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Physics and Analysis

Interview with Thomas Dutriez

Thomas Dutriez

 

 

IFP Energies nouvelles awards its 2011 Yves Chauvin thesis prize to Thomas Dutriez

Thomas Dutriez was awarded IFP Energies nouvelles’ 2011 Yves Chauvin thesis prize in recognition of his work on "Multidimensional chromatography: towards extensive molecular characterization of vacuum distillate-type feedstocks and an understanding of their reactivity to hydrotreatment".

Overseen by Marion Courtiade and Hugues Dulot, two IFP Energies nouvelles researchers, Thomas Dutriez prepared his thesis under the management of Didier Thiébault at ESCPI ParisTech, within the École doctorale Chimie physique et Chimie analytique de Paris (Paris Doctoral School for Physical and Analytical Chemistry).

The Yves Chauvin thesis prize, created by IFP Energies nouvelles to pay homage to the winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, aims to encourage competition between doctoral students and promote their research to businesses and universities.

What is your background?

Thomas Dutriez: My training has been in chemical engineering. As part of my studies at the Ecole supérieure de chimie organique et minérale (ESCOM – School of Organic and Mineral Chemistry) in Compiègne, I spent my final year at CPE Lyon. I then studied for a Masters in analytical chemistry. Having initially been interested in organic chemistry, I began to shift my focus to analytical chemistry, which offers research opportunities more suited to my personality.
The thesis topic proposed by IFP Energies nouvelles offered a dual advantage:

  • it linked analytical chemistry research work with concrete applications in the field of refining processes;
  • in addition, it was an area involving a number of major scientific challenges; a risky field, therefore, but one in which the innovation potential is evident.

What are the applications of the research conducted as part of your thesis?

Thomas Dutriez: This thesis focuses on a very topical issue in the oil industry. The demand for light products, such as gasoline and diesel, is growing and to meet this demand, refiners need to convert increasingly heavy crude oils into fuels. To do so, they use hydrotreatment and hydrocracking processes, which convert heavy cuts and vacuum distillates into high-quality fuels.
Studying and optimizing conversion processes demands molecular-scale knowledge of these vacuum distillates. But the analytical data on vacuum distillates obtained using conventional methods is not sufficiently detailed, due primarily to the high number of components in these petroleum cuts. My thesis aimed to develop new analytical tools to more accurately characterize vacuum distillates and understand their reactivity to hydrotreatment.
The research conducted as part of my thesis led to 10 scientific articles, 4 oral papers and a patent.

What are you doing today?

Thomas Dutriez: I am the scientific manager of the GC2D entity – which stands for two-dimensional gas chromatography - at DSM Resolve. DSM is a multinational chemicals company from the Netherlands.
Two-dimensional gas chromatography is an advanced analytical technique that I studied as part of my thesis. Hence there’s a direct link with this job at DSM, which demands significant scientific knowledge. As a matter of interest, I had my interviews at DSM Resolve the day before I defended my thesis. The experience and contacts forged during my thesis at IFP Energies nouvelles clearly opened doors for me in terms of an international career.

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See also

+ Research Divisions > Physics and Analysis > "Vacuum distillates seen under a totally new light "

+ Expertise > Awarded researchers


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Marion Courtiade and Hugues Dulot, researchers at IFP Energies nouvelles: " Thomas Dutriez's research has led to some original analytical developments. Application of these has helped overcome some major scientific hurdles enabling IFP Energies nouvelles to develop more eco-efficient catalysts and refining processes."