Assignment description

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are industrially important biomolecules and potential alternatives to petrochemical plastics. They have gained immense attention because of their bio-based, biodegradable, biocompatible and non-toxic nature. In contrast to petrochemical plastics, PHAs are produced by several microbial species and are accumulated as carbon reserves generally under the condition of nutrient imbalance. At the Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy and we are looking into the production of VFAs and PHA through anaerobic and aerobic fermentations. After the production the VFAs are analyzed with ion chromatography and the PHA accumulated characterized with TGA and GC methods.

We are currently looking for a student with a background in chemistry or biology that wants to join our research with interest in bioprocess engineering. The main activity of this project will be:

  • Bioreactor experiments
  • IC for VFAs composition
  • TGA for analyzing PHA content
  • GC-MS for determining monomer composition


Starting date: February 2023 – June 2023

Who we are

You will be working for the research group Biobased Resources & Energy and the research group Biobased Building Blocks & Products within the Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy (CoE BBE). The CoE BBE 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 focusing on valorizing residual streams from nature, agriculture or industrial sources and the production and use of biobased energy. The Biobased Building Blocks & Products research group is investigating the synthesis, processing and application of biobased polymers and high-grade fill materials made from biomass.

More information:

Michiel Michels 

Rozalia Persiani 

Send a solicitation with CV and motivation to and

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