We proudly present our talented students

Akkelien Jansen

Internship project: optimizing the biocementation process

Hello, my name is Akkelien Jansen, fourth-year chemistry student at Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen. Currently I am an intern at Bioclear earth. During my internship, I am involved in a project on biocementation, a process in which bacteria replace cement in order to make bio- concrete.

The purpose of my research is to optimize concrete production through biocementation. This process can serve as an alternative to the conventional process, such as cement used in concrete. The worldwide cement production is responsible for high CO2 emissions. It would be beneficial if this could be replaced by a biological and sustainable alternative that would reduce CO2 emissions. In this research I will mainly focus on the compressive strength and efficiency of raw material use. The footprint of bio-concrete will be mapped by means of a life cycle analysis (LCA) and compared with the LCA of conventional concrete. This comparison provides insight into the possible improvement of the environmental impact with the use of bio-concrete.

I am very happy at Bioclear earth and I have learned a lot. Other than the fact that my internship here is very educational, the company is also innovative and I’m given the opportunity to further develop myself. I was trained as a chemist, but at Bioclear earth I have been given the freedom to delve into microbial techniques. The company has an open working atmosphere and you can always turn to enthusiastic colleagues for advice and guidance. By doing so, sharing knowledge can offer new insights. I think it is important to contribute to a more sustainable world. For me to achieve this, Bioclear earth is the right environment.

Bart Beekhuizen

Internship project: Swillpower

Hello, I am Bart Beekhuizen, third-year Chemical Engineering student at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. I am currently doing an internship at Bioclear earth, where I work on the Swillpower project. This project is a full-scale fermentation process of kitchen waste mixed with water, also known as swill. During my internship I am the operator of the pilot installation. I am involved in the effort to produce biogas as optimally as possible. Furthermore I will be looking at the processing of digestate. This is the residual product of the anaerobic digestion, which still has a large volume. I will attempt to reduce this volume as much as possible. The aim of this project is to create an automatically running installation that can fully process large quantities of kitchen waste.

I am very happy at Bioclear earth and I am learning a lot. During the implementation of my project I work together with a number of other parties. I find it very interesting to work on a project with several companies.

Leon Philips

Graduation internship: Greenstep

I am Leon Philips (24), fourth-year student biomedical research with a minor in biotechnology at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. My internship project involves the Greenstep technology, in which existing fermentation installations are made more efficient with the help of externally grown microorganisms.

These microorganisms are grown outside the digester in a separate reactor in the presence of oxygen. The product from the culture is added to the digester, which enhances the degradation of (ligno) cellulose biomass in an anaerobic environment. This makes it easier for the microbes already present in the digester to convert organic matter into biogas.

Accelerating a process by adding microorganisms is called bio-augmentation. My goal is to further optimize the degradation process of (ligno) cellulose through bio-augmentation, in order to enhance the production of gas.

I’m incredibly happy with the work that I am allowed to do here at Bioclear Earth. Bioclear earth solves problems in a creative and sustainable way. It's great to be part of that. The trust that Bioclear earth places upon me, gives me the opportunity to use all my knowledge and talents for the benefit of nature.

Matt Drury

Graduation project: sustainable grassland management

Hello. I’m Matt and I’m completing my Msc in Sustainable Food and Natural Resources. I’m from the UK but I’ve been living in the Netherlands since 2015. During my internship, I’m doing research into grassland management practices by farmers. Specifically, I’m investigating current practice regarding grassland renovation, and the factors that play a role in farmers’ decision-making about how and when to renovate. This involves collecting data by survey and by in-depth semi-structured interviews with farmers. 

It is hoped that by identifying and evaluating the sustainability of current practices, along with the reasons for the utilization of such measures, the barriers to more economic and environmentally sustainable grassland management can be identified. Following this, steps to overcome these barriers can be developed. 

Bioclear earth has provided me with a strong platform to develop and conduct my research. I have been given responsibility for shaping the direction of the project, and my colleagues have supported me throughout this process. Overall, working here has been a positive experience and encouraged me to develop in directions that I had not anticipated.

Bart Postma

Internship project: Power 2 Methane

I am Bart Postma (21) from Bûtenpost, and I study Biotechnology with a major in Process Engineering at the university of applied sciences Van Hall Larenstein in Leeuwarden. During my internship I am working on the Power 2 Methane project at Bioclear Earth. This project involves a biological method to produce methane from renewable hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide. This process could be an amazing solution for small-scale locations where the chemical alternative, the Sabatier reaction, is not viable and could perhaps even replace the Sabatier process in certain situations.

For this project I mainly work on the optimisation of the reactor packing and medium composition. To this end I study which characteristics of several packing materials affects the adhesion of methanogenic archaea, and which compounds and elements are needed and limiting for the methanogenesis in the medium. I will also be working on the automation of data processing with Excel and Visual Basic macros.

Bioclear earth is a very open company without a hierarchal culture. This freedom is very motivating. Aside from this, an internship at Bioclear earth is also very educative because your colleagues can offer you new knowledge and perspectives. I find it a great honour that I get to work on a project of such social significance.



Sjoerd Jan de Vries

Graduation project: biopulping

My name is Sjoerd Jan, I am 25 years old and in the final year of my Master's in Biomolecular Sciences at the RuG. Before I graduate, I am working as an intern on a project concerning the cultivation of white rot fungi at Bioclear earth.

Within the biopulping project we attempt to break down biomass with enzymes from white rot fungi, to subsequently process this biomass in bio-fermenters or the paper industry. My job within this project is to induce these fungi to produce as many enzymes as possible. It is very motivating to do an internship at Bioclear earth. You are able to work on real problems and to really contribute to a solution. As a student, you get a lot of freedom and it is appreciated when you come up with your own ideas

Stephanie Tepper

Graduation project: upscaling white rot fungal culture

Hello! My name is Stephanie Tepper. I am a fourth-year student of Biology and Medical Laboratory Research at Hanze University of Applied Sciences. I am currently working on my graduation internship at Bioclear earth, where I am involved in the biopulping project. My goal is to scale up the culturing of white rot fungi. White rot fungi can break down lignocellulose biomass. Lignocellulose-containing biomass is abundant on earth, but is difficult to break down due to the biopolymer lignin.

Growing white rot fungi is susceptible to contamination of other microorganisms. The white rot fungus can be cultivated well on a lab scale, because we can use sterilization methods. But these methods would entail high costs on a large scale. My task is to find a scaling up method that is economically responsible, sterile and sustainable.

I really enjoy working on my graduation project at Bioclear earth, because open communication is stimulated and you can ask questions and get help at any time of the day. I have learned a great deal so far.

Wouter Schuiten

Internship project: processing sequencing data from soil samples

I am Wouter, a fourth-year student at Hanze University of Applied Sciences. I study bioinformatics and I recently began my first internship at Bioclear earth. I am working on a project on sequencing data from soil samples of DNA from fungi, in order to determine what’s in the soil.

The project primarily focuses on the 18S DNA of fungi. In the future it is possible to better assess the functions of the organisms in the soil by looking at metadata. The aim is to develop a pipeline that can determine these metadata and link the data to the samples.

Thus far my internship at Bioclear earth is going so well. My colleagues at the company are very accessible, the atmosphere is very open and you can turn to anyone for help. I have a lot of freedom to carry out my research and there are many colleagues with whom you can exchange ideas and from whom you can receive feedback. I chose Bioclear earth because the company is committed to developing and deploying sustainable technologies.


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.