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"I had the opportunity to be involved in the whole value chain of the process"

Published: 28 May 2019

Kateřina Hrůzová from The Czech Republic
Period of IAESTE internship: September 2017 – February 2019

During my internship, my main project was focused on the production of the second-generation bioethanol from marine filter feeder – Ciona intestinalis. I had the opportunity to be involved in the whole value chain of the process: Starting with the organosolv pretreatment of the marine biomass, its fractionation and characterization, followed by the enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation. I have learnt various new techniques and I have handled numerous laboratory equipment. In addition, I participated in many other projects, such as the pretreatment of the forest biomass and its enzymatic hydrolysis - and subsequently, using these hydrolysates for bacterial rhamnolipid and algal lipid production. Moreover, I operated a pilot scale industrial equipment. I have learnt to work independently with a great supervision because there is an amazing team of people who are always keen to teach you and to help you whenever you need it.

Luleå is a lovely town surrounded by breathtaking nature and with a unique cycle of the year with freezing dark winters and neverending light days in summer. If you like sports, you can buy cheap second-hand equipment – and there are many places to go. The student organisation LURC is providing trips to Saint Peterburg, Helsinki, Lofoten, Arctic moose farm, and a Sea battle event when you can visit Stockholm and Riga, so you can also travel around quite easily.

When I finished my internship, I applied for a Research Engineer position at LTU and I plan to start a PhD studies at LTU in the future. I must admit that I fell in love with Luleå as a town and I appreciate the Swedish way of work and the great team of people I have the opportunity to work with.