Equipex PLANEX Orléans

Experimental Planet: In-situ analyses and simulations under extreme conditions
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PLANEX aims at developing a high pressure high temperature (HP-HT) experimental and analytical platform allowing to perform (1) in situ chemical, structural and isotopic analyses, on fluids (molten silicates and salts, hydrous fluids and gases) and (2) simulation of fluid transfer processes in geomaterials or their synthetic equivalents, with implications in various socio-economic fields, in particular, volcanic risk management, exploitation of geothermal and mineral ressources, the improvement of industrial processes involving silicate or salt melts and related fluids, the geological storage of energy and CO2. To reach this goal it gathers the expertises of 8 laboratories : ISTO (experiments on silicate liquids HP-HT), CEMHTI (HT in situ spectroscopies on silicate liquids and molten salts), LPC2E (gaz spectroscopy, isotopes), GREMI (X-ray flash source), CRPG (isotopic analyses via ion probe), BRGM (simulation of fluid transfers in reactive media), IRCP (molten salts and fuel cells) and I. Néel (transparent vessels).

The scientific goals are : (i) a better understanding of the processes of fluid transfer or storage in the Earth’s crust, (ii) a better quantification of geothermal processes, (iii) the development of improved thermodynamic models of silicate liquids and molten salts rich in volatile elements, (iv) a better comprehension of nucleation/crystallisation processes in geological or industrial fluids, (v) the determination of isotope fractionation factors in volatile rich systems with coexisting molten/gas/fluid phases.

The platform consists of (1) a novel Griggs apparatus allow high precision deformation up to 5 GPa, (2) an upgraded Paterson press devoted to deformation up to 0.3 Gpa, (3) hydrothermal vessels allowing simulation of reactive transfer of fluids in porous media with the monitoring of permeability and fluid chemistry, (4) electrochemical measurements on molten salts, (5) one IHPV allowing sampling of fluids coupled to a high resolution laser spectrometer, (6) a Brillouin and Raman spectrometers for high resolution 2D mapping coupled to a heating stage device, (7) 3 transparent vessels coupled to IR, Raman and X-Ray spectroscopic devices. In addition PLANEX has upgraded the SIMS national facility and acquired a FEG-MEB, for chemical characterisation of run-products. Nowadays, phase 1 is near completion with equipements (1) to (6) being operational, while the transparent vessels (7) are in the final stage of installation. Phase 2 has started on equipements (1) to (4), and SIMS/FEG-MEB.