This emerging theme of the Soft Matter group results from the wish to develop an interdisciplinary research taking advantage of strong competencies existing in Montpellier in agronomical and environmental sciences. Agronomical and environmental sciences are regularly facing physical phenomena relevant to soft matter. To reach a deeper understanding on these various physical phenomena, our key scientific approach relies on the design of experimental model systems. Its main objective is to derive general physical and physical-chemical mechanisms that are often hidden in the intrinsic complexity of agronomical and environmental systems.
Structure and rheology of agropolymers Wheat storage proteins produce, upon hydration and mechanical stimuli, a unique viscoelastic basis, called gluten, used for processing a large variety of foodstuff. The various proteins constituting the gluten were identified and classified in two groups : gliadins and glutenins. Although their sequences and secondary structures were characterized, very few data exist concerning their supramolecular organization. The probably transient network formed should be (...)
Physics and Physical Chemistry of Water remediation A new activity related to environmental science devoted to understanding and improving water remediation technologies has started in our Team. Nowadays, water treatment faces new challenges such as the removal of emerging contaminants such as nanomaterials, which old technologies cannot separate. For those systems, phenomena occurring at water interfaces play a key role in the separation stages of filtration, froth flotation, membrane and (...)
Control of the size distribution of droplets of complex fluids in sprays for agronomical applications (coll. Solvay/Novecare and UMR ITAP). Typical agricultural chemical spray processes involve atomizing a liquid stream of diluted pesticide solution through hydraulic spray nozzles that inherently produce a wide spectrum of spray droplet sizes. Finer droplets have higher potential of off-target movement or drift, which is of concern due to their potential impacts on neighbouring crops and livestock, (...)