ZERMEG - Zero Emission Retrofitting Of Existing Galvanizing Plants

Method to optimize existing galvanizing plants consequently with the goal of zero emission and zero waste enterprises, to minimize operating cost including benchmarks and three case studies

Short Description




The organized approach of ZERMEG (Zero Emission Retrofitting of Galvanizing Industries) creates a step by step approach to systematically optimize existing galvanizing plants within their practical limitations. The approach consists of nine steps:

  1. Analysis: Identification of consumption of water and chemicals
  2. Analysis: Identification of drag out
  3. Analysis: definition of rinsing criterion
  4. Reference calculation: calculation of ideal water consumption and interpretation of difference
  5. Reference calculation: calculation of ideal consumption of chemicals and interpretation of difference
  6. Definition of possible external use of concentrates
  7. Definition of possible recycles
  8. Evaluation of options
  9. Optimization of waste water treatment

The method starts with a stepwise documentation of the plant in a flowsheet. The documentation of water consumption and use of chemicals form the basis of the identification of the relevant input streams.

By comparing the real consumptions to the calculated ideal values potential areas for improvement can be identified. Two programs (QUICK and ZEPRA) were developed for this purpose.

In this report different solutions for the reduction of drag out of process solutions, for improvement of rinsing, for enlargement of the useful time and the recycling of baths are described in details showing their areas of application and cost.

The program was used in three case studies in an anodizing plant (Anodisieranstalt Heuberger), in plating of printing cylinders (Rotoform) and in the pickling line of a hot dip zincing plant (Mosdorfer). In these three cases pronounced improvement potential could be identified.

In the anodizing company, the specific water consumption could be reduced by 95%. The consumption of caustic soda and sulfuric acid could be reduced by half! During the project different unit operations for cleaning process solutions were tested. This included filters for cleaning of the degreasing, membranes and evaporators.

An internet homepage was created to present the results of the project (www.ZERMEG.net). It includes the following elements:

  • Presentation of the method of ZERMEG
  • Program, benchmarks and reference data
  • Collection of case studies
  • Links and literature
  • Space for discussion.

Project Partners

Project management

Dr. Johannes Fresner, STENUM GmbH


  • Dr. Thomas Dielacher
  • DI Christian Angerbauer
  • Markus Möller
  • Dr. Jan Sage
  • Mag. Petra Wolf

Project partners

  • Joanneum Research, Institut für Nachhaltige Techniken und Systeme
    Prof. Dr. Hans Schnitzer
    DI Christoph Brunner
  • Institut für Verfahrenstechnik der TU Graz
    Prof. Dr. Hans Schnitzer
    DI Gernot Gwehenberger
    Mikko Planasch
  • Eloxieranstalt A. Heuberger GmbH
    Josef Mair
  • Alufinish GmbH & Co KG
    DI Heinz Schneider
  • MINERWA Umwelttechnik GmbH
    Dr. Andreas Lüer
  • Inafin
    Geralt Altgajer

Contact Address

Dr. Johannes Fresner
Geidorfgürtel 21, A-8010 Graz
Tel.: +43 (316) 367156-0