ZERMEG II - Zero emission retrofitting method for existing galvanising plants
ZERMEG II is the follow up project of ZERMEG (Zero Emission Retrofitting Method for Existing Galvanising Plants), which was commissioned after the first call of the Austrian "Factory of the Future" program in 2001. The objective of ZERMEG was to develop a method to revamp existing galvanising plants in order to operate them with a maximum reduction of the use of chemicals and maximum recycling. The approach consists of a step by step optimisation sequence, a computer program to calculate the ideal consumption of water and chemicals, checklists for options and data banks with technologies to improve the working life of process solutions and for recycling. The method was successfully applied in three pilot projects. A reduction of the specific consumption of water in the range of 80-95% and clear reductions of the specific consumption of chemicals were the results of ZERMEG:
ZERMEG II is the continuation of ZERMEG in tow dimensions:
One objective of ZERMEG II is to improve detailed knowledge: it could be shown that for total recycling and a serious zero-emission-concept in depth research of degreasing and pickling in galvanising companies is necessary. This research, the development of semi-empiric parameters to account for non-idealities in real plants comparing literature, theory and real performance and modelling in co-operation with industrial partners form the first part of ZERMEG II. As in ZERMEG measures identified were implemented immediately in the plants of the industrial partners. This currently includes changing the rinsing cascades in three plants at Pengg (Reduction of the water consumption in the batch pickling plant by 50%), the use of spent caustics to pre-neutralise spent process baths and the implementation of an electrolyses plant to recover copper at AT&S (recovery of 20 kg per day of copper), optimising the topping of the pickling baths of the hot dip galvaniser Mosdorfer (50% reduction of consumption of acids) and the optimisation of the spray rinses in the automatic copper plating plants of Rotoform (reduction of water consumption by 50%, reduction of acid consumption by 40%). Further work concentrated on the research of new approaches to increase the life time of baths, the separation of impurities and the use of spent solutions in other sectors for Pengg, Heuberger and Mosdorfer.
Additionally, ZERMEG II aims at disseminating the approach. By involving new project partners the number of applications of the method is drastically increased. At the same time the feedback from the applications renders a broader data basis. Benchmarks from these applications, the documentation of the demonstration projects, a manual and a program for self analysis of interested companies are made publicly available on www.zermeg.net. The homepage was accessed by 8.500 users in 2004.
Thus the project and the method can be considered a lighthouse for the effective and efficient spreading of the idea of waste and waste water free galvanising plants by implementing clear and successful demonstration plants and a new methodological approach.
Dr. Johannes Fresner
Geidorfgürtel 21, 8010 Graz
Telefon: ++43 316 367156-20
Fax: ++43 316 367156-13