The ZeroF Project

Discover the ZeroF project and its mission to develop safe and sustainable coating alternatives to replace PFAS compounds in food packaging and upholstery textile value chains. 

PFAS: A threat to our environment & health

PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) are a class of chemicals that have gained widespread attention due to their presence in our environment and potential health impacts. PFAS are found in everyday products, including non-stick cookware, food packaging, textiles and firefighting foam. These substances are incredibly persistent, meaning they do not break down and can accumulate in the environment and our bodies over time.

The European Union has classified PFAS as substances of very high concern (SVHC) and is in the process of restricting certain PFAS through a REACH restriction planned for 2023. In addition, the European Commission has committed to a complete phase-out of PFASs in the long term. However, despite the potential health and environmental risks, industry and consumers are reluctant to switch to non-fluorinated products due to the lack of alternatives that offer comparable performance and cost.

Eliminating PFAS: The ZeroF project

ZeroF aims to prevent further PFAS pollution by developing new coating technologies for food packaging and upholstery textiles. The goal is to replace PFAS with non-toxic compounds and renewable feedstock while ensuring comparable performance and cost. The material design will be guided by a Safe-and-Sustainable-by-Design framework. Analyses, such as life cycle analysis, life cycle costs, and environmental footprint assessment, will help reduce the environmental impact by over 25%.

The project partners will identify incentives and barriers to facilitate the introduction of PFAS-free coating materials and develop a certification and regulatory roadmap to anticipate future requirements. Ultimately, the ZeroF project aims to provide a viable alternative to PFAS, address industry and consumer hesitancy to switch to PFAS-free products and contribute to the phase-out of PFAS.

ZeroF's objectives


Coating formulations for upholstery applications

Develop new safe and sustainable organic-inorganic hybrid coating formulations for textile applications.  


Coating formulations for packaging applications

Develop new safe and sustainable coatings that act as a water and oil barrier in packaging applications.


Optimisation of processing conditions

Develop new coating methods and optimise the processing conditions for new coatings.


Safe and sustainable prototypes

Develop safe and sustainable prototypes that meet required oil & water barrier criteria for upholstery textiles & food packaging.


Guiding principles, criteria and tools

Develop and demonstrate guiding principles, criteria and tools for safe and sustainable by design coatings.  


Market uptake & stakeholder acceptance

Enhance market uptake and stakeholder acceptance of new coatings.


Year 1: 2023

  • Delivery of the first generation of modified molecules for the formulation and development of new PFAS-free coatings.
  • Development of a Safe and Sustainable By Design (SSbD) methodological framework and guidelines as support for coating development.

Year 2: 2024

  • Development of PFAS-free coating formulations.
  • Pilot tests with various packaging and textile applications.
  • Validation of chemicals and concepts for both value chains.
  • Development of a computational model for continuous evaluation and improvement.

Year 3: 2025

  • Completion of laboratory and pilot production trials.
  • Assessment of environmental sustainability and chemical safety.
  • Assessment of technical performance and life cycle cost evaluation.
  • Development of a certification and standardisation roadmap.
  • Awareness campaign for ZeroF's PFAS-free coatings.