Equipex PLANEX Orléans

Experimental Planet: In-situ analyses and simulations under extreme conditions
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About the project

PLANEX federates 8 laboratories with multiple and complementary skills (ranging from materials synthesis to their characterization and modeling), each active at the highest level of excellence. The presence of various skills in the field of experimental and spectroscopic analysis under extreme conditions in the same place is unique in France and there are few, or no other sites where the existing configuration is as favourable to the emergence of a project such as this one.

PLANEX hence capitalises on the contribution of an overall expertise in the form of laboratory-specific competences. The different PLANEX partners are :

  1. ISTO (Orléans) has a recognised expertise in the field of internally heated gas pressure vessels operation,some of which are already equipped with in-situ devices (electrical conductivity, permeability, viscosity),and has developed specific skills to the definition of volatile-bearing silicate liquids thermo-physical properties ;
  2. CEMHTI (Orléans) is leader in the field of 1-bar HT spectroscopic measurements (IR, Raman, NMR) on molten silicates and salts, coupled to the elaboration of theoretical models ;
  3. LPC2E (Orléans) has developed innovative laser spectroscopy instruments (IR) allowing the fastdetermination of gas species abundances with high accuracy, and strives for the measurement of isotopiccompositions of gases ;
  4. GREMI (Orléans), is leader in the development of dedicated high energy X-ray sources ;
  5. CRPG (Nancy) is leader in the field of isotopic measurements of condensed phases using the SIMS toolwhich affords the high spatial resolution required for analyses of laboratory run products ;
  6. BRGM (Orléans) is leader on geothermal energy and CO2 geological storage issues and in the field of numerical modeling of fluid-flow processes through geological materials.
  7. IRCP  (Paris), is leader on the studies of molten carbonate compositions (including composites with oxides) of industrial interest (MCFC, new fuel cell concepts) .
  8. Institut Néel (Grenoble) is leader in the development of transparent IHPV and in-situ measurements (X-Ray) made at the ESRF synchrotron.


Progress of the project

The kick off meeting of PLANEX took place the 25 mars 2013, though the administrative starting date of the project was fixed on the 1 july 2012. Between the end of 2012 and mid 2013, we contacted the Institut Néel (JL. Hazemann) and discussed with them to define their integration into the consortium, their role (construction of transparent autoclaves) and budget needed to that end (set to 700 ke). The official request of incorporation was sent to the ANR in august 2013 whose agreement was given in January 2014. The University of Orléans could then proceed to the money transfert to partners external to the Orléans Campus (500 ke to CRPG-Nancy, 307 ke to IRCP-Paris, 700 ke to I. Néel-Grenoble), which allowed them to start working.

Meanwhile, local tasks were launched, in particular the upgrade of the Paterson press, the building of the reactive transfer experiments, the design of an IHPV allowing fluid sampling, the set in of a novel Griggs apparatus. The decision to embark on the later equipement was taken because we could not buy a second Paterson press, as originally planned. The Griggs press was purchased in tandem with the ERC advanced grant RHEOLITH, lead by Laurent Jolivet, which payed half of the equipement.

The table below lists the time table (as of end of july 2018) of the main equipment elaboration/acquisition(*), installation(**), and test(***). The starting semester for any equipment includes the period needed for modelling or theoretical work, such as that for the upgrade of the transparent IHPV.


Equipment/year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Paterson upgrade   * ** ***                
Griggs press       * * ** ** ** *** *** ***  
IHPV+fluid sampling       * * * ** ** ** ** ***  
Reactive transfer vessels     * ** ***              
Transparent IHPV           * * * * * * **
Electrochemical cell+anayser           * * ** ***      
FEG-MEB           * * ** ***      
SIMS upgrade         * ** ***          
Brillouin+Raman spectrom.           * * * ** ** ** **