The research group Marine Biobased Specialties (MBBS) focuses on seeking, isolating, identifying and valorising chemical compounds from marine environments. Although oceans and seas cover more than 70% of the earth’s surface, many marine organisms have yet to be investigated.

The research group MBBS (led by Professor Dorien Derksen) comprises lecturers/researchers with broad, in-depth research backgrounds in Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry. The research group is based in Vlissingen, at HZ University of Applied Sciences, and has a designated laboratory with the requisite equipment. The team carries out practice-based research together with companies both within the Netherlands and around the world, as well as research institutions and students.

              ASK YOUR QUESTION


Some of these marine organisms can produce high-grade biologically active compounds. The search for these bioactive substances is termed ‘bioprospecting’. In marine bioprospecting, systematic category analysis is carried out on samples of sea life that are collected to evaluate whether they contain commercially viable products.  

The field of marine bioprospecting is still virgin territory; this research group is committed to utilising any promising compounds from the marine environment for the Biobased Economy. Zeeland is traditionally a region with close connections with the sea, making it an attractive option for development in terms of a marine biobased industry. The research group can be a significant facilitator in this process.

Smart Circular Bridge
A bridge which indicates when maintenance or replacement is required: “Structural Health Monitoring”. The bridge's material behavior is now continuously monitored. A smart sensor system evaluates the signals and generates an alert when it detects critical levels of material degradation. Timely maintenance / replacement of components can be carried out in this way.
Fungal Colourants
In the Fungal Colourants project that recently started, the possibilities of biobased colors from fungi are being investigated. A more sustainable alternative to synthetic dyes.
Learning Network Biobuilders
Lerend Netwerk Biobouwers is committed to the development of an innovative, practice-oriented teaching method for the construction sector. It focuses on wood and biocomposites, as examples of biocircular materials, and focuses on ecological systems thinking and "21st century skills" such as problem-solving thinking, leadership and multidisciplinary collaboration.
Orange in the Sea
Orange in the Sea
The textile industry can and must be cleaner. In recent years there has been a lot of attention for recycle, a good start, but there is belief in local and the use of the total product. In recent years, designer Nienke Hoogvliet has worked on the traditional way of making seaweed paint for textiles.
Amino Acids!
Amino acids can be seen as the building blocks of proteins, the proteins in your body that play a major role in almost all biological processes. They give structure to cells, are important for the transport and storage of nutrients, influence the functions of organs and contribute to the repair of tissues such as muscles, skin and bones. But amino acids are also important for your digestion, sleep and energy level.
Building on Mycelium
In the “Building On Mycelium” project, Avans University of Applied Sciences, HZ University of Applied Science and partners are investigating how locally available organic waste streams can be used to produce mycelium biocomposites, with properties that make them suitable for the construction sector. In this project the emphasis will be on (studying) the manufacture of furniture or interior panels.
Follow-up S4G
In 2020 and 2021, the Symbiosis 4 Growth project will be continued in Zeeland and West and Midden-Brabant. This project is based on linking industrial waste or residual streams offered by companies in S4G work sessions with suitable customers, upgraders or re-users.
Colour Application Centre
Dyes for non-food applications have a fossil origin and, furthermore, their production and processing impacts the environment. Companies are increasingly committed to making their products greener and more sustainable but do not have the knowledge, equipment or time to develop bio-based dyes and test them in applications. The Colour Application Centre (KLAC) is the solution.
Making disposables disposable
Bionative Industries is a start-up founded in 2018 with the vision of replacing plastic disposable products by fully bio-based and fully biodegradable products.
Making shipping more sustainable (Russia – Benelux)
The consortium wants to investigate the possibility of making shipping from Russia to European seaports such as Dordrecht, Ghent and Delfzijl more sustainable. An obvious option is to mix biodiesel with the current gas oil during bunkering.
Zircular Seaweed food
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global compass for making the world a better place. Sustainable production and consumption patterns are one of the focus areas and are also of national and regional importance for the Netherlands. In this context, it is investigated how the protein production and consumption chain can be made more efficient and sustainable, for example by applying circular agriculture and finding local protein sources.
Extraction of pectins from onion skins
The Netherlands annually produces approximately 1.5 Mtonnes of fresh onions. When processing onions, large volumes of dry onion skins (outer skins) are created, an agricultural residual flow that amounts to 30 Ktonnes per year. In practice, onion skins are used to a low value or the producer pays disposal costs. However, onion peels contain several valuable components (including pectin, proteins and quercetin).
