Project: Mycelium Acetylation
Project manager: John van de Moosdijk
Location: Breda and/or Bergen op Zoom

Background

In order to decrease the environmental impact caused by the construction sector, biobased materials are essential, but need to be further developed and integrated in the market. Mycelium composites are innovative products, with intrinsic properties which raise the attention of architects, designers, and industrial companies. Mycelium is the “root network” of mushrooms, which acts as a natural glue to bind biomass. Mycelium is grown on biomass (preferably agricultural waste streams) under controlled conditions. Growth is stopped before the substrate is fully consumed, and the final composite consists of residual biomass fibres in a mycelium matrix. Untreated composite material has good insulative properties, whereas heat-pressed material can be used as a glue-free replacement of fiber board.

Assignment description

The mechanical strength of mycelium composite drop significantly when they come into contact with moisture. This project aims to improve these properties by acetylation of the residual biomass. Acetylation is a process that is already used in the wood industry to make soft woods more weather resistant. The project will consist of the following activities:

  • Optimization of acetylation conditions.
  • Production of samples with various degrees of acetylation.
  • Chemical analysis of samples (FTIR, TGA, elemental analysis)

Depending on how quickly progress is made:

  • Mechanical analysis of these samples. (3 point bending test, tensile strength)
  • Moisture resistance tests.

Bachelor and Master students are equally encouraged to apply, the exact assignment can be adjusted to accommodate for the level.

Starting date:

September 2021, length of assignment upon agreement. A remuneration of €350 per month is offered. If you have a particular interest in the subject, but September is too soon? We still encourage you to apply for the position.

What we ask of you

We are looking for a self-driven, inquisitive student with experience in chemical lab work. Affinity with (bio)material science and/or mechanical engineering is a pre. The location for this internship will be in Breda and/or Bergen op Zoom.

Contact

Applications and questions can be directed to:

John van de Moosdijk
Email: jhw.vandemoosdijk@avans.nl
Phone: 088-5256166

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