For the CurCol project we are looking for an enthusiastic, pro-active intern to assist us in our research.

Research tasks

  • Develop a downstream process for the purification of curcuminoids from crude extracts from the roots of Curcuma longa L.
  • Investigate the optimal process looking into different techniques like column chromatography, adsorption chromatography, precipitation, and/or (re-)crystallization.
  • Evaluate the different purified products on colour fastness and temperature stability in solution and solid state.

Why this project?

Biobased polymers are emerging and entering to the market at an increasing pace. The availability of biobased polymer colorants is however very limited on the market. In addition, the few products available on the market usually do not meet the quality criteria set for applications in paper and bioplastic. One of the major issues is the limited UV-stability of the natural colorants. Synthetic colors
are very stable, which is also a downside of synthetic since they do not biodegrade easily in the environment and are often toxic. As a result, they may cause a negative cumulative effect on the environment.

Natural colorants address this problem and can provide sustainable solutions. Curcumin, as a bright yellow colorant, is currently widely used in food, pharma and cosmetic applications. Application as colorant in textile of plastic products is hindered mainly due to the UV stability issues. Curcumin loses its bright yellow color over time when exposed to sunlight. Recent developments at Avans have shown potential for improved stability as well as generating other primary colors (yellow, red, purple) based on curcumin. These developments open new markets and make curcumin colorants suitable for a wide range of applications, especially in packaging using biopolymers.


Starting date of the internship is September 2022. For your efforts you will get a monthly fee. The experimental work will be done in one of our lab facilities in Bergen op Zoom. Required skills are basic knowledge of analytical chemistry, IR, NMR, HPLC, GC and standard analytical chemistry procedures like column chromatography.
Please sent your email with application letter and resume with a subject that start with Internship application letter to

For further questions you can contact:
Kees Kruithof or Eric Mattheussens ,
Centre of Expertise Biobased Building Blocks & Products
Lovensdijkstraat 63, Breda
4800 RA


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