What is "Green Science"?

Let's discover the portraits of Lucile Anthore-Dalion, Maëlis Piquemal and Pacaline Hayoun and the video of their performance during the 2016 L'Oréal-Unesco For Women In Science fellowships in France.

Lucile ANTHORE-DALION : "More efficient chemistry"

Medication, cosmetic products, plastics and energy, chemistry is completely integrated into our everyday lives. The challenge today is to develop less polluting, less energy greedy, production methods, while managing to be more efficient. Carrying out PhD research in the Laboratory for Organic Synthesis at the Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, Lucile Anthore-Dalion is expecting to bring her contribution to this domain. “I especially like understanding how matter works, to succeed in predicting what the molecules will do and all that is unexpected”, says the young scientist. Having been confronted in the past by the limits of synthesis chemistry in a project on the treatment of malaria, she decided to try different approaches. Lucile Anthore-Dalion is committed to developing new tools to create innovative assemblages of different compounds. She thus facilitates access to new chemical structures thanks to low toxicity reactions with very low waste, in order to limit the environmental impact of synthesis chemistry. “Today, with our lifestyles, we are incapable of escaping chemistry, it is therefore the role of researchers to make it cleaner”, concludes the researcher.

Maëlis PIQUEMAL : "Spintronics, greener electronics"

Reducing energy costs in data centres, whose number is continually growing, is a current environmental challenge. “A data centre of 10,000 m² consumes as much energy as a town with 50,000 inhabitants”, says Maëlis Piquemal. As an engineer at the École Centrale de Lyon and a researcher at the CNRS / Thales Mixed Research Unit at the Université Paris-Sud/Paris-Saclay, Maëlis Piquemal is working on a new way to transport and process binary information, a way that is faster and uses less energy than current electronics. This method is spintronics, which uses intrinsic spin, a quantum property of electrons. Paradoxically, although spin is already used to store information (in hard drives, etc.), spin transport phenomena are extremely volatile. To transport over a large distance, Maëlis Piquemal is exploring the possibilities of graphene. “This layer of mono-layer carbon atoms in two dimensions has opened new opportunities for spintronics with exceptional transport properties”, she explains. She would like to share these advancements towards greener electronics with the general public. For her thesis, she already worked as a scientific mediator at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie.

Pascaline HAYOUN : "Ecological medical tubes"

In hospitals, medical tubes are everywhere, needed for transfusions and dialysis. “Developed countries choose to discard these tubes after a single use: a solution that is not very ecological! While developing countries reuse them for economic reasons, putting patients’ health at risk”, explains Pascaline Hayoun, a PhD student in the Laboratory for the Science and Engineering of Soft Materials, at ESPCI Paris. In fact, any liquid that runs through these plastic tubes can leave a liquid film behind it, which contaminates the equipment and encourages bacterial growth. The objective of her research is to understand the relationship between the conditions for the deposit of this liquid film and the chemical characteristics of the surface of the tubes used. Limiting bacterial contamination would allow huge economies in plastic materials, with the ultimate goal of being able to develop reusable medical tubes. “This work has allowed us to develop an innovative process, facilitating the manufacture of self-cleaning tubes, a design that currently has a patent pending”, says the young researcher. Various other applications would benefit from these results, from decontamination systems in urban networks to drinks machines. In parallel to her different science mediation roles, Pascaline Hayoun has also created a YouTube channel and makes scientific videos as a way of reaching out to young people.

Let's discover their performance:

For Women in Science

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