Biorizon’s ZCORE project featured in the Italian Pitture e Vernici European Coatings Formulation Magazine

Biorizon's ZCORE project, that aims to demonstrate that seaweed residues can be utilized for the production of biobased coatings with superior application properties, was featured in the Italian Pitture e Vernici European Coatings Formulation Magazine.

Seaweed residues can be utilized for the production of biobased paints with superior application properties

Fast-growing seaweed is used to produce hydrocolloids and some species contain high-value proteins. A by-product is non-edible sugars streams, a potential valuable raw material for the chemical industry. In the ZCORE project, 6 partners have joined forces to demonstrate that seaweed residues can be utilized for the production of biobased coatings (paints) with superior application properties. 

In this project, these sugars will be converted to biobased aromatics which will be tested in coatings applications. By the end of 2022, this will result in the development of 100% biobased alkyd resin coatings with the potential to be more durable, cost-effective and sustainable when compared to their fossil-based counterparts. The ZCORE project will positively contribute to the CO2 reduction goals and help to strengthen the chemical industry as well as the open innovation network in the south of the Netherlands.

With the Climate Agreement, the Netherlands is committed to a greenhouse gas reduction of 49% in 2030 compared to 1990. For the chemical industry, this means, among other things, that by 2030 the share of biobased raw materials will have to quadruple compared to 2016 (from 4% to 15%). Seaweed is ideally suited for this: with an potential growth rate of 30% per day, it is one of the fastest growing plants. Furthermore, because of its cultivation at sea, it does not compete with land-growing biomass.  

40% of all chemicals are aromatic; the greening potential is enormous

The sugars from seaweed residual flows can be converted into bio-aromatics. Of all chemicals produced by the chemical industry, 40% are aromatic in nature. It represents a global annual volume of 122 million tons, worth more than 115 billion euros and has an annual growth of 4-5%. Aromatics are used in plastics, paints, additives such as UV stabilizers and pigments, fibers, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food ingredients such as vitamins, colorants and flavouring additives. So far, aromatics are extracted from petroleum and this has a negative impact on the climate. That is why finding renewable feedstock is urgent.

In the ZCORE project (from the Dutch phrase: Seaweed to COating REsin applications), seaweed residues are converted into bio-aromatics and these will be tested in coatings, among other things. The coating industry is keen to develop a fully biobased coating in order to respond to the climate objectives as well as market demand. The ZCORE project is specifically working on 100% biobased alkyd resins (paint). So far, a content of 50-60% biobased has been achieved because no bio-aromatics were available on a sufficiently large scale. ZCORE changes this. In addition to doubling the sustainability, the in ZCORE developed bio-aromatics have the potential to bring improved properties such as superior wear resistance, gloss and UV resistance.

These two advantages allow this bio-coating to be competitive with fossil-based coatings. With a global coating market of 4 Mton on an annual basis, this means a huge breakthrough in the field of 100% biobased coatings and this will accelerate the realization of a biobased economy.

Source: Pitture e Vernici European Coatings Formulation Magazine - Issue 6/NovemberDecember 2022 (page 44)


The ZCORE project is made possible by the European Regional Development Fund and the provinces of Noord-Brabant, Zeeland and Limburg in the context of OPZuid. 

More information or participate?

Please take a look at the animation video of this project:

  • For more information about the ZCORE project, please contact Biorizon’s Sugar Horizon Manager Paul Könst, at or +31 (0) 6 25 04 13 79..
  • Interested companies can contact us to discuss the options for participation. For example, testing samples of bio-aromatics in applications.
  • Become a member of the Biorizon Community free of charge to be kept informed of developments within the ZCORE project and other bio-aromatics projects.

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This project is made possible by a contribution from the European
Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the framework of OP-Zuid.

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