In the context of the current transition towards a circular economy, the valorization of residual agricultural streams is a fundamental part in increasing the sustainability of crop production and achieving a full biorefinery concept. The production of PHA bioplastics through the conversion of many residual streams has already been proven to be possible and current studies focus on creating feasible options for a large scale system.

In this project, different residual streams from agriculture and food production will be screened for their applicability as a feedstock in the PHA production process. Initially, fermentation tests will be conducted on 500mL Schott bottles to compare the potential of different streams for the production of volatile fatty acids (VFAs). Different conditions will be investigated to assess optimal parameters for each stream. The most promising streams will be evaluated on 2L bioreactors for the quality of PHA produced through an accumulation process.

Analytical methods consist of ion spectroscopy (IC) for the VFA composition, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and gas chromatography (GC) for the PHA evaluation.

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.

When: February 2024 – July 2024

Who we are: 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.

More information:

Guilherme de Souza Reis:

Mithyzi Andrade Leal:


The intern will be provided with a monthly payment of €350.


Send an application with CV and motivation to and

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