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 since they do not biodegrade easily in the environment and are often harmful to organisms.

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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 paper and plastic products is often 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 paper and biopolymers.

Aim of this research:
Development of a purification protocol for curcumin and other curcuminoids from crude extracts of Curcuma longa L.

In this project you can:
1. Develop a downstream process for the purification of curcuminoids from crude extracts from the roots of Curcuma longa L.
2. Investigate the optimal process looking into different techniques like column chromatography, adsorption chromatography, precipitation, and/or (re-)crystallization.
3. Evaluate the different purified products on color fastness and temperature stability in solution and solid state. Starting date of the internship is end January/early February 2022. For your efforts you will get a monthly fee. Required skills are basic knowledge of analytical chemistry, IR, NMR, HPLC, TGA, and standard analytical chemistry procedures like column chromatography.

Please sent your email with application letter and resume with a subject that start with Internship application letter to ca.kruithof@avans.nl.

For further questions you can contact:
Kees Kruithof or Eric Mattheussens
ca.kruithof@avans.nl , esgm.mattheussens@avans.nl
Centre of Expertise Biobased Buidling Blocks & Products
Lovendijkstraat 63, Breda
4800 RA

Click for more info on the project.

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