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Christophe PREUX

Head of Department, Physico Chemistry of Complex Fluids and Materials
Christophe Preux graduated from the MATMECA engineering school (+ DEA in applied mathematics) (2003) before completing his doctoral thesis at the University of Bordeaux 1 in partnership with the CEA
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Research engineer in scientific computing
Julien Coatléven graduated from ENSTA (Paris) and completed his doctoral thesis in Applied Mathematics at Ecole Polytechnique (Paris) and INRIA Rocquencourt. After completing post-doctoral research at
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Research Engineer / Project Leader
Organic Geochemistry PhD.
Sciences of the Earth and the Universe HDR
Maria-Fernanda Romero-Sarmiento joined IFP Energies nouvelles in 2010 as a research scientist in organic geochemistry. She holds a Ph.D. in Organic Geochemistry from the University of Lille (France)
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Materials & Corrosion Technical Advisor, Project manager
PhD in Electrochemistry
> 20 years experience in Materials and Corrosion. Materials Engineer from INSA de Lyon, 1997. PhD in Eectrochemistry (Paris 6), 2001. Habilitation from INSA de Lyon, 2011. Member of Cefracor / EFC /
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Charles-Philippe LIENEMANN

Charles-Philippe Lienemann - Scientific Advisor at the Physics and Analysis Division
Charles-Philippe Lienemann graduated at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) in 1993. He then joined University of Lausanne (Switzerland) within the group of D. Perret and Prof. J-C. Bünzli for his
Carnot IFPEN Ressources Energétiques
Innovation and Industry

IFPEN Ressources Energétiques Carnot Institute

Carnot IFPEN Ressources énergétiques

Reinforcing and accelerating R&I  

In 2020, IFPEN’s energy resources activities were awarded the “Carnot Institute” label, in recognition of the numerous active collaborative initiatives with economic players and academia, in France and around the world.  IFPEN Ressources Energétiques is now one of the 39 members of the Carnot network, initially for a period of four years.

Created by the French Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation in 2006, the label is awarded to public laboratories very actively involved in partnership research with a view to supporting company innovation and the country’s growth.

Distributed throughout France, the Carnot Institutes work in synergy to pursue a common objective: to prepare the industrial and economic future, accelerating the transfer of research technologies to the socio-economic world.

Addressing the energy transition challenge

The IFPEN Ressources Energétiques Carnot Institute (IFPEN RE) is resolutely committed to the energy transition, seeking to: 

Supporting innovation in SMEs

In addition to the development of new energy technologies, IFPEN RE is committed to: 
-    proactively increasing the number of partnerships with intermediate-sized companies, SMEs and start-ups; 
-    enabling the Carnot Institute network to benefit from its international development expertise and also drawing on feedback in return.

A dense partnership network

The IFPEN Ressources Energétiques Carnot Institute enjoys close ties with industry, from micro-companies, SMEs and intermediate-sized companies through to major French and international industrial groups.

Moreover, it is actively involved in numerous international, European and national collaborative structures, placing it at the heart of a dense research partnership network.

Internationally, the IFPEN RE Carnot Institute has close ties with numerous Research Technology Organizations (RTOs), particularly via framework agreements and strategic partnerships.  Carnot research enjoys a high profile and more than half of its A-list publications are the fruit of cooperative international activities.  In addition it is a stakeholder in numerous world-leading scientific organizations and represents France on the Executive Committee of the International Energy Agency’s Technological Cooperation Program, IEA Wind

In Europe, the IFPEN RE Carnot Institute is positioned as a key player in the European Research Area (ERA) and works in synergy with platforms such as ETIP-DG in order to define industry’s needs and development opportunities in the geothermal energy sector.  In the field of CCUS, it also actively contributes to European networks such as ECCSEL and the ZEP platform to accelerate the deployment of these technologies.  In the field of geosciences, it contributes to the development of ground management solutions with the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA).

Nationally, the IFPEN RE Carnot Institute is an active contributor to the ANCRE research alliance, of which IFPEN is a founding member, and that of AllEnvi, dedicated to energy and the environment respectively.  It also participates in other themed structures, such as the  AVENIA competitiveness cluster dedicated to geosciences, the Club CO2 in the field of CCS, which it chairs, the EVOLEN association promoting French technological excellence, the CITEPH Open Innovation program supporting the development of SMEs and intermediate-sized companies in the energy field, and the Convergence Data IA Institute dedicated to digital technology.  
The IFPEN RE Carnot Institute also works closely with the university community and other public research organizations.  Finally, it is actively involved in demonstration projects within the framework of the French Investments for the Future Programs (PIA) supported by Ademe.

Expertise and skills  

•    Descriptive and quantitative geosciences 
•    Fluid, solid and structural mechanics 
•    Molecular and thermodynamic modeling 
•    Physical chemistry of complex materials and fluids 
•    Physics and Analysis 
•    Biotechnologies 
•    Chemical engineering and technologies  
•    Process design and modeling  
•    System modeling and simulation 
•    Digital science and technology 


Issues and Foresight

Geothermal energy: exploiting the planet’s heat

Using the Earth’s underground temperature to produce heat or electricity: that is the principle behind geothermal energy. Less well known than solar and wind energy, it is nevertheless the third most widely used renewable energy in France. This is how it works. 