Growing Leather
The growing consumer awareness of the growing problem with livestock and meat production due to high nitrogen emissions and the related impact on climate change is driving the consumption of plant-based vegetarian alternatives.
Learning Community Biofuels
Biofuels are necessary to achieve the Dutch climate targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions. A growth in the volume of biofuels  can also act as an accelerator for the use of bio-based raw materials in the chemical sector.
PHA accumulation capacity of Sewage Treatment Plant
The Energy and Raw Materials Plant has several research projects to recover valuable resources from wastewater. One of the research projects is the extraction of polyhydroxyalkonoate (PHA) from sludge from sewage treatment plants. Until now, it is only known for a small part of the STPs in the Netherlands whether they are suitable for the extraction of PHA.
NACO – Zero Waste Collective Oosterhout
The municipality of Oosterhout and Avans Hogeschool will help companies in the municipality to take steps together towards circularity. This is the way for sustainable economic management that adds value and takes into account scarcity of raw materials, pollution and environmental damage. The municipality and Avans are starting a project collaboration that will kick off from September 2020 with a circular innovation and research program.
Bio Iso (RAAK MKB)
Heating, cooling and the electricity needs of buildings together account for approximately 47% of CO2 emissions in construction. However, the current focus on energy savings is increasingly leading to an unpleasant indoor climate and even unhealthy buildings.
Design with RRM (rapidly renewable materials)
RRM (rapidly renewable materials) come from nature. During their growth they remove CO₂ from the air. Compared to the use of traditional building materials, you save a CO₂ emission of 90 TON when realizing an apartment for four people if you replace steel and concrete with RRM.
Resin biodegradation
This project investigates how you can break down a number of thermosetting bioresins with specially selected fungi from a large computer database.
Biobased gadgets
The Breda company Craze is a major player in loyalty programs and, in collaboration with the Biopolymer Application Center (BAC), is going for a large-scale sustainability battle in the field of raw materials use. The magic word? Biopolymers.
Biobased foam
There is great interest in researching the foaming capacity of biopolymers. Not only is foam insulated air and therefore a very good insulation material, but with foam you also get a large surface and that can improve the degradability. This prompted HemCell to set up research in this area together with CoE BBE.
Biobased flocculants for water purification
Water boards use significant amounts of synthetic polyelectrolytes as flocculants at sewage treatment plants. The water boards would like to see whether it is possible to use greener biobased alternatives for this. In this case a biobased flocculant based on potato waste flows.
Viberscrete – biobased concrete
Although biobased concrete has good thermal and acoustic insulation properties and a positive environmental impact, there are also a number of drawbacks to 'bioconcrete'. For example, it has low mechanical strength, is sensitive to humid conditions and has the ability to deform. In this project, Vibers and Avans are looking for the most optimal composition of bioconcrete based on elephant grass.
Innovation Traineeships
With the support of SIA, Avans University of Applied Sciences is developing a new trainee program that offers SMEs the opportunity to attract young talent and also strengthens the relationship between SMEs and universities of applied sciences in the field of practice-oriented research.
Building light
In the Building Light project, Torrgas and NPSP are collaborating with Avans/CoE BBE and TU/e in a feasibility study into the use of biochar in a NPSP biocomposite. The new biocomposites are expected to have higher stability and lower weight, resulting in a new, exciting building material that creates new business opportunities for both SME partners.
In this project we investigate how we can develop and demonstrate new sustainable additives with improved properties, specifically for garden and agricultural applications.
The Interreg NWE project CurCol investigates the economic potential for the production chains from regionally produced plants to dyes in packaging. The project aims at 3 pilots for dye production and application in packaging, by defining barriers, business cases and action plans. The focus of CurCol is on the yellow natural coloring agent curcumin.
Learning community
CoE BBE, together with the regional business community, is conducting a number of feasibility studies that give substance to the hca agenda of the West Brabant region.
Professors’ platform Biobased Economy
Lecturers' platforms have the mission to participate in discussions about agendas and innovation policy of the ministries and top sectors, the National Science Agenda, Green Deals and regions. The platforms must also publicize higher professional education practical research in other ways.
Porter’s lodge Delfland
Students of the Avans minor in CO2-negative design have designed a biobased/circular porter's lodge for the Delfland Water Board. This assignment was widely distributed with the aim of giving shape to students from various colleges.
Smart Circular Bridge
