Visit Minas Gerais by Thais Varella

Rosine Maria, Camila Costa de Amorim, Maria Clara Starling, Vânya Marcia Duarte Pasa, Thais Varella, and Raphael Barros.
Rosine Maria, Camila Costa de Amorim, Maria Clara Starling, Vânya Marcia Duarte Pasa, Thais Varella, and Raphael Barros.

In a day and a half, our teacher from Environmental studies from Avans, Thais Varella, has visited four Universities (UFMG, PUC Minas, UFV and UFOP) in Minas Gerais in December.  Worthwhile to mention is that all Universities are satisfied with the program and would like to receive students in the future. Here you can read about her visit.

Last month we had the pleasure of bringing LLB together at UFMG's Fuel Testing Laboratory (LEC). The LEC was created in 2000 to conduct research on biofuels, lubricants and meet the demand of the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) to monitor the quality of fuels sold in Minas Gerais [1].  In the laboratory, researchers such as Professor Vânya Marcia Duarte Pasa are leading research in the area of biodiesel and biokerosene. She supervises the work of Rosine Maria - LLB alumni and currently a UFMG master's student - in her research on the stability and pollution of biodiesel. In the meeting, Vânya highlighted the importance of maintaining national and international partnerships, so that science contributes to the development of the country.  


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Biobased battle 2019

In the week of October 21st, 2019, the Biobased Battle took place. Students from UFV and Avans worked together with a common goal: to generate a feasable idea (financially, technically, socially) to reuse tailings and residues from mining.


The tailings were very much in the spotlight earlier last year, when a dam of tailings was ruptured in Minas Gerais, causing deaths and a big environmental impact. After learning a bit more about the process of iron mining and the characteristics of the residues, the students worked in groups via video conference, to come up with sustainable and innovative ideas to tackle this problem.The group with the best idea was elected winner of the competition by a group of professors and professionals from the Brazilian side.


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Research at Zuyd University

Two Isabelas, exchange students from Brazil, share their experience about living in the NetherlandsIt can be really challenging to be part of an exchange program, especially being so far away from your family and if you don’t speak the country’s language, and that is why we didn’t know what was expected from us when we arrived in the Netherlands.  


At first, when we got here, the first difference we noticed was the weather, very cold and a lot of rain, so different from Brazil and very disappointing, to be honest. But on the other side, we were amazed by the high quality of public transportation and easy access, with people’s green vibe, always riding bicycles and worried about the environment (even the companies). We can say that this way of thinking is contagious because, after our time here, we started to concern about these things as well. 

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Brazilian interns continue PHA research


The Brazilian chemical engineering students, Caio and Larissa, are now interns at the Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy for the WOW! project. Their research aims to optimize the production of biodegradable plastic (PHA) from secondary sludge. Caio en Larissa will continue the research of former Brazilian interns Tielly en Thalles. 


PHA is a bioplastic that can be produced by PHA accumulating bacteria. Streams that contain volatile fatty acids (VFAs) or carbohydrates (like primary sludge from sewage treatment plants, or high concentrated industrial effluents) can be used as feed for a mixed culture of bacteria (aerobic sludge from a sewage treatment plant).

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Visiting professor/bye bye meeting


On the 27th and 28th of June, the Brazilian professor André Pereira Rosa, from Universidade Federal de Viçosa, paid a visit to HAS Hogeschool, in Den Bosch, and Avans Hogeschool, in Breda.

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From intern to biobased professional

Because of the Living Lab Biobased Brazil Guilherme was able to do his internship in the Netherlands at the Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy. Now he ended up working as a professional researcher in the Biobased economy. What are his experiences? We asked him! 


What is your background before coming to the Netherlands? How did you end up here?

I was a student of Chemical Engineering at the Federal University of Viçosa, in Brazil, from 2012 until 2018. In 2018 I did my final internship here at the Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy, at Avans, and after I was finished, I went back to Brazil to graduate. However, I really wanted to continue being part of the project I was working here. Luckily for me, at that point, there was a Junior Researcher position available that would allow me to do that. So I did my best to get it, and here I am!

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Brazilian students produce bioplastic from Brabant sewage

*Translated and adapted from the original article published at Avans Punt


Sewage water contains all kinds of valuable substances. PHA is a bioplastic made by bacteria existent in sewage water and it can be degraded by them again. So it could be good replacement for all the plastic that, for example, contains your salad or smoothie and that normally ends up on the mountain of waste. At the Center of Expertise Biobased Economy of Avans and Hogeschool Zeeland, Brazilian students conduct research to produce PHA from sewage water.


Tielly Lubiana de Menezes and Thalles Mercês Carreiro, from the Universidade Federal de Viçosa, are working to obtain PHA from sewage water. 

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Research cooperation SIA and FAPEMIG: upcoming call

The next step in the development of the Living Lab Biobased Brazil: after student exchange and teacher exchange and cooperation now comes research cooperation through joint projects. In this newsletter you can find descriptions of a few smaller joint research projects. There are several formats for setting up funded cooperation, for instance in the context of the European Union. On top, FAPEMIG and SIA are currently performing a series of innovative calls for joint research projects supporting particularly the Living Lab Brazil. The format of the call is considered a pilot and will be evaluated by SIA and FAPEMIG.



