First WOW! student exchange

Bora Çetin is the first student to be exchanged between the WOW! project’s partners. He is an Avans student studying Biology and Biomedical Research with a specialization in Biotechnology now doing his internship at TU Kaiserslautern.

During an Avans project, beginning of this school year, he got inspired with the WOW! project and especially with PHA bioplastic. We asked Bora about his experiences.


What was your role in the WOW! project at Avans and what were your results?

“The initial objective of the project at Avans was to examine whether a residual stream from Pulsed Heat BV, from the cellulose pilot within WOW!, could serve as a substrate for PHA production. Secondly, we focused on setting up a process to select PHA producing bacteria in activated sludge. Under the tested conditions, the residual stream from Pulsed Heat appeared ineffective for PHA production. We did establish a functioning selection process.”

What is your role in the WOW! Project at TU Kaiserslautern?

“During one of the project meetings at Avans, my supervisor mentioned the possibility of doing an internship at TU Kaiserslautern. When I heard that they were also doing similar research into PHA production, I was immediately interested.

I feel that I am proceeding where I left off at Avans. At the TU Kaiserslautern, we are also focused on the selection of PHA producing bacteria in activated sludge. However, here the emphasis really lies on using only recovered materials from wastewater, which is challenging but very interesting.”

What kind of future do you see for PHA?

“I think that the future for PHAs looks very promising, considering that the production methods fit perfectly in the concept of a circular economy. Secondly, the technology on PHA production keeps advancing and as many countries are tightening their policies on single use plastics, PHA plastics could become unmissable in the nearby future. ''

When will you finish your internship at TU Kaiserslautern and what are your plans after?

“My internship at TU KAISERSLAUTERN ends at the end of this summer, after which I have one year left before graduating for my bachelors. My plans afterwards? I am considering many options, like a masters, traveling or working. Better yet, me and some fellow students actually discussed the possibility of establishing a start-up in PHA production after graduating.”

Question about this research? Please contact Ischa Lamot (

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