Renewable energies
Innovation and Industry

Renewable energies

The energy transition and tackling climate change depend on the development of new renewable resources. IFPEN proposes processes for the production of fuels, bases for the chemicals sector and gas from biomass. IFPEN also uses its expertise acquired in the field of oil and gas to offer solutions for the industrial deployment of offshore wind energy, ocean energies and geothermal energy. 


Geothermal energy
Innovation and Industry

Our strengths

Carnot IFPEN Ressources EnergétiquesGeothermal energy
Our strengths


- Skills and multidisciplinary expertise making it possible to contribute to all the building blocks in the geothermal energy value chain:
•    Geosciences,
•    Thermodynamics,
•    Geomechanics, 
•    Fluid mechanics,
•    Physical chemistry,
•    Microbiology, 
•    Process design and modeling,
•    Applied mathematics, digital technologies,
•    Economics. 

- Advanced numerical tools for underground management developed for oils and gases and transferable to geothermal energy:
•    Reservoir modeling, incorporating adapted thermodynamics, thermicity and fluid-rock interactions,
•    Basin modeling, incorporating the estimation of thermal exchanges on a basin scale 

- A dual approach combining:
•    experimentation,
•    simulation. 

- Proximity with industrial players and a knowledge of market needs based on listening to customers.

- Applied research and a capacity to address operational problems immediately.

- The integration of the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) dimension from the outset of projects.



Geothermal energy
Innovation and Industry

Our networks

Carnot IFPEN Ressources EnergétiquesGeothermal energy
Our networks

Collaboration with the BRGM

IFPEN works in close partnership with teams from the BRGM (French Geological and Mining Research Bureau), capitalizing on synergies and complementary expertise. The partners work together within the framework of French and European collaborative projects, sometimes focusing on other themes such as CO2 storage.


StorengyThe partnership agreement with Storengy is hinged around a determination to use the complementary expertise of each organization in order to contribute to the growth of new industrial sectors for the energy transition. Geothermal energy is one of the fields covered by the framework agreement, along with energy storage, hydrogen, the digital transformation and numerical tools.
This partnership enables IFPEN to be more in tune with market needs. 


logo Pole AveniaIFPEN has been working with the Avenia cluster since its creation in 2006. The aim of the Avenia competitiveness cluster is to ensure the long-term use of the underground environment in the energy transition. It supports research projects making it possible to:
•    Develop long-term technologies for geosciences,
•    Foster the transfer of technologies between the underground sectors (geological storage, geothermal energy, hydrogeology, etc.) .[Renvoyer au site web d’avenia]

H2020 GECO PROJECT: for zero-emission geothermal power plants

The purpose of the European GECO (Geothermal Emission Control) project is to develop innovative technologies designed to considerably reduce greenhouse gas emissions from geothermal power plants. 



Based at the pilot unit operated by Reykjavik Energy, IFPEN is taking part in the project alongside 16 industrial and academic partners to develop different approaches, which will be tested at four pilot plants in Europe.

IFPEN will contribute its expertise in several fields:

  • Hydrodynamic and thermal modeling of production and injection wells, definition of the optimal conditions for the combined injection of water and non-condensable gases,
  • Integration of simulation models in a monitoring tool.

European UnionThe GECO project has received funding from the European Union’s Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020 under Grant Agreement No 818169.

EUROPEAN DEEPEN PROJECT: developing geothermal energy in a magma environment and controlling risks

Aimed at developing geothermal energy in a magma environment and controlling the associated risks, the DEEPEN (DErisking Exploration for geothermal Plays in magmatic Environments) project was launched by the european consortium GEOTHERMICA in January 2021 for a period of 3 years.

Coordinated by Icelandic operator Reykjavik Energy (OR), DEEPEN aims to adapt the Play Fairway Analysis approach to classic and non-conventional (supercritical) geothermal energy in a magma environment. This methodology makes it possible to hierarchize zones of interest in terms of various criteria, taking into account, in particular, the risks and potential of such zones as assessed during the exploration phase.

IFPEN’s teams will set up a methodology to assess the risk of mineral deposits in production wells.

EUROPEAN EUGELI PROJECT: capturing lithium in geothermal waters

The aim of the European EuGeLi European Geothermal Lithium Brines project, conducted by Eramet from 2019 to 2021, is to develop a pilot unit in Alsace, north-eastern France, using a selective lithium capture material in geothermal waters.

IFPEN is contributing its expertise for the characterization and understanding of the implementation of this adsorbent in the geothermal waters of the Rhine basin, which are completely unlike those of the South-American salt flats. 
>> Find out more about the project  



European UnionEUGELI has received funding from the European Institute of Innovation (EIT), a body of the European Union, under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

ANR UPGEO PROJECT: optimizing geothermal resources in the Ile-de-France region of France

UPGEOThe UPGEO (UPscaling and heat simulations for improving the efficiency of deep GEOthermal energy) project, led by GEOPS (Géosciences Paris Saclay), was launched in January 2020 for a period of 4 years. It aims to optimize the use of the geothermal reservoirs in the Ile-de-France region.

ADEME GEOFLUID PROJECT: geothermal energy in the Paris basin

Launched in 2021, the aim of this project is to study well injectivity in the siliciclastic reservoirs of the Paris basin in order to improve the efficiency and lifespan of reservoir exploitation, particularly those of the Albien. This first project focuses on plugging processes as well as the choice of completions in these unconsolidated sediments.