Biocarbon, also commonly known as Biochar, is a high-carbon, fine-grained solid that is produced through pyrolysis processes and currently mainly used for energy. Recently biocarbon has also gained attention for its potential value in industrial applications such as composites. Addition of biocarbon in the polymer is likely to increase the mechanical properties and decrease hydrophilic nature of a polymer. Using biocarbon in polymer composites is also interesting because of its relatively low specific weight that will result to lighter composite materials.

In this project the SME Charcotec and 2Masters will cooperate with Avans/MENXT in a study on utilization on preparation and characterization of biocarbon/biopolymer biocomposite.

Assignment description

The Project involves:

  1. Biochar modification
  2. Preparation of biocarbon/biopolymer masterbatches.
  3. Preparation of biocarbon/biopolymer composites.
  4. Investigate the effect of biocarbon modification on the mechanical properties of the composites (tensile, flexural, impact tests);
  5. Investigate the effect of biocarbon modification on the morphology (SEM) and the hydrophilic nature of the composites (contact angle measurements).
  6. Investigate the effect of biocarbon modification on the thermal properties of the composites (TGA, DSC)

You will be part of a research team lead by the adviser and supervised by Qian Zhou and Eric Mattheussens. The working language can be Dutch and English.

Desirable skills/qualities of the student

The student should be able to carry out independent laboratory research. The interest in biocomposite is a pre.

Starting date & compensation

The proposed starting date is the start of September 2024. The duration of the assignment is 5 months.

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


Contact person concerning this assignment: Qian Zhou

Phone: +316 10224446


Visiting address: Auvergnedijk 2, 4612 PZ Bergen op Zoom (Green Chemistry Campus)

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