Research at EPF

Axis 2 : Environment


Established in 2012, the axis Environement focuses on scientific issues in the field of sustainable chemistry. It involves both basic research, as well as applied research with offer collaboration opportunities with industry.

The studies include:

  • The scaling phenomena, in order to understand the related mechanisms;
  • Green antiscalants for sustainable solutions to the problems of fouling/scaling in industrial settings;
  • Polybetaine-metals equilibria, to understand and offer effective solutions for both monitoring the water quality and for the treatment of metal pollution.

The Assistant Professors of axis Environment carries out their research at LISE laboratory (UMR CNRS 8235) at the University Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC).



1/ Water quality

  • Understanding of deposits phenomena (scaling, fouling...): understanding of germination / growth of calcium carbonate, in the absence or presence of organic molecules using the Fast Controlled Precipitation (FCP) technique, X-ray scattering at small angles (SAXS) and, in collaboration, dynamic light scattering (DLS).


  • Development of in situ sensors: Monitoring of fouling / scaling phenomena using quartz crystal microbalance (QCM).

Microbalance à quartz

  • Green anti scalants: Search of new "green" inhibitors: extraction of inhibitors from natural produces. Mechanisms of action and compared efficiencies: use of the Fast Controlled Precipitation (FCP), quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), SEM and XRD characterizations.

Acide Citrique

2/ Resource management and recycling


Polycarbobetaines are polyelectrolytes having an anionic group and a cationic group in each repeating unit. This unique structure provides outstanding properties in terms of metal complexation


  • Separation of metals and decontamination: selective complexation of metal ions using electrochemical techniques (selective electrodes, cyclic voltammetry), spectroscopic (UV-Vis)

Complexation sélective des ions métalliques


Permanents members

Hélène CheapHélène CHEAP-CHARPENTIER : Degree in chemistry at the University Denis Diderot Paris 7 (2003), Master of Science in electrochemistry at the University Denis Diderot Paris 7 (2004), PhD in Chemistry at the University of Orsay, Paris 11 - Physical Chemistry Laboratory (LCP) (2007), Study of charge transfer in photosynthetic proteins by electrochemistry and spectroscopy absorption change. Teaching assistant at the University of Orsay (2008) and the CNAM (2009), biosensor design molecular fingerprint for detection of pesticides by electrochemistry. Post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Perpignan (2010) in the design of biosensors for food toxin detection by electrochemistry, quartz microbalance and impedance.
CHEAP-Hélène CHARPENTIER performs her research in the laboratory LISE (UMR CNRS 8235) at the University Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC).

Hélène CHEAP-CHARPENTIER effectue ses recherches au sein du laboratoire LISE (UMR CNRS 8235) à l’Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC).

Research topics: bio-inorganic chemistry, functionalized nanoparticles, scaling.

Keywords: calco-carbonate deposits, green scale inhibitors, Fast Controlled Precipitation (FCP), quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), electrochemistry.

Olivier HornerOlivier HORNER :

“Agrégé” of Chemistry of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan (1993), PhD in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Paris-Sud and CEA / Saclay on artificial photosynthesis (1998). Postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University (1998-1999). Assisant Professor in bio-inorganic chemistry at CEA / Grenoble Joseph Fourier University for five years. Accreditation to supervise research (HDR) (2005). Research Engineer for eight years at EDF R&D in the field of corrosion and as a project manager in the fields of environmental chemistry and microbiology. CR1 Researcher at CNRS in the field of functionalized nanoparticles (2007).
Olivier Horner performs his research in the laboratory LISE (UMR CNRS 8235) at the University Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC).

Research topics: bio-inorganic chemistry, functionalized nanoparticles, scaling.

Keywords: calco-carbonate deposits, green scale inhibitors, SAXS, controlled rapid precipitation, DLS.

Julia MoutonJulia MOUTON : Graduated in fundamental chemistry at the University of Montpellier (2000), Master of Science in Materials Chemistry and interfaces of the University of Montpellier (2002), higher study diploma specializing in risk prevention and university technology nuisances Marseille (2003), PhD in water sciences at the National Institute for Scientific Research - Water Centre, Earth and Environment Quebec (Canada) - sanitation Laboratory (2008) in the field of soil pollution in mixed contamination (HAP-metal), research engineer (post-doc) to INERIS (2008-2010) on quantitative assessment of health risks towards polluted soils (speciation and bio availability of antimony and arsenic), Lecturer at University of Paris-Est Marne la Vallée - Laboratory geomaterials and Environment (2010-2011).
Julia MOUTON performs her research in the LISE (UMR CNRS 8235) at the University Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC).

Research topics: management of contaminated land (from diagnosis to rehabilitation), treatment and recovery of metals (recent activity), characterization of polluted environments, development of analytical method and sustainable treatment processes.

Keywords: pollution, processing, process, mixed pollution, material recovery, quantitative chemical analysis, speciation, quantitative assessment of health risks.

