Webinar on Competitive (business) advantage

and sustainability during the pandemic.
June, 17, 2021 from 14.00 – 15.30 CEST Time (09.00 – 10.30 BRT)
Living Lab Biobased Brazil is happy to invite you to the fourth webinar for everyone who is interested in transitions from public and private sectors to a resilient and low- carbon economy.
The program: 
  • Welcome” by Kaj Thomsson.
    “Head of Emerging Markets Programme, School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University.” 
  • Introduction Way Carbon. ”Henrique Pereira: “Director - Consulting and Advisory Services at WayCarbon”
  • Competitive (business) advantage and sustainability during the pandemic – Experiences from WayCarbon in Brazil”. 
    Sandro Esposito and Judith Friess, Maastricht University.
  • “Q&A session”

A certificate of (active) participation is available on request.
Contact information: Margot Verwei
Apply here

energy efficient dwellings by circular facade renovation;  researcher internship student Ana Luíza Bitar.

April, 27 2021

Ana Luíza Bitar, a civil engineering bachelor student from Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil, is already since January 2020 in the Netherlands. She spent half a year in Groningen for the minor Urban Regeneration at Hanze UAS. Currently, she is doing her graduation internship at Zuyd UAS on the topic: Energy efficient dwellings by urban mined biomimicry-based facade renovation, as part of the Drive 0 project.

The Drive 0 project consists of the renovation of a common typology dwelling in the Netherlands in order to assemble a more energy-efficient building using waste materials from demolition. Her role in the project involves designing a new circular facade for the house, energy simulations and mock-up development. Ana focuses on reusing wood: firstly, as wood fiber insulation; secondly, as a cladding material for the ventilated façade, in which her bio-inspired design is based on the second skin of the cricket.

Regarding the insulation, it was necessary to determine if the fibers of the wood could be used as insulation material. What are the demands? Does this material, for example, meet the requirements of fire resistance?

Furthermore, to make the dwelling more energy-efficient, the façade was designed in a way that the air can circulate throughout the facade. Therefore, the dwelling is not only energy efficient, but it also coolers the building during the summertime. Interesting here is that she also researches the aging process of the wooden cladding material: is it possible to expand the lifespan of the façade by thermal treatment? How to improve the fire resistance of the wood in a circular and bio-based way?

As a final result of her internship, Ana will design an energy-neutral facade solution and a mock-up to be tested for one year in a real situation to validate the results. Moreover, she is developing an article to be published in an international journal.

Last March, Ana presented her first results at the ‘Crossing Boundaries conference. Throughout this conference, many professors, masters and PhD students from all around the world shared their projects and perspectives about the circularity in the built environment.


Despite the Covid-circumstances and the cold weather, Ana enjoys her stay in the Netherlands: “the well-organized public transport and the safety on the streets are impressive”. Finally, since she had the opportunity to study in the far North and far South of our country, she experiences the different dialects and cultures of our country, which she thinks is quite remarkable. 


Facade elements existing and Drive-0 project.
Facade elements existing and Drive-0 project.
Webinar on biopolymers

Living Lab Biobased Brazil 
April, 22, 2021 from 14.00 – 15.30 CEST Time  (09.00 – 10.30 BRT)
Living Lab Biobased Brazil is happy to invite you to the third webinar for everyone who is interested in processing, behaviour, possible applications and biodegradability of biopolymers.
The program:
  • “Engineering interfaces in systems based on natural polymers.” Professor Rodrigo Oréfice, UFMG
  • “Plastics in the Circular Economy.”  Professor Rudy Folkersma, NHL Stenden UAS
  • “Mechanical and Biodegradation Properties of PHA-related Compounds. ”Lecturer-Researcher Corinne van Noordenne, NHL Stenden UAS
  • “ChitiPro – Towards a microbial production platform for PHA based on shrimp-waste valorization.” Lecturer-Researcher Olivier Segers, Zuyd UAS
After each presentation, there will be an opportunity for a Q & A session among the participants.
Apply here
Next webinar is scheduled on:
June, 17, 2021             14.00 – 15.30 (CEST time) (09.00 – 10.30 BRT)
The topics for these webinars will be tuned with the partners of the Living Lab Biobased Brazil.
A certificate of participation is available on request.
Contact information: Margot Verwei

Webinar on resource recovery

from waste water treatment 
February, 11, 2021, from 14.00 - 15.30 CET time (10.00 - 11.30 BRT)
After a successful first webinar on biofuels, the Living Lab Biobased Brazil is happy to invite you to this 2nd  online event for everyone who is interested in resource recovery from waste water and cooperation between The Netherlands and Minas Gerais in Brazil.

