Senior researcher Qian Zhou tells why she is satisfied with Brazilian interns?

I graduated in Chemical Engineering (Master, 2000) and Material Science (Ph.D., 2003) at Sichuan University in China. As a senior researcher at Avans University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, my passion falls in the process of valorization of solid residual streams (biomass, waste plastics) via pyrolysis technology. That is, convert a variety of solid residual streams (biomass, waste plastics) into fuels, chemicals, and materials through pyrolysis technology; Conceptual process design and optimize pyrolysis technologies for different input streams and products (liquid, gas, carbon); Upgrade and apply of pyrolysis products. 


I am very satisfied with the Brazilian students involved in my projects because they are intelligent, ambitious, independent, and have solid theoretical knowledge.


I successfully completed my projects with nine students: We tested and obtained product yield data on a laboratory-scale auger reactor with a capacity of 300 g/h (Gustavo Menezes, João Pedro Góis Camilo ); we simulated the pyrolysis behavior of biomass (Nathan Barros de Souza); we also used an enzymatic method to upgrade the pyrolysis liquid and reduce the carboxylic acid content (Gustavo Menezes, Guilherme Alves Faria Chagas, Júlia Rodrigues, and Mithyzi Leal); Valuable compounds were extracted from biomass waste and the extraction process was simulated using Aspen Plus (Bárbara Santiago, Marina Alves Marinho). Gabriel Abreu is now working on a conceptual process design for the pyrolysis of waste plastics using Aspen Plus.


One of the strengths of our project is the close cooperation between applied universities, academic universities, and Dutch companies. The interns enjoy the academic freedom to solve the research questions in the project according to their own ideas. This is probably why many of them continue their studies after completing their internships. I am delighted that our "old" interns, Júlia and Gustavo, are now doing their master's degrees in Europe, and they will still be returning to our research group for a master's internship project. Mithyzi even became my colleague last year.


I had a fantastic experience with Living Lab Brazil. Both chemical technology and chemistry students are welcome to join my projects. My ambition is to extend the cooperation, beyond the exchange of the students, with universities and companies from Brazil.



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