientist in Bioprocesses for biogas and syngas upgrading


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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment under the dual authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Research.

INRAE is recruiting researchers by open competition and offering permanent position.

It is a major player in research and innovation created on 1st of January 2020. INRAE is a research institute resulting from the merger of INRA and IRSTEA. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France.

The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

Work environment, missions and activities

You will be assigned to the Laboratory of Environmental Biotechnology (LBE), an INRAE research unit located in Narbonne. This unit is composed of 35 permanent staff (including 15 researchers) and non-permanent staff (doctoral students, post-doctoral students, trainees, housed companies) representing an overall staff count of approximately 80 full-time equivalents.
The LBE’s research focuses on the environmental biorefinery concept, which aims to add value to effluents and organic residues, producing energy (methane, hydrogen) or platform molecules. This is achieved by combining physico-chemical treatment steps and anaerobic bioprocesses, such as anaerobic digestion or dark fermentation, with an agronomic valorisation of the final organic waste products. The unit is under the shared scientific authority of three INRAE divisions: Transform, AgroEcosystem and MICA. The unit is not organized around teams, preferring more open and flexible multidisciplinary thematic axes. Your research will be developed especially within the "Process Engineering and Coupling (iCoP) axis.
Your research fits into the framework of climate change mitigation and, especially, the development of renewable gas production processes, such as anaerobic digestion or gasification. While energy recovery from these gases is currently the preferred route, different molecules contained within these gases, particularly methane and carbon monoxide, can also be used as platform molecules for the synthetic chemistry. Among the possible solutions for converting gases, microbial bioprocesses are a pathway that aim to study and develop.
Your missions will focus on the study of the biological conversion of methane and carbon monoxide (produced using either metahnisation or pyrogazeification*), thus proposing non-energy recovery processes for these molecules. The developed processes will mainly involve complex microbial ecosystems, in line with current LBE research activities. However, for the conversion of simple molecules such as methane or carbon monoxide, you are encouraged to explore all options, including the use of pure strains or co-cultures. This strategy should lead to improved understanding and characterisation of bioconversions and procure strategies to develop new processes.
* The pyrogasification route will be developed through collaboration with specialists of the technology not present in INRAE.

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

This competition is open to candidates with a doctoral degree (or equivalent).
You possess training and experience in bioprocess engineering, applied microbiology, environmental biotechnology or industrial biotechnology.
Proficiency in English is required as well as long-term international experience: successful candidates who have not yet had one will have to stay abroad at the end of the year of internship.

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from:

- 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
- parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: training, career advise;
- social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
- holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2021-TRANSFORM-5
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 31

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