Biobased polymers are emerging and entering to the market at an increasing pace. The availability of biobased polymer colorants is however very limited on the market. In addition, the few products available on the market usually do not meet the quality criteria set for applications in paper and bioplastic. One of the major issues is the limited UV-stability of the natural colorants. Synthetic colors are very stable, which is also a downside of synthetic since they do not biodegrade easily in the environment and are often toxic. As a result, they may cause a negative cumulative effect on the environment. Natural colorants address this problem and can provide sustainable solutions.

Curcumin, as a bright yellow colorant, is currently widely used in food, pharma and cosmetic applications. Application as colorant in textile of plastic products is hindered mainly due to the UV stability issues. Curcumin loses its bright yellow color over time when exposed to sunlight. Recent developments at Avans have shown potential for improved stability as well as generating other primary colors (yellow, red, purple) based on curcumin. These developments open new markets and make curcumin colorants suitable for a wide range of applications, especially in packaging using biopolymers.

Aim of this research:

Development of a red curcumin-based colorants with enhanced UV stability.

In this project you can:

  1. prepare new or recently synthesized curcumin-based products on multigram scale.
  2. evaluate the newly synthesized molecules on the color fastness and temperature stability in solution and solid state.
  3. Add the new compounds to a biopolymer in order to make color master batches.
  4. Investigate the prepared color master batches if they comply with market requirements.

Starting date of the internship is September 2021. For your efforts you will get a monthly fee. Required skills are basic knowledge of organic chemistry, IR, NMR, HPLC, GC, DSC, GPC and standard organic chemistry procedures.

Please send your application letter by email before 06-06-2021.

For further questions you can contact:

Kees Kruithof

Centre of Expertise Biobased Buidling Blocks & Products

Lovendijkstraat 63, Breda

4800 RA


More info

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