In order to decrease the environmental impact caused by the construction sector, biobased materials need to be further developed and integrated in the market. Mycelium composites are innovative products, with intrinsic properties which rise 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 grows through the biomass, which functions as a growth substrate and a biocomposite matrix. Different organic residual streams such as straw, hemp shives or other agricultural waste can be used as substrate. Foam mycelium composites can be applied as thermal insulation. To be able to scale up the production of mycelium composites, it is important to be able to decontaminate large amounts of substrate, therefore, different methods must be tested, optimised and standardized.

Assignment description

As an intern at the Centre of Expertise BioBased Economy (CoEBBE) you would be responsible for carrying out experiments to compare two decontamination methods. You will also look at the mycelium growth and test physical properties of the resulting foam materials. Your project will be based on the following activities:

– literature study of pasteurisation and sterilisation process
– testing and comparing pasteurisation and sterilisation by autoclaving of different substrates
– writing a procedure/protocol for pasteurisation of substrates
-“tracking” mycelium growth on pasteurized substrates
– sample production with the grown mycelium
– testing of physical properties of the produced materials (compressive test)

Starting date

End of August/September 2022. The length of the assignment is 5 months. The student who will execute the assignment gets a a fee of €350,- per month.

Desirable skills/qualities of the student

The student should be able to work independently and carry out independent laboratory research. Background in (micro)biology, environmental sciences, mechanical engineering and product design are preferable. HBO or university students are preferred.

Contact:

Contact person concerning this assignment : Ilse Rovers
Phone : +316 83000015
E-mail : ca.rovers@avans.nl
Visiting address : AKV st. Joost – Kunst Academy
Street / number, areal code and place : parallelweg 21-23, ’s Hertogenbosch
Postal address : 5223 AL

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