The program:
  • Wider business Opportunities for raw materials from Wastewater: bioplastics, biochar and biodiesel” (WOW Project); Professor Jappe de Best (Avans UAS)
  • “Water and Plastics: Reflexion about risks, recovery and challenges”; Professor Luewton Agostinho; (NHL Stenden, Van Hall Larenstein UAS)
  • NEREUS Interreg 2 Seas project “New energy and resources from urban sanitation”; Iarima Silva Mendonca (HZ UAS)
  • “Recell, enabling green production”; Edwin Loman (Recell)
  • “Energy potential and alternative usages of biogas and sludge from UASB reactors”: Professor André Pereira Rosa (UFV)

After the presentations, there will be an opportunity for a Q &A session on biobased research topics among the participants.
Apply here
Next webinar is scheduled on:
April 22, 2021             14.00 – 15.30 CET time (09.00 – 10.30 BRT)
The topics for these webinars will be tuned with the partners of the Living Lab Biobased Brazil

Contact information: Margot Verwei

Biobased Battle 


In the week of December 14, 2020, the 8th Biobased Battle took place, organized by Living Lab Biobased Brazil. This time, fully online. More than 45 students from Avans Hogeschool and Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (UFOP, Brazil) were asked to find a solution for the residual flows of rice processing (rice husks) or sugar, beer and olive oil production ( bagasse). The biobased battle works according to a pressure cook concept. On the first day, each group of 4-5 students had to come up with as many solutions as possible for one or more residual flows. On the second day, a choice was made on the basis of a multi-criteria analysis (MCA) for the best solution in their opinion. This solution was then further developed. On the last day, the groups pitched their idea to a Brazilian / Dutch Jury that consisted of Erik Lammers (province of North Brabant), Willemien van Asselt (Top Sector Agri & Food), Sergio Aquino (UFOP), Julia Mendes (UFOP) and Jappe de Best (Center of Expertise Biobased Economy). The pitches were assessed by the jury on a number of criteria such as technical feasibility, originality and market potential. In third and second place came groups who had devised a solution for the skins of rice grains. These can be used in biobased concrete or insulation mats. The group of Tim, Joanna, Samuel, Paula & Mateus was declared the unanimous winner. They opted for regional processing of bagasse from sugar and beer production into a protein bar. In addition to a nice certificate, the winning group received an offer from the province of Noord-Brabant to see whether it is possible to further develop their idea through the Brabant-wide start-up support program Braventure. A nice final to a successful week.


poster winning team biobased-battle.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.3 MB

webinar & Matchmaking events:

Next webinars are scheduled on:
February 11, 2021     14.00 – 15.30 CET time (10.00 – 11.30 BRT)
April 22, 2021            14.00 – 15.30 CET time (09.00 – 10.30 BRT)
The topics for these webinars will be tuned with the partners of the Living Lab Biobased Brazil

Contact information: Margot Verwei

Webinar & Matchmaking event Biofuels
December 10, 2020
14.00 – 15.30 CET time (10.00 – 11.30 BRT)
The Living Lab Biobased Brazil is happy to invite you to this first online event for everyone who is interested in biofuel research and cooperation between The Netherlands and Minas Gerais in Brazil.

In the past 5 years, many Brazilian and Dutch students have done innovative research on biofuels as part of the Living Lab Biobased Brazil. This also lead to some successful cooperations between research groups of Dutch and Brazilian professors. It is a good time to share these successes and to look forward to more and new cooperations in the future.

The program of the webinar consists of four presentations about innovations and solutions on biofuels.After the presentations, there will be an opportunity for matchmaking on biobased research topics among the participants.
Apply here
14.00 – 14.10h   
Welcome by Ralph Simons, chairman Living Lab Biobased Brazil.

14.10 – 14.20h    
Pyrolysis of cashew nut shell waste: professor Qian Zhou & student/researcher Nathan Barros de Souza, Avans UAS.

14.20 – 14.30h 
UFMG's Fuel Testing Laboratory (LEC): professor Vânya Marcia Duarte Pasa.

14.30 – 14.40h    
Biodiesel produced from residual oil from the FIAT company: professor Marcela Menezes, Chemical Engineering Department PUC Minas.

14.40 – 14.50h    
Pyrolysis simulation in Aspen plus: professor Fábio de Ávila Rodrigues & student/researcher Gabriel Abreu, UFV.

14.50 – 15.20h
Q&A – matchmaking - ideas for cooperation.

15.20 – 15.30h    
Living Lab in the future: Jappe de Best, coordinator Living Lab Biobased Brazil.
Next webinars are scheduled on:
February 11, 2021     14.00 – 15.30 CET time (10.00 – 11.30 BRT)
April 22, 2021            14.00 – 15.30 CET time (09.00 – 10.30 BRT)
The topics for these webinars will be tuned with the partners of the Living Lab Biobased Brazil

Contact information: Margot Verwei

Results 2019 & focus 2020

Results 2019  & focus 2020

Each year we evaluate the achievements of the Living Lab Biobased Brazil. We would like to give you a brief overview.