A bridge that indicates when maintenance or replacement is required: “Structural Health Monitoring”. Material behavior is now continuously monitored. A smart sensor system evaluates the signals and generates an alert when it detects critical levels of material degradation. Timely maintenance / replacement of components can be carried out in this way.
Biobased, circular Christmas bauble with packaging
In this project CoE BBE is looking for a way to make the Christmas party more sustainable. We are investigating whether we can process pine needles from old Christmas trees into biopolymers to make new biobased, circular Christmas baubles. Of course, the packaging should also not be missing.
Mycelium boards
This project aims to increase the bending and tensile strength of mycelium plates. This is achieved through a thorough study of the heat pressing process and by combining the mycelial composite with other biomass to form a natural reinforcement material.
Coloring Mycelium
This project lays the foundation for improving the visual appearance of mycelial composites by using natural pigments, natural coatings and research into fungal pigments.
Back to the Materials of the Future
This research is aimed at deepening the knowledge about the mechanical properties of biobased materials for use in combination with concrete mixtures.
National Biobased Database
There will be a national biobased database in which products and materials will be included that are actually already available. A supportive reference work for government buyers, but much more an extra sales channel for producers of biobased products in which a large purchasing volume is represented.
Structural Health in Biobased Constructions
In Western Europe, the construction sector contributes to 30% of greenhouse gas emissions and worldwide one third of the total extraction of raw materials goes to the construction sector. Sustainable biobased building materials have enormous potential, both from an environmental and economic perspective for companies.
Beauti-Fully Biobased Fibers
The Beauti-Fully Biobased Fibers project is looking at the possibilities of applying biobased dyes derived from natural sources in textile fibers. The project should lead to more knowledge about natural colors and their application possibilities and thus also contribute to the growing social need to achieve 100% biobased and environmentally friendly products.
Coffee Silverskin Biomass Utilization
Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world and the second largest traded commodity after petroleum. As a result of this large market, the reuse of coffee industry residues is of great importance from an environmental and economic point of view.
Sustainable solid biofuels
In this Sustainable Solid Biofuels project, one of Brazil's leading universities, the Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV), is joining forces with Avans Hogeschool and two Dutch SMEs; Privium B.V. and Charcotec B.V.
Biobonding: Improved biocomposites
The use of plant fibers in polymer compositions is particularly interesting for construction because natural fibers have good mechanical properties while being light. That defines the potential for lightweight constructions.
ZCORE (from Seaweed to COating Resin applications)
The ZCORE project brings together with the aim of strengthening the Southern Netherlands innovation system and jointly investigating how a Southern Netherlands cross-sectoral value chain for seaweed coatings can contribute to the greening of the chemical industry.
Cashing cashew
Of the cashew nut, about 70% is husk that is removed during processing and is currently incinerated as a dirty and inefficient fuel or discarded as waste.
Material research for 3D printing
Development and application of recycled and biobased fiber reinforced thermoplastics in combination with FDM 3D printing.
Seaweed Sterols
Plant sterols are good for the human body. They do not only occur in crops that grow on land, but also in seaweeds, among other things. And it is precisely the sterols that can be extracted from seaweed that have special, valuable properties.
Onion deserves more
Dutch onion cultivation and processing produces approximately 30,000 tons of onion skins per year. Onion skins have a high content of quercetin, which can be used as a food supplement, anti-oxidant and natural coloring agent.
Circling in construction
In order to be able to scale up the circular economy, it is necessary for both construction companies and governments to be able to match the supply of secondary materials and components with the possible need for these materials.
Biomass flows in the province of South Holland
At the initiative of the Zuid-Holland Zuid Environment Agency, the province of South Holland has drawn up a plan to make better use of the available biomass (organic flows). In addition, the role of biomass for a sustainable economy must be made clear.
Circular Bio-based Construction Industry (CBCI)
The European subsidized project CBCI is investigating how we can use raw materials in construction more efficiently, in order to reduce CO2 emissions, throughout the entire life cycle of a building.
Biodegradability of biopolymer and biopolymer composites
Together with 2 industrial companies (Attero, Coffee Based) and Prinsentuin College in Breda, the research group will carry out applied research and pilot small-scale experiments about biodegradability of biopolymers/bio composites under right and repeatable conditions
The BBM + project partners are joining forces to get the transition to biomass and activities up to speed. In this project, high-quality education is being developed for the master Biobased Materials and the HBO honors and bridging programs.
Opportunities for composting in Brazil
The state of Minas Gerais in Brazil faces major challenges regarding the collection and proper handling of organic household waste.
