The ZCORE project (from seaweed to coating resins applications) brings together the relevant companies (SMEs) and knowledge partners in the field of seaweed production and refining (Zeeland), bio-aromatics production (Nord-Brabant) and in the field of coatings and sustainability (Limbourg).
The aim of the ZCORE project is strengthening the South-Netherlands innovation system and jointly investigating how a South-Netherlands cross-sectoral value chain for coatings from seaweed can contribute to greening the chemical industry.
ZCORE is a three-year project mainly within the Southern Netherlands region, with the Green Chemistry Campus (GCC) in Bergen op Zoom as its operating base. The consortium has the right expertise and experience to successfully exploit the potential of seaweed towards coatings. The SME partners Sea Harvest Holland and Engineering Chemicals, together with the five companies that have indicated through an Expression of Interest to support the project, form an important link to practice with their knowledge of seaweed production and applications of bio-aromatics in industrially relevant applications (such as coatings).
The knowledge institutes TNO, Avans and Maastricht University have leading knowledge and technology in the field of bio refineries, bio-aromatic production, coating resins and sustainability assessment (people, planet, and profit). In addition to being a base of operations, the GCC is also involved as a partner in ZCORE and is ideally suited for dissemination and interaction with SMEs.
By working closely together, the partners will develop an advanced process for the conversion of seaweed residue streams into bio-aromatics and related green building blocks, which in turn will be evaluated within ZCORE for application in coatings and other applications. Throughout the project, techno-economic and sustainability aspects will be evaluated for technologies and value chains to arrive at a triple-P sustainable concept. The developed concept will be scaled up and demonstrated at TRL5. With the (additional) infrastructure created, pilot samples will be produced that can be used by application centres and companies (with a focus on SMEs) for knowledge building on bio-aromatic consumer products.
The knowledge build-up, open-access infrastructure and crossovers between the seaweed, chemistry and performance materials sector achieved by ZCORE lead to a leading position for the South Dutch innovation system in national and international top clusters. ZCORE also makes a tangible contribution to improving the business case of seaweed valorization and reducing time-to-market for the commercialization of bio-aromatics.