Background

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 making mycelium composites. You will also look at the mycelium growth and test physical properties of the resulting foam materials. You will do so by carrying out experiments to determine the thermal conductivity and moisture resistance of the material. Your project will be based on the following activities:
– literature study on thermal conductivity and testing process/standards for insulation materials

– literature study on moisture resistance and testing process/standards for insulation materials

– writing a procedure/protocol for testing mycelium composites

– making mycelium composite samples in our lab

– testing of physical properties of the produced mycelium materials

Starting date 

30th of January 2023. The length of the assignment is 5 months. The student who will execute the assignment gets 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 mechanical engineering, product design, civil engineering,  (micro)biology, evironmental sciences, are preferable. HBO or university students are preferred.

Contact: 

Contact person concerning this assignment : Joost Vette

Phone : +31 6 38946189

E-mail : jf.vette@avans.nl

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