Former members

Alix Vaude

Alix VAUDE : EPF 4th year Student (industrial funding).

Topic:  "Mineral Deposits and green Antiscalants".

Supervised: Hélène CHEAP-CHARPENTIER (EPF), Jean Ledion (Arts et Métiers ParisTech).


Marie ChaussemierMarie CHAUSSEMIER : Master 2 Student from University of Paris 5 (industrial funding).

Topic: "Green Antiscalants".

Supervision: CHEAP-Hélène CHARPENTIER (EPF), Olivier HORNER (EPF).


Dimitri PeronnoDimitri PERONNO : EPF 4th year Student (EPF –LISE co-funding)..

Topic: "Using the Fast Controlled Precipitation method and quartz microbalance to study the scaling phenomenon."

Supervision: Hubert Perrot (CNRS), Olivier Horner (EPF), Hélène Cheap-Charpentier (EPF).

Ermane PourmohtashamErmane POURMOHTASHAM : EPF 4th year Student (industrial funding)

Topic: "bibliographic work on green scale inhibitors".

Supervised: Hélène CHEAP-CHARPENTIER (EPF), Olivier HORNER (EPF), Jean Ledion (Arts et Métiers ParisTech).


Alexandre DavesnesAlexandre DAVESNES : EPF 4th year Student (industrial funding).

Topic: "Study of calco-magnesian deposits".

Supervised : Olivier HORNER (EPF), Hubert PERROT (CNRS).



Axis Environment provides expertise and conducts research partnerships with water and household appliance industry.

Industriels partenaires Axe Environnement

Axis Environment is also working with universities through calls for proposals.


EPF has on the campus of ESITC (Cachan) its own test facilities dedicated activities presented above:

  • Production of synthetic waters,
  • Fast Controlled Precipitation method  (FCP),
  • Cyclic voltammetry, impedance,
  • UV-visible and infrared spectroscopies dedicated to the study of mineral deposits and biofilms.

Moyens d'essais

In partnership with the LISE laboratory, the following equipment are also available:   

  • Chemistry laboratory with production of synthetic water,
  • Fast Controlled Precipitation (PCR), quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), cyclic voltammetry, impedance,
  • X-ray diffraction, SEM, Raman


International peer reviewed journals

  1. M. Chaussemier, E. Pourmohtasham, D. Gelus, N. Pécoul, H. Perrot, J. Lédion , H. Cheap-Charpentier, O. Horner, " State of art of natural inhibitors of calcium carbonate scaling. A review article", Desalination 2015, 47-55.
  2. J. Mouton, M. Turmine, H. Perrot, "Reusable polycarbobetaines for sustainable copper recovery”, Proceedings of the PPS Europe/Africa regional meeting, Tel Aviv, Israel, 19-23 October 2014.
  3. H. Cheap-Charpentier, C. Gabrielli, O. Horner, D. Peronno, H. Perrot, D. Rose, “Study and development of quartz crystal microbalance devices. Application to the following of scaling film formation”, Instrumentation, Mesure, Métrologie 2014, vol 14/1-2, 133-149.
  4. Y. Chao, O. Horner, P. Vallée, F. Meneau, O. Alos-Ramos, F. Hui, M. Turmine, H. Perrot, J. Lédion "In situ Probing Calcium Carbonate Formation by Combining Fast Controlled Precipitation Method and Small-Angle X-ray Scattering", Langmuir 2014, 30, 3303−3309
  5. Y. Chao, O. Horner, F. Hui, J. Lédion, H. Perrot, " Direct detection of Calcium Carbonate Scaling via a Pre-Calcified Sensitive Area of a Quartz Crystal Microbalance", Desalination 2014, 352, 103-108.
  6. G. Gauthier, Y. Chao, O. Horner, O. Alos-Ramos, F. Hui, J. Lédion, H. Perrot, “Application of the Fast Controlled Precipitation method to assess the scale-forming ability of raw river waters", Desalination 2012, 299, 89-95.


  1. Brevet Seb Calor - H. Cheap-Chapentier, E. Pourmotasham, O. Horner, N. Pécoul, D. Gélus 217920FR00, 15/04/2014
  2. G. Mercier, J.-F. Blais, J. Mouton, P. Drogui, M. Chartier, "Process, decontaminant and chemical kit for the decontaminating media polluted with metals and hydrophobic organic compounds”, US Patent US 2013/0012752 A2, January 2013.ROPHOBIC ORGANIC COMPOUNDS”, US Patent US 2013/0012752 A2, January 2013.

International peer reviewed conferences

  1. H. Cheap-Charpentier, O. Horner, J. Lédion, H. Perrot, "Etude des propriétés antitartres de deux inhibiteurs d'entartrage par précipitation contrôlée rapide et microbalance à cristal de quartz”, Journées Informations Eaux (JIE), Poitiers,France, 4-6 November 2014.