In a few words

Isabelle Merdrignac graduated from the Ecole Supérieure de Chimie Industrielle de Lyon (ESCIL-CPE). She then completed a Master in analytical Chemistry before obtaining a PhD at the university of Strasbourg (ULP, P. Albrecht Laboratory) in collaboration with IFPEN in organic geochemistry (1997). Later, after 2 years spent in USA as scientific manager (P. Hatcher laboratory, Ohio State University), she joined IFPEN as laboratory manager and research engineer in the characterization and conversion of heavy oils field in Physics and Analysis department. Involved in various international collaborations, scientific comities, she also hold teaching activities as well as supervision of doctoral / postdoctoral students. Her mobility in the Process Experimentation department has enabled her to further deepen her understanding of the structural reactivity of heavy oils in hydroconversion, in order to improve industrial applications. Author of more than 22 patents and 72 publications (books, scientific journals and international conferences), she also has an Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches since 2010.

Research subjects
Understanding of the reaction schemes involved in hydrotreatment (HDT) and hydroconversion (HDC) of heavy oils.
Study of the impact of the organic geochemical origin of heavy oils in HDT, HDC and deasphalting (SDA) processes. Optimization of the process operating conditions.
  • Innovation of a new deasphalting process (selective SDA).
  • Optimization of new process schemes.


  • Selective deasphalting process in two steps. I. Merdrignac, J. Majcher. Patent FR 13/62.028.
  • Characterization of Heavy products. I. Merdrignac. In Catalysis by transition metal sulphides, Chapter Hydroprocessing and Hydroconversion of residue fractions, 679-689, 2013.
  • Stepwise structural characterization of asphaltene during deep hydroconversion processes determined by APPI FT-ICR mass spectrometry. JM Purcell, I. Merdrignac, RP Rodgers, AG Marshall, Th Gauthier, I Guibard, Energy & Fuels, 24, 2257-2265, 2010.