Mar 16 2023


12:10 pm - 12:40 pm

Josette El Haddad
National Research Council Canada

Research officer

One of Josette El Haddad’s goals at the NRC is to find solutions to defeat climate change. She and her team at the Energy, Mining and Environment Research Centre are working tirelessly to exceed expectations and develop specialized sensors for effective data collection on storing carbon dioxide in geologic matrices, identified as an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Born and raised in Lebanon, Josette completed her studies in France and received her PhD from the University of Bordeaux in 2013. Her thesis entitled “Chemometrics Applied to Laser Induced Plasma Spectroscopy (LIBS) and Terahertz Spectroscopy” earned her the JP Huvenne Prize in 2015, an award for the best thesis defended in the years (2013-2014) presenting original results in chemometrics.

One of Josette’s notable career successes is Lumine™, an NRC technology that combines LIBS with artificial intelligence for real-time conveyor ore smart sensing. In the throes of this project, Josette was able to demonstrate that nothing is impossible by developing the methodology for analyzing complex atomic spectra capable of quantifying mineralogy to make on-site quantification possible. This achievement is a first, and it has become a worldwide success.

As a research officer at the NRC, Josette feels the responsibility, commitment and joy of working with experts from different scientific fields with multidisciplinary capabilities to develop innovative solutions for the climate crisis. A world‑renowned expert in the spectral analysis of LIBS data for several applications, such as new methods in nuclear forensics, nutriments determination in agriculture soils, and oil sands characterization or contaminated soil detection, Josette is often invited to international events and workshops to represent her work at the NRC.

Title of the talk:

Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS): an Emerging Tool, from Efficient Mining to the Fight Against Climate Change


Through the few last decades, the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) technique has evolved from a laboratory curiosity to a growingly ubiquitous and effective analytical tool.  This technique encompasses several fields of science, such as laser–matter interaction, plasma physics, atomic physics, plasma chemistry, spectroscopy, signal processing, advanced data analysis and machine learning.

As LIBS enabling tools (such as pulsed lasers, detectors and spectrometers) have rapidly evolved in the recent years. LIBS has found its way across planetary science, mining and geology applications. The miniaturization of LIBS equipment has opened new opportunities to perform real time measurements and respond to emerging needs under conditions in which conventional techniques cannot be applied. The advent of new compact components makes the technology more accessible in terms of robustness, low cost and analytical performance. In this regard, the contribution of the NRC EME team to the development of LIBS concepts and applications is quite outstanding.  Thanks to its unique expertise, the team is currently addressing important challenges regarding the mitigation of global warming and worldwide climate change. LIBS appears as a very promising solution to fulfill the technological gap for real-time monitoring of geologic CO2 sequestration (GCS), which has been identified as the most viable option for effectively reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. CO2 can be mineralized and sequestered in solid forms. Hence, geological matrices such as soil, mining residues (tailings) and man-made (industrial) waste or directly available by-products (cements) have the potential to carbonate many GtCO2/yr.  NRC is working on adapting a unique LIBS solution that will allow the assessment of carbon capture in geological matrices on-site. This solution is able to quantify the carbon contents in geological matrices and also characterize the factors that are involved in the process of carbon capture.

In this talk, an overview of the accomplishments of the NRC EME team in the application of LIBS approaches for the mining sector will be presented.  Furthermore, the developed LIBS measurement methods and the results of the progress achieved in the quantification of carbon and the identification of factors involved in the capture of carbon in geological matrices (such as soil, tailings and rocks,) will be discussed.