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 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 production of volatile fatty acids (VFAs), the main precursors for PHA production. Initially, fermentation tests will be conducted on 500mL Schott bottles to compare the potential of different streams. Different conditions will be investigated and the most promising streams will be evaluated on 2L bioreactors to establish a semi-continuous process.

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

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.

Starting date & compensation

The proposed starting date is September 2024 till February 2025.

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 (

Bij het gebruik van deze website gaat u akkoord met het gebruik van cookies. Meer informatie

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.