In 2019 we had a total of 38 students that did their internship with the Living Lab. A total of 21 Brazilian students came to The Netherlands whereas 17 students went to Minas Gerais. This also included an internship at UFOP, a new partner of the LLB. The students rated their internship with a 7.9. We are very happy with this score. To increase the possibilities for internships and make it more flexible for professors, we changed the application procedure for students. Hopefully this will result in even more matches for internships next year. Besides students internships, we also organized a biobased battle and a guest lecture for students. To further stimulate cooperation between professors in joint research projects, an overview was made of available subsidy calls for Dutch - Brazilian research projects and for professor exchange. This already resulted in a joint research project between Avans University and UFV on the topic of pyrolysis.



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Research Marina -Avans: Cashing Cashew

``A few weeks after my arrival here in The Netherlands all establishments were closed due to the Corona crisis, including Avans. In this new situation, my supervisor and I had to adapt our approach to pursuing the objective of our project. Fortunately in this project besides laboratory work, we use the simulation software Aspen Plus and this was our main asset for keeping the project schedule on time even without access to the labs. The Cashing Cashew project aims to obtain the compound Cardanol in a high purity from the oil that is extracted from Cashew Nut Shells through pyrolysis.

During the Corona crisis, I had weekly meetings with Qian Zhou, my supervisor, and another colleague in the project, Mithyzi. In these meetings, we shared the diverse theoretical backgrounds related to the project theme and discussed the simulations that we were working on. For me, I can say that even working from home I had the opportunity to build a theoretical base for my research. I was able to work with simulations to predict various proces scenarios and calculate the thermodynamic properties of the compound Cardanol since they are not available in literature. After almost three intense months of quarantine, we are slowly getting back to our laboratory work, I am now able to confirm if the simulations that I did are right or wrong during  the experimental part of the project.``


Research Hidila - UFV: Using biomass for energy production

There are different types of efficient approaches to improve the energy production process. The use of bioenergy, for example, is common in processing sectors that generate waste, from organic matter to agricultural waste. The conversion of biomass into energy is considered a low-carbon renewable technique and a strategic option for the production of “clean” energy. Different resources can be applied in the transformation of biomass into energy.This project aims to evaluate and simulate the thermochemical effect of different types of lignocellulosic biomass, especially sorghum. Using biomass as fuel, a simulation of an electricity generation system is being carried out, with the aid of the computer program Aspen Plus, where the fundamental principles of modeling include the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics and equations of fluid mechanics.


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Research Damázio UFV: HMF production from biomass

How is the pandemic affecting your work?

Although I work using a computer program, I am restricted to using the university computer because it has a license for the software used in my work. In addition, the pandemic affects the direct and daily contact with my supervisor, due to the need for social isolation. Not attending university as before, plus the unstable internet connection, affect the performance of activities, not being able to do as they were carried out before the pandemic. However, using other software and keeping communication by distance help maintain ongoing activities.


Project description:

The search for the reduction of the environmental impact and possible reductions in the reserves of fossil resources has encouraged the development of sustainable alternatives and technologies. In this sense, lignocellulosic biomass consisting of agro-industrial residues and organic material has been standing out as a source of raw material for obtaining valuable chemical compounds. Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is a chemical platform compound obtained from this biomass and used to make this connection between biomass and compounds from petroleum.

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Research PUC Minas : Water treatment and reuse

Despite all the problems related to the Covid-19 pandemic, scientific research cannot stop. At PUC Minas, Prof. Bárbara Ricci and Prof. Laura Hamdan (Department of Chemical Engineering) and Prof. Raquel Sampaio (Department of Civil Engineering), involved in the Living Lab Biobased Brazil Program, reported that the work routine was changed, including now meetings with students through videoconferences. However, the research groups are making use of this moment to submit articles with the data generated in the laboratory before the implementation of social distancing.


The researchers are focused on the treatment of effluents and the generation of reusable water, among others. In particular, there is a highlight for the submission of two recent articles on the remediation of norfloxacin in water streams and modeling of distillation membranes coupled with forward osmosis for reuse of effluents. On the left there is the schematic representation that refers to the membrane distillation cell / forward osmosis mentioned in the last article. 

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Research Vânya UFMG: Biofuels research and testing

The team at the Fuel Testing Laboratory (LEC) from UFMG, Brazil, has been working hard on R&D projects to develop innovative processes and catalysts for HVO and Biojet production using different vegetable oils, cashew nut shell oil and others. They also have studied the synthesis of biocrude via liquefaction of sugarcane bagasse and macauba biomass. As well as developing new resins from renewable sources using lignin or residues from the macauba palm. 

During the pandemic, everyone is busy participating in meetings and online training, preparing projects for companies, reading articles, and submitting new ones for publication. Part of the team is working to finish the dissertations and doctoral theses. A few employees returned with reduced working hours, maintaining the distance and sanitary measures to meet the demands of partner companies that develop essential services. LEC might slow down but never stop.


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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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