You will be working for the research group Biobased Resources & Energy within the center of expertise MNEXT – Material and Energy Transition. MNEXT is powered by the Avans and HZ Universities of Applied Sciences and helps businesses achieve their biobased goals by working with them to modernize higher professional education and to carry out applied research that makes a difference. The Biobased Resource & Energy research group is focused on valorizing residual streams from nature, agriculture or industrial sources, and the production and use of biobased energy.

Assignment description

In the context of the current transition towards a circular economy, the valorization of residual industrial streams is a fundamental part in increasing the sustainability of industrial processes. The production of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) through the fermentation of carbon-rich residual streams has already been explored and is of growing industrial interest, especially for their use in the production of PHA bioplastics.

In this project, different residual streams from the industry will be assessed for their potential as a source of VFAs. A (semi)continuous set-up will be built with 2L bioreactors to test the fermentation of the streams under different conditions, aiming for a maximum productivity.

Analytical methods mainly consist of ion spectroscopy (IC) for the VFA composition.

Desirable skills/qualities of the student

If you have experience with fermentation and has an open and curious mind, you are in the right place. HBO and MBO students with a suitable background are welcome to apply.

Working language: English, some researchers speak Dutch.

Starting date & compensation

The proposed starting date is the start of September 2024 until February 2025 (can be negotiated).

The student will get an internship fee of €350,- per month.


If you’re interested, send an application with CV and motivation to Mithyzi Andrade Leal ( and Guilherme de Souza Reis (

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