General background

Cashew Nut Shell (CNS) is a waste generated in the production of edible cashew nuts. For 2017 the predicted cashew nuts crop yield is 3 million tons; resulting in 2 million tons of CNS waste. CNS contains circa 30-35% brown viscous liquid, called Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL), this is a natural resin containing valuable components, for example, cardanol, cardol, and, anacardic acid. The Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy is looking into the possibilities of isolation of Cardanol, Cardol, and Anacardic acid from natural cashew nut shell liquid with a purity >90%. The chosen method for the separation of Anacardic acid from CNSL is separation using ion-exchange adsorption.


The Project involves:

  • Compare the adsorption ability of 2-3 types of adsorbents for anarcardic acid and cardol.
  • Determine the maximum adsorption capacity of the ion exchange resin for anarcardic acid
  • Optimize the adsorption and desorption process to maximize the anarcardic acid yield and purity
  • Modelling the adsorption process


Desirable skills/qualities

We are currently looking for a student with a background in chemical technology that wants to join our research on the recovery of resources.


Period: February 2023 – July 2023
Internship allowance: €350/month
The intern will be part of a research team led by the adviser and supervised by Qian Zhou and Mithyzi Andrade Leal.

Who we are

You will be working for the research group Biobased Resources & Energy 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.

More information: Interested?
Send a solicitation with CV and motivation to Qian Zhou

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