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The members of the ZEBRA-LIFE consortium at the kicked-off meeting of the project (Photo: CENER).

Roka Furadada take part in ZEBRA-LIFE project to produce renewable origin antioxidants

The startup Roka Furadada is a member of the public-private consortium ZEBRA-LIFE, aimed at producing renewable origin antioxidants from the pulp and paper industry by-products.  This public-private initiative -led by the National Renewable Energy Centre (CENER) and formed by eight Spanish companies from a wide range of sectors- has received funding from the European Commission, through the LIFE Programme, for its contribution to the European Green Deal.

The Centro Nacional de Energías Renovables (CENER) has launched the ZEBRA-LIFE project (Zero Emission Biochemical and Renewable Additives) with the objective to develop a novel technology to take advantage of the black liquor of the pulp and paper industry, transforming it into products with high antioxidant capacity and ultraviolet radiation absorption from renewable sources.

In this way, in addition to developing a renewable product with direct use in multiple industrial sectors, it brings an alternative to the current energy recovery process of the black liquor, thus contributing to an improved life cycle based on the circular economy.

Antioxidants are a necessary high added value component used to preserve the properties and qualities of the final product in different industrial sectors, such as food, cosmetics, the rubber industry or fuels and lubricants, among others.

The ZEBRA-LIFE consoritum is led by CENER and, in addition to the start-up Roka Furadada, the biotechnological company Bioquochem; the energy company Repsol; the paper company Smurfit Kappa; the Centro Tecnológico Riojano (CTR); the meat industry, through the Asociación de Investigación de Industrias de la Carne del Principado de Asturias (ASINCAR); and the strategic consultancy Inveniam are also participating.

Over the next four years, the consortium will work to demonstrate the techno-economic feasibility of the oxidative depolymerization technology, developed by CENER, as well as the creation of new value chains based on this new circular economy process to produce antioxidants and ultraviolet absorbing compounds.

These compounds with high antioxidant capacity obtained by this novel process will be evaluated by leading companies with an extensive experience in their respective sectors in the multiple applications considered in the ZEBRA-LIFE project. This is intended to ensure the subsequent commercial viability of the products from renewable sources in development.

The European Commission has appreciated the innovative nature of this project and its contribution to the European Green Deal, financing it through the LIFE Programme.

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