Stadsjutters Breda
In this research and awareness project, Avans Hogeschool, Vereniging Markkant and the municipality of Breda are entering into a partnership to not only clean up litter in the municipality of Breda, but also to map it in such a way that the source of the litter can be examined.
Innovation tables
Students who carry out a minor, internship or graduation assignment in the field of Biobased Economy come together with their company counselors and lecturer counselors to discuss relevant themes that arise from or are related to their research.
CoE BBE was approached with the question whether enzymes from the tomato leaves could be used to "purify" the drain water (the excess nutrient water that has not been absorbed by the crop) from the greenhouse. The grower could generate additional income this way.
MAA’s from algae
Mycosporin-like amino acids (MAAs) are high-quality biobased components that can be used as UV blockers. These MAAs can be extracted from different types of algae and algae.
Sensor wise Biobased
For one year, the entire cross-section of the outer walls of two houses will be measured by means of humidity and temperature sensors.
Pyrolysis Experimental Garden South
Pyrolysis is a thermochemical conversion technology that is suitable for a wide range of residues and renewable raw materials, ranging from different types of biomass and biomass waste streams to waste streams such as mixed or contaminated plastics and car tires.
A house built with fibers from roadside grass. Sustainable, cheap energy from roadside grass. More sustainable and cheaper roadside management. Science fiction? Dream?
Searching for solutions for ash related operational problems in waste wood-fired bioenergy plants by means of the addition of additives.
Valuable ONION
The Value-Vol Onion project arose from the wish of the onion processing companies Mol Fresh Food B.V. and Monie Nieuwdorp B.V. to create economic added value from the current residual flow from production.
Biobased Network
In the Biobased Network, application centers throughout the chain within the biobased economy work together. An application center is a development workplace where a company or entrepreneur can come with an idea.
Living Lab Biobased Brazil
The Living Lab Biobased Brazil has already offered many students a meaningful and educational internship. Would you like to do an internship in Brazil and focus on sustainability and a better world?
Biopolymer Application Center
Do you want to move from petroleum-based plastics to natural biobased plastics? Are you the start-up with a great idea to really make the world a better place? Or do you see (commercial) opportunities in the transition from the oil economy to biobased?
Borderless Biobased Education
Within the project 'Borderless Biobased Education', fourteen Flemish and Dutch partners are working on the development of demand-oriented education and in-service training programs at secondary, higher and university level.
Living Colors
Living colors is a project of Avans University of Applied Sciences (research and education), the Center of Expertise Biobased Economy, buroBELEN (art direction) and various companies and designers such as Rubia Natural Colors, Amsterdams Grafisch Atelier (AGA), Textiellab, Rigo paint factory and textile producer Febrik.
This project aims to provide more insight into the production of mycelium-based materials and to provide insight into the influence of growth conditions, substrate type and material processing on the properties of the mycelium composite.
Within the BioKLEUR project we are looking for more environmentally friendly alternatives to dyes. The challenge within the BioKLEUR project is to gather as much knowledge as possible in the field of biobased dyes and to share this with the wider public.
BioCannDo intends to develop a clear, substantiated message around biobased products, so that it is also easy to understand for the general public.
Blue Chain
The Blue Chain project is a feasibility study into the extraction of blue dye from algae and proteins from duckweed.
Sewage contains valuable substances that can be used as raw materials for biobased products. However, this potential is still hardly used in Northwestern Europe.
Green Growth
Smart minds will also be needed in the future for the transition to a Biobased Economy. The Green Growth project develops biobased educational materials and distributes them in the Biobased Delta.
Biobased Challenge
The Think Biobased Challenge invites you, a European College or University student, to design Biobased educational material that students will never forget.
Biobased bridge
The Center of Expertise Biobased Economy collaborated with more than 10 (SME) companies and 3 knowledge institutions on the development of a biobased bicycle-pedestrian bridge made of biobased composite. The bridge is now there! The bridge was opened on Thursday, October 27 on the grounds of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU / e), the world's first bridge made entirely of biocomposite.
Pure Nature: 100% Biobased
By 2030, the textile sector in the south of the Netherlands and Flanders wants to use 20% to 50% biobased materials in its products.
National Biobased Knowledge Network
The LBKN is a unique NL-wide HBO platform for biobased education, research and valorisation with an active connection to MBO and WO.
Clippings are used as an innovative raw material! With the Grasgoed project, various area managers, companies and knowledge institutions will give the remains of nature management a second life over the next three years.
More projects

By using this website you agree to the use of cookies More information

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.