ZERMET - Zero Emission Retrofitting For Existing Textile Plants

Minimisation of the consumption of water, chemicals and energy in the textile industry. Further development of the ZERMEG approach in the form of a questionnaire and application in the textile industry.

Short Description




The standard approach of Cleaner Production to identify measures to avoid waste and to optimise water and energy consumption originates from chemical engineering. This approach classically consists of drawing a flow chart, doing an input/output analysis, doing a mass and energy balance, identifying sources for waste and emissions, setting priorities as well as identifying options.

In the process of option generation one generally relies on expert knowledge or on checklists which are available in different manuals or in the best available technology reference (BREF) notes. This approach is strong with teams with a (chemical) engineering background.

In the practice environmental managers, who work on Cleaner Production projects, have no or less technical background. Therefore the authors developed the Cleaner Production approach further for a broad target group with a wide variety of educational background.

This approach should be also applicable especially for users without any (chemical) engineering background. It should apply tools which use a modelling language as close to natural language as possible and it should help groups, to go beyond the knowledge they have from their own training and experience in the identification of options for improvement.

For that purpose the elements of the so called TRIZ method were used. TRIZ is a Russian method, developed in the seventies of the last century, as the “Theory of inventive problem solving”. TRIZ offers very strong tools for developing process improvement options on a generic level without specific technological knowledge about the process which shall be improved. Especially the concept of the Ideal Final Result and the Laws of Evolution form a conceptual framework which can aid effectively in the identification of improvement options in a systematic way.

The results there the following

  • a process model for the implementation of the approach
  • a checklist with elements to describe problems, to develop the Ideal Final Result as well as to derive action approaches,
  • an Excel tool for the interactive treatment of the checklist with special application in the textile industry,
  • four documented case studies,
  • a webpage (zermet.stenum.at) with an introduction to the project idea, a description of the improvement approach, and the documented cases
  • a publication in the Journal of Cleaner Production and in the Melliand Textilberichte.


Project Partners

Project management

Dr. Johannes Fresner

Project or cooperation partner

  • Birkel Stefan Unternehmensberatung
  • Energieagentur Obersteiermark GmbH

Contact Address

Dr. Johannes Fresner
Geidorfgürtel 21
Tel.: +43 (316) 367156-0
Fax: +43 (316) 367156-13
E-Mail: office@stenum.at