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Research by VHL students in Vicosa

Ward van der Zee, Tobias Ruijsch and Robin Diekhorst will travel to Vicosa at the end of October. They will conduct research for 2 months related to the KIEMVANG project between VHL University of Applied Sciences, UFV and two Dutch companies.

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Update by Natália

My name is Natália, I am 21 years old and I am currently in the sixth semester of Environmental Engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). At this moment I am doing my internship at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. Read more about my experiences in the Netherlands.

It was always a dream to go abroad to study and to know the Netherlands for being a pioneer country in the environmental area. I am working in the project entitled “Comparison of the energy balance of sewage treatment plants” in which I am doing a cost/benefit analysis of biogas use in Europe. The university where I am working is The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS) in one of the most important and beautiful cities of the Netherlands: Den Haag. Until now, Living Lab Biobased Brazil and this wonderful country are providing me a great experience!


Update by Rick

I am Rick Boogaard, student Chemical Engineering from Avans University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. I am currently studying at PUC Minas in Belo Horizonte, I am doing an internship about the optimisation of the biodiesel production. 

I am in Brazil for a month now, and I’m feeling very well! It is such a great experience. The first day I landed, my international buddy already took me to the beautiful places from Belo Horizonte. For example, I had a great view over the city. We also went to places as the freedom square, the emperors house, some great markets and parks. Also the weather in here is very good, it is a little bit dry, but you get used to it! Another great thing in here is that there are some small holidays, for example 2 weeks ago. Thursday was the day of liberty in here, so almost everybody took Friday off, and I went with my international buddy, 2 people who live in my house, and their 2 international buddies to Rio de Janeiro! This was an amazing experience. We first went to a beautiful beach at Arraial do Cabo, and then to the city Rio. We were 2 days at Ipanema beach, saw the ‘Christo’, the famous Christus sign in Rio. In short, it is fantastic! I can advise everybody to go and do an internship with Living Lab Biobased Brazil!


Update by Bárbara

My name is Bárbara Luiza Silva Santiago, I have the Biochemistry Major and currently, I am majoring in Chemical Engineering at UFV (Universidade Federal de Viçosa). I have always been delighted by the biobased economy concept and as an engineer, I want to perfect my knowledge in bioprocesses viability, in the economic and technical scope. Being part of Living Lab Program will have the great matter in my engineer career. In the project “Upgrading of Pyrolysis oil by esterification with alcohol” I hope to be useful due to my knowledge of biomolecules, and my experience in research labs. The exchange experience would be extremely important in my personal life. Experiencing another university like “Avans University of Applied Sciences” in another country with a different culture like the Netherlands would be a watershed in my personal growth. I am enjoying to meet new people besides improving my English skills and to have contact with Dutch. I want to get the maximum of knowledge that the expert teachers can offer so I can expand the most of my potential


Update by Isabella

Hi, my name is Isabella, I am a fifth year student of Chemical Engineering at the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) and I am doing my internship at HAS University of Applied Sciences in Den Bosch.


When I arrived in Amsterdam, my host, Katia, a Brazilian living in the Netherlands for 20 years, picked me up and drove me to Den Bosch. At the house, I found a basket of typical Dutch products, such as drops, breads and the amazing stroopwafel!!! On my first week, I joined the Welcome Days organized by the HAS, which included a delicious lunch, boat ride in the city canals and trip to a lake with other exchange and Dutch students. It was also on the first week that I had to face my most feared opponent in the Netherlands: a bicycle. After a couple of falls we are already (almost) friends.

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5 Brazilian students started their project in the Netherlands

The number of students going to the Netherlands for their internship will continue to grow. More and more students are going to the Netherlands and also this semester. Five Brazilian students from UFMG and UFV are going to run a project at Avans, HAS and The Hague University of Applied Sciences. Let's introduce the students and their projects:

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Review of Guilherme Salvador

Guilherme researched the models of a biodiesel plant in the research group Biobased Energy at Avans University of Applied Sciences from February 2017 to July 2017. He has reviewed his time in the Netherlands.

Day after day, I understand better how worth was the experience in the Netherlands. In February 2017, I left Brazil to an internship at Avans, Breda. During the time abroad, a mix of positives and negatives moments and experiences made me evolve and recognize this personal change back in Brazil. I can mention relevant gains in three different aspects - personal, professional and cultural.


Certainly talking about our personal gains would be the most difficult part. However, I lived for five months among the Dutches, so I learned to be fair, direct and self-confident like them, keeping my Brazilian features as well. In fact, I am usually quite shy on formal situations, but when I was hit by the Dutch direct way, I also have to leave some parental lessons beside and impose my opinion like the natives do. If I act like that in Brazil, for sure I would lose a bunch of friends. We are indirect,sentimental and heart-broken “level soap opera”.

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