We proudly present our talented students

Bert ter Wee

Project: bio-regeneration carbon filtration of crop protection products

I am Bert ter Wee, I am 19 years old and I am in my final year of the biological medical laboratory research programme at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen.

During my internship at Bioclear earth, I will be researching the influence of abiotic factors on the bio-regeneration of activated carbon filters on which crop protection products are adsorbed. Peak loads of crop protection agents on the environment occur when washing and filling sprayers at the farm. This can be solved by capturing the crop protection agents using active carbon filters and subsequently breaking them down. On a lab scale, it has already been shown that it is possible to extend the lifetime of a column setup with activated carbon filtration through continuous bio-regeneration.

In daily practice, there are quite a few factors that can influence the effectiveness of such filtration systems. These factors are investigated and monitored in this pilot project. I find it very interesting that a pilot is being set up in which the results in the laboratory can be interpreted directly in practice and vice versa.

I am excited that I can contribute to this project in which sustainability is the main focus.

Svenja Harms

Graduation project: Power to methane

Hi, my name is Svenja Harms and I am a 24-year-old German student. I am following a master´s degree programme Applied Life Sciences with the focus on sustainable bioprocess engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer. Prior to this, I completed a bachelor's degree in biotechnology.

To finish my master´s degree I am doing a 5-months internship at Bioclear earth, working on the Power to Methane project. In this project, hydrogen and carbon dioxide are converted into methane by microorganisms from the Archaea group.  For this, the microorganisms are cultivated in trickle bed reactors while growth media and the two gases are constantly running through the reactor. During my research I will try to optimize the process to reach a high stability and methane conversion.

An internship at Bioclear earth is the ideal opportunity to apply my acquired knowledge and my practical skills in a practice-based research. The fact that I am very passionate about sustainability makes Bioclear a very suitable company for my internship with their environmentally oriented and sustainable research projects. The great atmosphere at the company rounds of the experience perfectly.

Gemma Stouwie

Graduation research: Microbiological degradation of pesticides

Hi, I'm Gemma Stouwie, 22 years old and I'm in my second year of the Master's degree in Biomolecular Sciences at the RUG. The next six months I will be doing research on the microbiological degradation of pesticides.

Pesticides are widely used in agriculture, which causes them to end up in our drinking water, among other things. Earlier research has shown that the biodegradation of certain pesticides is possible.  During my internship I will focus on which microorganisms are involved and what role they play in the degradation.

Bioclear earth's mission to innovate in partnership with nature and to promote sustainable solutions really appeals to me. I am therefore very pleased that I can apply my knowledge of molecular biology within this internship project.

Daan Metz

Internship project: Sugar 4 Fermentation

I'm Daan Metz, 20 years old and I am in the 4th year of the HBO bachelor biotechnology at Hogeschool van Hall Larenstein in the direction of 'bioprocess engineering'.  During my internship I will be working on a part of the project 'Sugar 4 Fermentation'. The aim of this project is to convert sugar beet into a liquid, tenable, fermentable platform for the production of biochemicals and bioplastics.

In the production of sugar, a thick syrup is already produced from sugar beets. Unfortunately, this syrup is too expensive to be used in the biochemical industry. A lot of energy is needed to produce this supersaturated solution, from which sugar can be crystallised. When the final product is fermented, complete purity is not required and alternative routes can be used. In this project, I focus on enzymatic liquefaction of sugar beet, and whether this could be a cheap alternative.

This project within the Climate theme of Bioclear earth fits well with my study, where the optimisation of processes is central.

Minke Hammer

Internship project: optimisation of microbially induced calcite precipitation method for the production of bio-concrete

Hello, I am Minke Hammer and I am currently in my final year of the Bachelor's programme Biology and Medical Laboratory Research at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. In the next six months, I will be working on making bio-concrete more robust.

Traditional concrete consists of sand and gravel, which are glued together by a chemical reaction of cement with water. The production of cement alone emits large amounts of CO2, accounting for about 8% of total CO2 emissions worldwide.

This project is focused on the production of bio-concrete in which cement has been replaced by a more environmentally friendly alternative. Bacteria perform the cementing function by means of a biochemical process: "Microbially induced calcite precipitation" (MICP). Sand and gravel are glued together by the formation of calcite crystals between the particles.

During previous research projects, small concrete blocks have already been produced, but it has not yet been possible to produce the blocks homogeneously with the desired strength. Personally, I am going to work on the optimisation of the method that has been established within previous research at Bioclear earth. I want to improve the homogeneity of the concrete blocks and investigate the applicability of mixed cultures versus pure cultures on the strength of the concrete blocks.

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Jasmijn Wagenaar

Internship project: liquid cultivation of mushroom and oyster mushroom

Hello, my name is Jasmijn Wagenaar, I am 23 years old and I am in my final year of the Biology and Medical Laboratory Research programme at Hanze University.

During my internship at Bioclear earth, I am researching the liquid cultivation of the mushroom and the oyster mushroom. These edible mushrooms, which belong to the Basidiomycetes, are widely consumed and especially for button mushrooms, there is a large industry. Nevertheless, there are still many possibilities to optimise part of the cultivation process, including the production of the spawn. At the moment, we mainly use cereal spawn, in which the mycelium is fused with cereal grains. The mycelium is then grafted onto the substrate (manure/straw etc.). I am going to explore if there is an alternative culture method, whether this method is feasible in the lab and whether I can determine the optimum conditions for such a method.

I am very interested in sustainability and nature and that is why Bioclear earth appeals to me. The open and enthusiastic atmosphere within the company makes you feel at home very quickly as a trainee and makes the working conditions very pleasant.

Internships at Bioclear earth

Are you interested in an internship at Bioclear earth? Send a personal motivation letter and your curriculum vitae to info@bioclearearth.nl.