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ZERO EMISSION BIOCHEMICAL AND RENEWABLE ADDITIVES

ZEBRA LIFE consortium during the Kick off meeting at CENER (Sarriguren, Navarra)

WHAT IS ZEBRA LIFE?

CENER has developed a pioneering thermo-oxidative depolymerization process to extract high value added bioaromatic compounds with high antioxidant activity from lignin that can be used to substitute the existing fossil fuel-based additives in the market for different applications (rubber, fuels, lubricants, food industry, and cosmetics). The ZEBRA-LIFE project addresses two important objectives:

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Increase the renewable energy share and decarbonisation in the pulp and paper industry

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Reduce the environmental and health impacts caused by the production and use of synthetic fossil additives in multiple industrial products.

The ZEBRA LIFE project started in November 2022 and will run for four years. It has received funding from the European Union’s LIFE programme under grant agreement number 101074460.

why is ZEBRA LIFE TECHNOLOGY VALUABLE?

 

  • Europe is the second largest producer of pulp and paper in the World. In 2019 it produced 38 million tonnes which represented 21% of the world paper production. This industry produces a significant amount of black liquor (BL), a byproduct which is predominantly burnt for energy recovery.
  • 35-45% of BL composition is lignin, a natural polymer. Lignin is composed of aromatic units, which can be extracted from BL and, after a series of conversion stages, used as substitute for synthetic aromatic compounds in various industries including, cosmetic, food, fuel, lubricants and rubber .

Lignin extracted from black liquor (CENER)

ADVANTAGES

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There are currently no commercial technologies for the cost-effective extraction of aromatics from lignin. Current technologies have either got stuck at non-commercial scales or are focused on low value-added materials, making it unprofitable for the paper manufacturers to invest in the infrastructure needed to extract black liquor from lignin.

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The technology that has been developed for the ZEBRA-LIFE project enables paper mills to valorise their black liquor by-product in the form of a natural antioxidant (AOx) and UV filter product to create a new circular value chain. Also is extremely attachable to current pulp and paper industrial plants, due to the similar feeding and release aqua-inorganic streams.

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The ZEBRA-LIFE solution will create industrial symbiosis and create new circular value chains, using resources/by-products across industrials sectors.

ZEBRA LIFE PILLARS

IMPACTS

ZEBRA-LIFE technology enables paper mills to valorise their black liquor by-product based on lignin in the form of a natural antioxidant and UV filter product to create a new circular value chain.

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The potential impacts of ZEBRA LIFE project are:

Reducing the damage to the environment from the pulp & paper industry (waste, GHG emissions, etc.),
Increasing renewable energy production from a locally sourced product.
The implementation of a circular economy with upscale developments and increasing direct/indirect employment in various sectors.

ZEBRA LIFE products (CENER)

ZEBRA LIFE WORKPLAN

During the project, the consortium will look to:
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Scale the chemical depolymerisation and fractionation technology up to a pre-commercial scale (20Kg/h lignin processing) (TRL 7).

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To produce and test bioaromatic compounds (ZEBRA LMW and ZEBRA MMW) specifically formulised as antioxidant and UV-filters in a series of selected applications to substitute synthetic additives and create a circular value chain based on industrial symbiosis.

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Develop the technical cost benefit analysis and business case for pulp & paper manufacturers.

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Prepare the technology for full commercial exploitation and replication across Europe.

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Ensure all stakeholders and community members are involved in the conversation about the ZEBRA-LIFE project.

ZEBRA LIFE CONSORTIUM

CENER

Project coordinator.

Technology developer.

Prototyping And demonstrator.

Environmental assessment of the Value chain.

 

Discover what CENER is doing in ZEBRA LIFE Project->

Inveniam

Supporting project management.

Communication and dissemination leader.

Environmental impact and monitoring.

Business model and exploitation strategy

Discover what Inveniam is doing in ZEBRA LIFE Project->

Smurfit Kappa Navarra

Lignin provider for the pilot plant.

Technoeconomic analysis for the validation of the facility.

Development and execution of exploitation activities.

Discover what Smurfit Kappa is doing in ZEBRA LIFE Project->

Asociacion de investigacion de industrias carnicas del principado de asturias

Utilisation of the lignin fractions in food sector applications

Discover what ASINCAR is doing in ZEBRA LIFE Project->

Centro Tecnológico Riojano

Utilisation of the lignin fractions in rubber applications

Discover what CTR is doing in ZEBRA LIFE Project->

Roka Furadada

Utilisation of the lignin fractions in cosmetic applications (UV filter, antioxidant and preserving agent)

Discover what Roka Furadada is doing in ZEBRA LIFE Project->

Repsol

Utilisation of the lignin fraction in fuel and lubricants applications.

 

Discover what Repsol is doing in ZEBRA LIFE Project->

Bioquochem

Integration of an in-line monitoring system into the pilot plant to control the antioxidant activity during production.

Antioxidant characterization of enduser products.

Discover what Bioquochem is doing in ZEBRA LIFE Project->

Latest news

Transición E – the top 8 questions about zebra-life

The ZEBRA-LIFE project recently took centre stage in an episode of the
“Transición E” podcast, made in collaboration with CENER (listen to the podcast
in Spanish here https://bit.ly/48bjGqF).

Know more->

Lignin – ZEBRA-LIFE's raw material

This week we start with Lignin, the project’s raw material, the second most abundant organic substance in plants after cellulose which constitutes 30% of the non-fossil organic carbon in nature. But what do you know about Lignin?
In this blog post we will explain more about this natural raw…

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Impact Assessment

In the current context of climate change, the rise in global temperature,
extreme weather events, biodiversity loss and ocean acidification are
clarifying why immediate actions are needed to mitigate these effects. Global agreements, such the Paris Agreement…

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ZEBRA-LIFE - Zero Emission Biochemican and Renewable Additives

CENER has developed a pioneering thermo-oxidative depolymerization process to extract high value added bioaromatic compounds with high antioxidant activity from lignin that can be used to substitute the existing fossil fuel-based additives in the market for different…

Know more->

3rd General Assembly

Early November set the stage for the 3rd General Assembly, which was held in
Madrid on the 7th and 8th at Repsol’s Technology Lab. The ZEBRA-LIFE
Consortium gathered to assess the progress of their ongoing project since their
last assembly in June.

Know more->

ZEBRA-LIFE kicks off, a project to produce renewable origin antioxidants from the pulp and paper industry by-products.

Last November, the Centro Nacional de Energías Renovables (CENER) launched a new project, with the objective to develop a novel technology to take advantage of the black liquor of the pulp and paper industry…

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Antioxidants Applications

Whether you are aware or not, you have surely experienced oxidation in your
daily life. To provide some context, when a polymer turns brittle, a rubber
turns sticky or when some foods smell rancid, oxidation takes place. Other
commodities such as creams…

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Lignin Depolymerization Technology - CENER

CENER has developed a unique thermo-oxidative process to produce high value
added bioaromatic compounds from Lignin, namely polyphenols. These are
promising substitutes to the fossil fuel-based additives currently produced in…

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ZEBRA-LIFE - General Assembly M8 Press Release

After a successful kick-off meeting eight months ago, the ZEBRA-LIFE
consortium met again on the 21st and 22nd of June in Sangüesa (Navarra, Spain)
at Smurfit Kappa plant for its second General Assembly to discuss further on the progress…

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Contact

Inés del Campo
Biomass Department

E-mail. zebralife@cener.com

Tlf.  +34 948 252 800