ZERMEG - Zero Emission Retrofitting Of Existing Galvanising Plants


Zermeg I

The aim of the project was to develop a method to convert and remodel existing galvanising plants in order for them to operate using a minimum amount of chemicals and maximum recycling. The method consists of a methodological approach, a computer programme that identifies and calculates the theoretically possible ideal quantities of water and chemicals required, checklists for options and databases with suitable technologies to extend the service life of galvanic baths and for recycling. The method has been successfully applied in three pilot projects. Specific water consumption could be reduced by 80 – 95 % . Furthermore, there were clear reductions in the specific consumption of chemicals.

Download: Final report

Zermeg II

ZERMEG II is the follow-up project of ZERMEG I, which was commissioned after the first call of the “Factory of the Future" programme. Evidence shows that for total recycling and a comprehensive zero emission concept, in-depth research into degreasing as well as into pickling and etching processes used in surface treatment plants is necessary. Within the framework of the project, empirical research was conducted into the development of semi-empirical parameters to optimise degreasing and pickling systems as well as modelling in co-operation with other companies.

Measures implemented:

  • rinsing cascades in three plants: reduction of the water consumption in the batch pickling plant by 50%
  • the use of spent caustics in order to pre-neutralise spent process baths and the implementation of an electrolyses plant to recover copper: recovery of approx. 20 kg of copper per day
  • optimisation of the topping up of the pickling baths: 50% reduction of the use of acids
  • remodelling of the spray rinses in the automatic copper plating plants: reduction of water consumption by 50%, reduction of acid consumption by 40%

Another focus was on research into new approaches to bath maintenance and to extending the service life of the bath and into the disposal of contaminants. This should be done in such a way that they can be used as raw materials in other sectors/industries.

Download: Final report

Zermeg III

Within the framework of ZERMEG III, a "Virtual Factory of the Future" was designed and programmed. Using a realistic computer animated representation, this model shows the user the essential elements of a company regarding techniques, organisation and a business environment. It enables the user to make managerial decisions for different periods. These differentiations are evaluated with regard to their effects on material flows, energy consumption, organisation, the situation of employees and social aspects within the company. These models were developed by a group of experts.

Download: Final report